HRW Targets Businesses on the West Bank

For the first time, a Human Rights Watch report on the West Bank is calling on businesses to withdraw from there if they find themselves part of what the study describes as a “two-tier system of laws, rules and services” that favors Jewish settlers at the expense of Palestinians. This is a new move for the organization, whose officials acknowledged that the recommendation shared some unintentional “overlap” with the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, or BDS, as the campaign is known.

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Double Marker: A Gay Jew in the Navy

Will the law allow return, Korrie Xavier wonders, for gay former military service members like her, who left the service only because they had to? Just five years after her bat mitzvah, Xavier joined the Navy as a seaman recruit. She was trained to maintain and fire weapons systems on the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship based in San Diego. She liked the structure, the camaraderie, and sailing to ports from southeast Asia to Abu Dhabi. Barely in her 20s, the Michigan native became the nerve center of Jewish shipboard life — all while hiding her sexuality under her Navy uniform blues.

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Eritrean Tells of His Cruel Odyssey to Israel

On a bed in his tiny shared apartment in Tel Aviv, Mekonen Kefete bares his right leg to illustrate the story of his journey to Israel. It is dotted with dark black marks where red-hot iron bars were cruelly poked into his skin. Kefete, 26, fled his native Eritrea a little more than a year ago, destination unknown, to escape an open-ended draft in the country’s army. After the eight-hour trek from Eritrea to Sudan, he related, traffickers forcibly detained him, ordered him to pay $500, decided that his destination was Egypt’s border with Israel and said they were taking him there.

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The Name of Pétain, Hero and Villain, Is Cleansed From the Streets of France

Renaming a street in a tiny French village should have been of no consequence to anyone other than its inhabitants. But when the municipal council of Tremblois-lès-Carignan (population 115) in the Ardennes region voted to change the name of Rue Pétain to Rue de Belle-Croix, it marked the end of an era. Theirs was the last street in France named for the white-mustachioed Marshal Philippe Pétain, hero of Verdun in the Great War.

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Baruch Tegegne, Who Saved Ethiopian Jews

Early one morning in the late 1940s, an elderly Ethiopian Jew stood with his young grandson at the top of a small mountain, waiting for sunrise. As the sun broke over the horizon, the old man, pointing toward the sun, said, “Remember, this is the way to Jerusalem.” That young boy was Baruch Tegegne, who died in Israel on December 27 after a long illness. He was 65 years old and, upon his death, could look back to see tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews whose journey to Israel took the path he blazed.

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