Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew sister site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

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 them children –  were made homeless due to Israeli home demolitions, a nine-year old Palestinian from East Jerusalem was arrested by undercover Israeli police, and 12 Israelis were stabbed on a public bus in central Tel Aviv.

And this doesn’t even include the latest news from Tuesday, when two rockets fired from Syria exploded in the Golan Heights, nine days after an Israeli helicopter strike on the Syrian city of Quneitra killed five, including a Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general.

That is a lot of violence, and these are just the more prominent incidents of recent days.

You wouldn’t know that any of this was happening by watching Israel’s election campaign, now in full swing. Most of the Jewish, Zionist parties vying for Knesset seats have not mentioned these incidents at all, and for those that have, it hasn’t become part of their campaign in any way. Sure, words like “security” and “strength” are thrown around, but they are entirely devoid of content. Everyone wants security; the question is how it can be achieved. The only mention of some of the recent violence came from Israeli Arab politicians, who said that the situation in Rahat was another determining factor in the push to create a joint list of Arab parties.

Instead of discussing the violence and offering concrete proposals for coping with it, Israeli politicians are busy putting out shoddy, tasteless and tactless campaign videos, like the one below released yesterday by the Labor party. The content of the video is based solely on the fact that Isaac Herzog’s nickname, “Buji,” sounds like the word boogie from the 1977 popular song, “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie.” That’s the only reason it was made. In the video, Herzog is called a “mega-nerd” devoid of “muscles,” but is also described...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

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 wrote that their choice to refuse was “a mistake.” “You crossed a fine line that distinguishes between politics and military service, a separation line that allows us in the unit to continue providing quality intelligence for all the IDF’s needs and various security organization and the Israeli government,” Walla! quoted the letter as saying.

The reservists published a statement Monday afternoon responding to their dismissal:

We discovered that we were dismissed from our unit a few hours ago after reading about it in the news. None of us have received any notice from the unit or IDF. Unfortunately, the unit is choosing to cope with the claims we have raised by throwing us out of the unit, as if the harsh reality will disappear together with us. The testimonies that were published are not rumors, but our testimonies, first hand testimonies about our actions that were part of the routine of our service, from soldiers who served and believed in the unit…

The commander of the unit and the IDF Spokesperson do not deny that the needs of the military regime’s intelligence in the territories include gathering information about innocents without any restrictions, as well as blackmailing uninvolved individuals on the basis of medical information and their sexual tendencies. Indeed, as the unit commander says, there is a fine line that distinguishes between politics and the military: but these operations, and not our letter, are what make military service political.

At the time of its publishing, Prime Minister Netanyahu called the refusal latter “baseless slander,” while opposition leader, Labor Party chairman and now head of the “Zionist Camp” Isaac Herzog – himself a former 8200 unit soldier – condemned the move as a “call for subordination.”

8200 is considered an elite unit within the intelligence corps of...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Arab parties announce joint slate for upcoming election

In a bid to remain relevant with an increased electoral threshold, the three Arab parties and Communist party Hadash are to run on one list in the March 17 elections.

In an unprecedented, historic move, Israel’s Arab parties Hadash, Balad, Ta’al and Ra’am announced late Thursday night that they will run on a joint slate named “The Joint List” in the upcoming March 17 election.

The list will be headed by the Arab-Jewish Hadash party’s Ayman Odeh, who was elected party chairman last week, followed by Masud Ghnaim of the Islamist Ra’am and Balad’s Jamal Zahalka in third place. Ahmed Tibi (Ta’al) will take the fourth place, followed by Aida Touma-Sliman from Hadash, the first woman on the list.

Abdel Hakim Haj Yahia (Ra’am) will take the sixth place, and Hanin Zoabi (Balad, and the second woman on list) will be placed number seven. Eighth place will go to Hadash’s Dov Khenin, the only Jewish member of the slate who is likely to be elected, followed by Ra’am’s Taleb Abu Arar.

