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Yoav Sivan
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Blog Entries by Yoav Sivan

A Promising Report Card

(2) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 8:43 PM

What is surprising in The Declining Significance of Homophobia, sociologist Mark McCormack's new book from Oxford University Press, is not that homophobia among 16- to 18-year-old boys in secondary education in the U.K. has declined, but that it has fallen out of fashion.

To be sure, opinion polls, both in...

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Israeli Citizens Abroad Don't Need to Vote, They're Absent for a Reason

(31) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 4:44 PM

Should Israel grant its citizens living abroad the right to vote in Israeli elections?

Reviving a long-dormant campaign promise, the Netanyahu government recently commissioned a policy paper on the matter from the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute. The author, JPPI Fellow Yogev Karasenty, sees the question as one pitting the...

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Confessions of a Pinkwasher

(18) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 3:29 PM

The New York Times recently dedicated precious space to the follies of Israel's public relations.

I'm not talking about Sarah Schulman's "Israel and Pinkwashing," which alleges that the Israeli government effectively leverages the gains of the LGBT community to have its way with the Palestinians, but rather

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The Proceduralist: A Brief History of Israeli Constitutionalism

Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 12:58 PM

After an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting Israeli Government, you are called upon to reflect on the 62nd anniversary of the Knesset's first session (February 14, 1949), on the Israeli failure to enact a constitution.

While Egypt is struggling with the problem of constitutional reforms, it...

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Possible Definitions and the Impossibility of Debate

Comments | Posted February 10, 2011 | 11:00 AM

"Let's take back Zionism," writes Shai Baitel on the Huffington Post. But from whom? From the opinions of mankind, the like of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3379 that in 1975:

"Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."

But how can we...

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Israel Procrastinates in Following Through on Its Commitments

(2) Comments | Posted October 19, 2010 | 9:47 PM

Israel's ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said, according to Haaretz:

The Israeli government under PM Benjamin Netanyahu has not for a nanosecond reduced its commitment to peace.

I believe the ambassador is correct. Israel never had a problem with declaring its commitments. For example, consider Israel's...

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Provisional Loyalty to a Provisional State

(130) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 2:54 PM

Each of us gets to decide whether to follow the rules or change them. In Hebrew we call this 'combina,' a slang word referring to the bypassing of rules or commitments.

A historic event passed almost unnoticed on Sunday. A group of some 200 intellectuals and other public figures...

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The Math and Aftermath of Ground Zero

Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 6:30 PM

After criticizing the ADL's opposition to Cordoba House, Eboo Patel received a phone call from its director Abe Foxman, inviting him to join forces with the powerful organization. Will I get a phone call as well from Abe Foxman?

What is the distance between point A and point...

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Jones' Bonfire Lights an American Debate

Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 2:37 AM

Terry Jones is timing his Koran-bonfire so carefully that leaders -- in the administration, the army and the established religions -- are hurried into preventive action.

Laurie Goodstein reports in the New York Times about religious leaders convening for "an extraordinary 'emergency' summit" in Washington to oppose...

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Secrets Are Secrets

(2) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 3:46 PM

The latest Pentagon scandal has to do with children. John Cook reports:

DCIS investigators identified 264 Defense employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online. Astonishingly, nine of those had "Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information" security clearances, meaning they had access to the nation's most sensitive...
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Bringing Regret Out of the Closet

(12) Comments | Posted August 9, 2009 | 1:05 AM

I usually have no interest in trying to understand the political and spiritual leaders who excel in fanning the flames of hatred against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Their xenophobic language disgusts me and is not worthy of response, only of condemnation. Today, however, I would give...

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The Potential Romance Between Obama and Netanyahu

(1) Comments | Posted May 26, 2009 | 3:02 AM

If you expected a clash between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in their first official meeting this week, you may need to wait. Though their first date produced no sparks, it went well enough to pursue a courtship.

And that's in the interest of both leaders....

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Bias in black and white

(6) Comments | Posted April 9, 2009 | 1:46 PM

Imagine that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero relied exclusively for his knowledge of Middle East affairs on El Pais, his country's flagship newspaper. During his visit to Israel in January, he might have been bewildered when he arrived in the capital for meetings. What are we doing in...

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Iranian Santa

(4) Comments | Posted December 31, 2008 | 7:06 AM

Admittedly, my being Israeli and gay does not increase my likelihood of wanting to hear a Christmas greeting by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Though I do not know whom he hates more -- gays or Israelis -- I happen to belong to both groups. So there's very little doubt as...

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President Obama: Israel Is Ready for You

(5) Comments | Posted November 4, 2008 | 10:53 PM

The election of Barack Obama to be the 44th President of the United States is good news for Israel.

After eight years of failed American policy in the Middle East, President Obama has the chance to reassert constructive American leadership in one of the most complex geopolitical regions of the...

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What Obama Must Do in Israel

(4) Comments | Posted September 19, 2008 | 4:53 PM

Never mind that every Republican Presidential nominee in the past four elections has captured less than a quarter of the Jewish vote, down from an estimated 40 percent of the Jewish vote in 1980. In a Presidential election expected to be close, a shift of just one or two percentage...

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