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  • Devoid of issues, elections devolve into clash of personalities

    Instead of discussing increasing violence against civilians, border skirmishes and the assassination of an Iranian general, Israeli politicians are busy putting out tasteless and tactless campaign videos attacking each other with name-calling. It's not just the occupation and Israel's violation of basic rights that are missing from this election season, but any reference at all to the daily violence that has become such a routine feature in the country. In the last 10 days alone, two Israeli citizens from the Bedouin city of Rahat were killed by police, 77 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank - many of…

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  • UN aid agency to Gazans: Sorry, but there's no money

    Only $135 million of pledged donor money has been delivered to Gaza, hundreds of millions short of what's needed, the UN agency says. As a result, it is suspending its aid programs for those most affected by the war. By Yael Marom UNRWA, the UN relief agency charged with providing aid to Palestinian refugees, announced Tuesday that it is suspending its financial aid program to the thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge last summer. The program was intended to assist them in repairing houses, as well as renting apartments for those who have remained homeless…

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  • IDF commander dismisses Unit 8200 refuseniks

    'These operations, and not our letter, are what make military service political.' The 43 reservist soldiers who refused to serve in the IDF respond to their dismissal.  The commander of the IDF’s highly prestigious 8200 intelligence unit dismissed all 43 reservist soldiers who previously declared their refusal to serve in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu last September. The letter, which caused a great deal of controversy, cited Israel's military rule over the Palestinian people in the occupied territories as a policy of choice, rather than of self-defense, which violates basic human rights. In a letter addressed to the reservists, the commander…

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  • How the joint Arab slate challenges Israel's discriminatory politics

    For the first time, the Knesset could have a sizable political bloc that is '100 percent for equality, 100 percent against occupation.' The joint Arab slate should use this to not only challenge the right-wing’s discriminatory agenda, but to expose the center-left’s distorted idea of democracy.  By Amjad Iraqi Last week, the four main political parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel announced their agreement to run as a joint slate in the upcoming elections. Although there is popular support for the decision, Palestinian citizens are uncertain of what the slate can achieve. Personal conflicts, ideological differences and other disputes will make it difficult for the parties…

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  • Israel won't become part of the Middle East until the occupation ends

    The chance of Israel’s re-admittance to the Middle East lies in its ability to show initiative, originality and flexibility of thought. Only by attempting sincerely to solve the Palestinian problem will it have a chance to become a public and recognized player. Prof. Elie Podeh A few months ago, former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni traveled in secret to New York to a meeting attended by the foreign ministers of several Arab countries, Arab League officials and European foreign ministers. The topic of the meeting was the formulation of a regional coalition, or cooperation, against ISIS. Participation of an official Israeli…

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  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, Chapter 4: Azizi will judge

    Part four, in which our heroes find a jar of rare yeast spread, and have a wonderful time chuckling at 'Google Translate.' Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries’ here. On Tuesday I wrote Hanin: "It's time to look for a singer. You said you knew a few." There was no response that day, nor the following. I told myself to be patient. On Friday I read a spectacular op-ed in Haaretz, authored by none other than Mira Awad, the same Galilee-born Palestinian singer whom Hanin rejected. Awad wrote about going out for drinks with a mixed group of Arab…

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  • Netanyahu on how his old U.S. high school ‘changed’

    More evidence that his racism doesn’t stop at Arabs. I’ve never written about a particular comment Bibi Netanyahu made when I interviewed him in the summer of 1993, because as objective evidence of anti-black racism, it’s not exactly slam-dunk. But this weekend Netanyahu accused Israel’s friendliest, most unthreatening Arab public figure, broadcaster-turned-candidate Zohair Bahloul, of “praising Hezbollah” in a court testimony. What Bahloul actually said was the exact opposite. For Netanyahu this was a personal low in terms of anti-Arab racism, which takes some effort. And recently I saw a Washington Post account of the blatant anti-Hispanic racism Netanyahu showed…

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  • United Arab slate thumbs nose at Liberman's disqualification attempt

    After years of engaging in relentless, blatantly racist incitement against the Arab parties, the foreign minister may soon get his comeuppance. Avigdor Liberman, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party and current foreign minister, is trying to get the new unified list of Arab parties disqualified from running in the upcoming elections. According to settler website Arutz Sheva, Liberman's petition is based on the claim that Balad, one of the parties on the list, supports terrorism. Liberman's previous campaigns included a proposal to strip citizenship from Israeli citizens who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. His 2009 campaign…

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  • Why Mizrahim don't vote for the Left

    It is no wonder that Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties when the Ashkenazi-dominated Left has done everything in its power to exclude them. Want things to change? Start talking about Ashkenazi privilege. By Tom Mehager Those who have, historically, voted for Israel's left-wing camp are often nicknamed "the white tribe." On the other hand, the right wing enjoys a high percentage of Mizrahi voters. Why? In the run-up to the elections, it might be worth taking a look at this question. First of all, the social categories "Mizrahim" and "Asheknazis" are nowhere to be found in the platforms of Israel's…

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  • The Arab parties united? Great, now it's time to get to work

    After a great deal of work, the joint Arab election slate has finally come into fruition. But what does the list say about the place of women in Arab politics? Who proved himself to be the real leader of the group? And what can the Arab public do now? By Samah Salaime Egbariya You know that joke about how Arabs can't agree about anything but the fact that they disagree about everything? Well, it is officially no longer relevant! With the looming elections and the raising of the electoral threshold, Israel's Arab population went into a long state of difficult…

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  • Popular struggle leader: Education is the best weapon against occupation

    Salah Diab, one of the leaders of the struggle against expulsions of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, was released from prison after serving five months for a crime he says he didn't commit. Now that he has returned to the neighborhood, he is as sure as ever: the future belongs to the Palestinian people, not the settlers.   It was nearly four-and-a-half years ago that Salah Diab, a resident of the East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, heard noises outside his door. He went outside to see what was going on, taking his camera with him, as…

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  • [VID] Street talk: What do you think about home demolitions?

    Whenever there is a terrorist attack in Israel, somebody on the political level starts talking about demolishing the terrorist family’s home as punishment and deterrence. Social TV hit the streets of Tel Aviv and asked the public what they think, and put that against Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions chairman Jeff Halper. More on punitive house demolitions: Rights groups to top court: Home demolitions are collective punishment Punitive home demolitions are racist — and just plain wrong

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  • The 'anti-Zionist' camp goes mainstream in Israeli elections

    Both Netanyahu and Livni are leveraging their international influence for electoral gain: Netanyahu in Congress and Livni at the United Nations. And, will the real Zionist camp please stand up? Elections are almost always referendums on the incumbent, and an incumbent always has an advantage against any challengers. One of those advantages is the ability to demonstrate leadership and to exploit platforms unavailable to his or her challengers, i.e. speaking before a joint session of Congress. Such advantages tend not to be fair, or even legal in some cases. In Israel, for instance, there are laws that prevent public servants…

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