Yousef Jabareen of Hadash will take the tenth place, followed by Bassel Ghattas (Balad). Ra’am and Ta’al agreed to a rotation for spot 12 and 15, while Balad’s Jum’a Azbarga and Abdullah Abu-Ma’arouf (Hadash) will rotate between spots 13 and 14.  

While the different Arab parties have historically run separately, a law spearheaded last year by Avigdor Liberman and Yair Lapid raised the election threshold to 3.25 percent (four seats), and effectively forced the parties to join forces in order to remain relevant. The new threshold has sparked a fierce debate about the possibility of giving an equal voice to all sectors of the Arab population, as well as the inclusion of Hadash’s Jewish members.

The parties began negotiations over the past dew days, after both Balad and Hadash elected their individual slates. The violent events in the Bedouin city Rahat, where two residents were killed by police, and the protests that came in their wake had an effect on the negotiations.

Following the announcement, MK Haneen Zoabi tweeted: “This is an historic achievement that will bolster the Arab public’s trust in their power and in the political game. [This is] the only democratic list in Israel: 100% for equality, 100% against occupation.” (My translation).

Most of the surveys have the list projected to receive 11 Knesset seats. According to a recent +972 poll, nearly 70 percent of Arabs citizens said...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Palestinians in East Jerusalem go 10 months without water

Israel refuses to connect four neighborhoods in its self-declared capital to running water.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been cut off from a regular supply of running water for nearly a year due to to their location beyond Israel’s separation barrier.

Despite their location within the boundaries of Israel’s self-declared capital, the neighborhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A’salam and the Shuafat Refugee Camp have been suffering from a severe water crisis since last March, when residents went three weeks without any water supply. They have been forced to buy water bottles at a high cost, and must limit their consumption by using electric pumps and industrial containers.

The High Court of Justice will hold a hearing tomorrow (Monday) to discuss the appeal filed last year by the residents and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

The Water Authority and the Ministry of Infrastructure have said that they do not intend to connect the houses in these neighborhoods to the water supply, but rather will expand the flow to the central pipelines. This, despite admitting themselves that it will not solve the problem for the roughly 80,000 residents living in these areas.

“Since the construction of the wall and the collapse of local infrastructure, the authorities have attempted time and time again to impose upon us the responsibility of providing residents with basic services in an area that forms part of Jerusalem, and whose residents are Jerusalemites,” says Jamil Sanduka, Chairman of the Ras Khamis Neighborhood Committee. ”We have already begun repairing the roads and building schools at our own expense, since the lack of support from the municipality has left us feeling desperate. But we have no way of providing ourselves with water. What do they expect of us? That we haul buckets of water on donkeys?”

The water crisis is just one example of the neglect suffered by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem living east of the separation barrier, who are not provided with basic services such as waste collection and ambulance services.

Even though Israel is responsible for surrounding these areas with the wall, its government has not taken responsibility for the welfare of its residents, who are part of the “eternal undivided capital” of Israel.

Related:
PHOTOS: 13 days without water in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem Palestinians demand running water be restored

Read More

View article: AAA
Share article

Putting the Charlie Hebdo attack in context

The news from Paris hit like a punch to the stomach and to the heart. Ten employees of the satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, were shot in cold blood for practicing freedom of expression. Two policemen were killed for trying to protect them. Eleven more were wounded. The killers screamed out Allahu Akbar. The thought that cartoonists and journalists can become anyone’s enemy, no matter how provocative and even racist their content, is outrageous.

The reactions and classifications were of course quick to pour in. Writing in The New YorkerAmy Davidson called it an attack on journalism everywhere:

On Twitter, Jeffrey Goldberg called it “possibly the most direct attack by Islamists on Western ideals to date” and penned an article called “Europe is Under Siege.“ The New York Times‘ Roger Cohen unleashed a rather visceral tweet:

 

To which Palestinian American writer and analyst Yousef Munayyer replied:

But there were also efforts on social media to contextualize the killings. For example, American novelist and LGBT activist Sarah Schulman wrote the following on her Facebook page:

In Israel, Channel 2 news analyst Arad Nir called it “France’s 9/11.” Prime Minister Netanyahu said of the attack that the “same extremist forces attacking Europe are attacking Israel. Israel stands by Europe – Europe should stand by Israel.” Netanyahu was clearly implying criticism of various European parliaments’ move to recognize Palestine in recent months. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman used the incident to lump together the Islamic Movement in Israel, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as all being exactly the same.

One reaction that caught my eye and I thought was an interesting perspective worth sharing was a Facebook status by a Palestinian citizen of Israel and Arabic teacher, Hanin Majadli. She wrote (my translation):

On the Charlie Hebdo attack:

I thought to open this post by condemning (as a Muslim) the terror attack that took place yesterday in France against a satirical newspaper that I...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

WATCH: Rightists campaign on hate, incitement and arrogance

Two different election campaign videos released by major right-wing candidates have one major thing in common: they are very clear about what and who they are against, yet indicate next to nothing about what they stand for.

In a highly incendiary video, Likud Knesset member Danny Danon, who was fired from his position as deputy defense minister for publicly slamming Netanyahu’s “restraint” during this past summer’s assault on Gaza, has released a campaign video in which he brands himself as “the real Likud.”

 

In the video Danon fashions himself as a no-nonsense sheriff in the Wild Wild West (Bank), whose first order of duty is to kick Haneen Zoabi out of the Knesset (which he has been gunning for since she took part in the Gaza flotilla in 2010). Zoabi is demonized as an Arab terrorist and murderer, seen in a room with posters of Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh and former Balad leader Azmi Bishara (Bishara fled Israel after being accused of providing aid to Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon War). Even the song, a take on the American classic “Oh! Susanna,” is replaced by the words “Oh! Zoabi.” His entire video is based on his vendetta against a fellow Knesset member, which he manages to liken to the entire Palestinian people – who are all enemy terrorists. His message is one of hate, vengeance and intolerance.

“There are limits for any traitor,” he sings, and then presents himself as the “real Likud,” with former Prime Minister Menachem Begin (the one who signed a peace accord with Egypt) and Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the father of revisionist Zionism and the Likud’s spiritual leader, giving a thumbs up in the background.

Proving how patriotic he is, Danon then indicates that the “infiltrators” – referring to African refugees – will be kicked out, Israel will build many more settlements and he will take care of the Hamas tunnels “at any price.” And if some people don’t agree with his approach, well that’s too bad.  

Naftali Bennett, the chairman of the Jewish Home party, also released a video this week. In it he is mockingly dressed as a hipster in central Tel Aviv,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Hundreds rally against racist group 'Lehava' in Jerusalem

The rally comes after three members of the group were arrested as suspects in the arson attack against a mixed Jewish-Arab school.

Hundreds of people protested in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square Saturday night against racism and called to outlaw Lehava, a racist, anti-misegenation group . Three of its members were charged several days ago with an arson attack against a mixed Jewish-Arab school two weeks ago.

The protest was organized by a group of activists who identify as: “Jerusalem doesn’t stay silent in the face of racism.” Protesters held signs in Hebrew and Arabic that read “Stop the racism” and “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” They called out chants like “Lehava’s racism begins in the government” and “Jerusalem will not be silent; outlaw racism.”

Among the speakers at the protest was Murad Mana, whose child attends the bilingual Arab-Jewish school in the city which was burned exactly two weeks ago. He said, “We will not allow any bully to burn down our coexistence.”

+972 blogger Orly Noy, whose children also attend the bilingual school, also spoke at the rally. “This type of violence does not take place in a vacuum,” Noy told the crowd and wrote in a post later Saturday night (Hebrew). “It sprouts from a bed of growing deligitimization of the Palestinian population in Jerusalem, both inside Israel and in the occupied territories.”

Three Israelis arrested for the arson attack on the mixed Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem two weeks ago are active members of Lehava, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Thursday, after a Shin Bet gag order was lifted on the case.

One of the suspects is from Jerusalem and the other two are brothers from the West Bank settlement Beitar Illit. The three reportedly admitted in their interrogation by the Shin Bet that they carried out the attack because they object to Arab-Jewish coexistence and that they hoped their act of arson would “raise public awareness” against the phenomenon.

In addition to the burning of a first grade classroom and its books, graffiti found on the school included: “death to Arabs,” “coexistence is a cancer,” “no to assimilation” and “Kahane was right.”

All these messages are explicitly identified with Lehava, whose leader, Benzi Gupstein, is a disciple of the late Meir Kahane. Kahane’s Kach party was disqualified from participating in Israeli elections in 1988 for inciting to racism, and was banned outright...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

High Court rules against Zoabi, upholds Knesset suspension

‘In effect, from this day forward, Arab Knesset members will be subject to the political judgements of the Jewish majority,’  MK Zoabi’s attorneys say.

The High Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected MK Haneen Zoabi’s appeal to overturn her six-month suspension from parliamentary discussions for a political opinion she expressed on the radio in June. As I reported yesterday, in deliberating her petition, the justices spent more time interpreting and judging Zoabi’s politics than whether the Knesset had the right to suspend her in the first place.

In its decision (Hebrew), the justices essentially chose “not to interfere” with the Knesset committee’s decision, and said they took into account that her suspension will end before the next election, it will not affect her ability to run.  The court agreed that Zoabi violated “rule 1a” of Knesset ethical conduct that a public trustee’s duty is to represent her electorate in a way that “promotes the good of the state.”

The justices wrote in their decision that while recognizing that her suspension is in fact extreme compared with past punishments, they are nonetheless ruling to uphold it ”in light of the petitioner’s harsh words and the timing in which she said them,” referring to the fact that Zoabi said in June that the Palestinian kidnappers of the three Israeli teenagers (before their fate was known) are “not terrorists.” (For her entire statement, read my previous report).

The justices ruled four in favor and one against, the latter being Israeli Arab Justice Salim Joubran.

Responding to the decision, Zoabi said:

Zoabi added that it is clear the Knesset Ethics Committee diverged from its authority in order to silence her, “and not just me but freedom of expression and freedom of protect of Palestinian citizens to protect inequality, oppression, racism and discrimination.”

Adalah and The Association for Civil Rights, who filed the petition on Zoabi’s behalf, said in a statement:

Unrelated to the ruling, ACRI published a report on Wednesday highlighting what it described as the violation of freedom of speech during Operation Protective Edge this past summer:

Related:
Why does the Israeli left oppose MK Haneen Zoabi?
The Israeli media’s hit job on MK Haneen Zoabi



View article: AAA
Share article

The Knesset v. Zoabi: Israeli Arab MK's politics put on trial

The High Court spent most of Tuesday’s hearing questioning Zoabi’s politics rather than deliberating whether the Knesset had the right to suspend her in the first place.

Israel’s High Court of Justice held a discussion Tuesday morning over Knesset member Haneen Zoabi’s (Balad) petition to overrule a decision to suspend her from parliamentary debates for six months. The decision was put into effect by the Knesset Ethics Committee on July 29 and is due to expire at the end of January 2015. Tuesday’s session ended without a decision, but justices said one would be made in the coming days.

The suspension was implemented based on statements Zoabi made during a radio interview in June about the abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank (before their fate was known). Here is what she said:

Despite stating she does not support the abduction, and in principle opposes any acts of harm against civilians, her refusal to call the kidnappers “terrorists” led Israeli politicians to claim that she violated the Knesset’s code of conduct and therefore can be suspended (the code normally relates to statements made inside the Knesset). At the time, Zoabi tried to explain in the Hebrew media that she refuses to use the word “terrorists,” as it reflects a unilateral Israeli point of view that portrays Israelis as the sole victims.

The petition, filed on Zoabi’s behalf by Adalah, an NGO dedicated to the rights of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), argues that that the suspension violates her right to freedom of speech. The petition further claimed that it is not within the Ethics Committee’s jurisdiction to limit an MK’s activities.

According to Adalah, this is the harshest penalty ever imposed by the committee in the history of the Knesset concerning a single statement. It is also the first time that the committee has imposed a punishment for a statement that did not include any threats, incitement, contempt, slander or defamation:

According to some present in the courtroom, the judges spent most of the time interpreting Zoabi’s statement and politics rather than deliberating whether the committee had the right to make such a decision.

Read: The Israeli media’s hit job on MK Haneen Zoabi

Haaretz reporter Revital Hovel, who was in the courtroom, tweeted one of the justices remarks: “I don’t understand how a person who proclaims to be an...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

'Anyone but Bibi' isn't the point: Pre-election postulations

It is naive for the Israeli peace camp to think that deposing Netanyahu will bring about peace or even get us closer.

Now that early elections are almost certainly going to be held on March 17, rumors have begun spreading like wildfire about the myriad possibilities of parties teaming up and the various frontrunners who will be vying to dethrone Prime Minister Netanyahu. There are many pieces in the puzzle, and it is hard to keep up or know how things will actually pan out. But one thing is already clear: the most popular theme of this election is the “Anyone but Bibi” slogan.

Over the weekend, Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and opposition leader Isaac “Buji” Herzog (Labor) held talks about forming a united “center-left” list in which Herzog will be number 1 and Livni number 2. There are rumors that former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz from Kadima may also join. Internal polls show that such a list could garner 24 Knesset seats, beating Likud’s projected 22. Their only vision for the country at this point appears to be “Just not Bibi.”

Herzog and Livni both declared in recent days that they are ripe to be Israel’s next prime minister. Speaking at the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Herzog explicitly promised to head the next Israeli government, and announced he would be willing to form a coalition of parties spanning “Liberman to Meretz.”

With those three words, Herzog excluded the possibility of governing in cooperation with any Arab parties and revealed he has no political vision, since as far as Jewish parties go, Yisrael Beiteinu and Meretz represent opposite ends of the spectrum.

And Livni, the same Livni who has consistently marketed herself as the “peace” candidate (or more accurately the “peace process” candidate) even as she sat in successive governments that led the country into murderous, destructive and ineffective wars, and who nevertheless chose to sit in the current coalition with Netanyahu – this Livni is now trying to run as an alternative to Netanyahu?

Meanwhile Naftali Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home party, has his heart set on being the next defense minister, so he is strengthening his ties to Netanyahu and placing his bets on another Netanyahu-led Likud win. Liberman has been strangely quiet. Gideon Sa’ar, the former interior minister who resigned from political life in mid-September is now reportedly trying to defeat Netanyahu in Likud primaries...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Like school arsonists, Netanyahu rejects Arab-Jewish coexistence

The prime minister’s reaction — or lack thereof — to the arson attack against Jerusalem’s bilingual school reflects what can only be understood as contempt for Palestinian-Israeli partnership. 

The arsonists who set fire to the Arab-Jewish bilingual school in Jerusalem Saturday night decided to pile up the first graders’ books and burn them in the middle of the classroom. Jews burned books. Belonging to six years olds. In Israel’s capital.

All Israeli citizens should feel they were targeted. A premeditated, intentional act aimed at instilling horror and fear into a small minority of Palestinians and Israelis whose only crime is an attempt at living in partnership and equality. An act of terror. It is reflective of nothing less than a national crisis.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not see fit to issue a special statement, nor did he find it necessary to visit the school. He sufficed with this condemnation at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday:

He couched his statement in the larger context of unrest in Jerusalem. Netanyahu does not see the burning of schoolchildren’s books and a first-grade classroom as a stand-alone incident worthy of independent mention. It is on the same level as Palestinians throwing stones at soldiers who control their movement from behind shields and walls and armored vehicles. Jewish citizens in the Jewish state burned Jewish books. He can’t blame this one on Mahmoud Abbas – so I guess he has nothing to say.

Read also: ‘We will overcome’: A parent’s response to the school arson

What is most striking about Netanyahu’s statement is that he doesn’t even make an attempt at expressing empathy. He does not directly address the children, whose safety and confidence have been shaken, or the parents and school staff, who must at once cope with their fears of a next time while assuring the kids that their way of life is a secure and acceptable.

How does the leader of a country not find it fitting to visit these kids? Or to at least address them directly? Maybe because such an act serves his own agenda of keeping Palestinians and Israelis as hateful and segregated as possible. Maybe because showing empathy for Palestinian-Israeli partnership challenges his sole achievement as prime minister over the past five years: preserving occupation, discrimination and violence.

In the current state of Israeli politics, the very existence of...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Jerusalem mixed school set on fire in apparent arson attack

The largest Arab-Jewish educational institution in Israel has been targeted several times in the past.

Jerusalem’s bilingual Arab-Jewish school was set on fire Saturday night, and hate speech was sprayed on its walls with the messages: “Kahane was right” and “There is no coexistence with cancer.” One classroom was totally consumed while another was partially burned, as well as a stack of books.

Read also: ‘We will overcome’: Arson and mourning at J’lem bilingual school

Most schools in Israel serve Jews or Arabs separately, in addition to separation between secular and religious students. Mixed schools are the exception and there are only a small number of them, most of which are private.

The Max Rayne Hand in Hand school, which serves 624 Palestinian and Jewish students from East and West Jerusalem, pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, is the largest Arab-Jewish cultural institution in Israel. It has been the target of several hate crimes in recent months, including during the summer’s Gaza War. Students responded at the time by writing “Partnership; Love; Fraternity” on their walls.

Parents of students at the school gathered there Saturday night to set up alternative spaces for the classrooms damaged and hung up signs like, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” which will greet the kids when they arrive at school tomorrow morning. A rally in support of the kids and the staff will be held at 8 a.m. at the entrance to the school.

Shuli Dichter, director of Hand in Hand, which operates five such bilingual schools in Israel, said in a statement:

Education Minister Shay Piron issued a statement condemning the attack:

Related:
Jerusalem posters call to ban Arab workers
Settler violence: It comes with the territory
Last Arab-Jewish public school in Israel may close its doors




View article: AAA
Share article

Jerusalem posters call to ban Arab workers

Posters reading “Jews only employ Jews” were spotted near the entrance to Jerusalem Friday, three days after two Palestinians killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.

Above the slogan in smaller letters, at the top of the Israeli flag-shaped poster, it reads: “Biblical law determines” and at the bottom it reads: “Did you know?! The terrorists that committed the massacre in Har Nof – were employed in the synagogue and its surroundings.” One of the attackers indeed was reported to have worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue.

Whoever crafted the racist message grounded it in both religious scripture and practical empiricism.

Another poster found in the same area reads: “Employed an Arab? You endangered a Jew!”

These messages echo the decision by the mayor of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon a day earlier to ban Israeli Arab construction workers from jobs in and around schools in the name of security. The legality of his decision is in question and politicians from across the right-wing spectrum were quick to denounce the move as unacceptable. Prime Minister Netanyahu said discrimination won’t be tolerated, while Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett said that 99.9 percent of Israeli Arab citizens are loyal (read: reliable cheap labor).

Reactions were so strong and across the board that it honestly felt at one point as if the mayor’s ban was a ploy to enable all these politicians the opportunity to resolutely declare to the Israeli public that the country is not anti-Arab – even as it prepares to push forward on Sunday the “Jewish nation state” bill in a version that does not guarantee equal rights for its non-Jewish citizens (the 20 percent of the population that is Palestinian).

However, a poll by Israel’s Channel 10 showed that 58 percent of Israelis supported the move (with 32 percent against), and several Ashkelon residents told TV reporters they are in favor. One young mother said she felt the move made her feel safer dropping her kids off at school, adding: “I have no problem with the Arab sector. Some of them are perfectly fine.” Another said, “I’d rather be racist than be a victim.”

UPDATE: I discovered a Facebook page called “Fighting for our country, for ourselves” which is filled with anti-Arab messaging, including this photo taken at a store (location unknown) with a sign reading: “Arabs...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2015 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel