'There have been no institutions, no organizations for Palestinian workers within Israel to defend their rights.' A young labor union is resisting exploitation and defending the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, with a focus on the rights of women workers. By Alon Aviram NAZARETH - Security cameras and a heavy metal door secure the otherwise inconspicuous apartment. This is the office of the Arab Workers Union in Israel (AWU). Photographs of local demonstrations and flags of international trade unions drape the interior walls. Wehbe Badarneh, 43, from the village of Arabah, is the general secretary of the trade union.…Read More... | 6 Comments
The first couple of polls since the announcing of the new elections are out. Here are the numbers: Maariv (Teleseker): Likud 29; Kadima 7; Israel Beitenu 15; Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) 11; Labor 19; Shas 10; United Torah Judaism 6; The Jewish Home 8; Meretz 4; Ra'am-Ta'al 3; Hadash 3; Balad 4; Atzmaut (Ehud Barak) 2. Haaretz (Rafi Smith): Likud 29; Kadima 6; Israel Beitenu 13; Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) 17; Labor 17; Shas 10; United Torah Judaism 5; The Jewish Home 5; Meretz 4; Ra'am-Ta'al 5; Hadash 4; Balad 2; Atzmaut (Ehud Barak) 0. > Click here for 972's Knesset poll…Read More... | 7 Comments
The political parties, along with media, will sell a story of a tight battle, but the Likud-led majority is as stable as it was four years ago. A quick breakdown of the upcoming elections, expected to take place in roughly ninety days. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday evening his intention to hold early elections in roughly three months. Elections were due to take place in November 2013 in any case, but Netanyahu estimates that he will have trouble passing next year's budget in the current Knesset. The following is an excerpt from Netanyahu's statement tonight: Today, I finished a round of…Read More... | 14 Comments
Two of the three leading veteran papers in Israel are in deep trouble: Several hundreds workers of the Maariv daily – the 3rd largest in Israel – held a protest this afternoon, occasionally blocking traffic on one of Tel Aviv's busiest highways. Maariv was reported to have been sold by its owner, business tycoon Nochi Dankner, to rightwing publisher Shlomo Ben-Zvi. It was made public yesterday that the 2,000 people working at the paper will be fired, and only several hundred may be re-hired under the new ownership. The newly formed union of Maariv workers has also discovered that there aren't…Read More... | 2 Comments
Despite a recent rise in the polls, Labor's leader seems determined to follow failed policies of former party leaders. As the Labor Party under Shelly Yachimovich rises in the polls, many observers are wondering whether the journalist-turned-politician could be the leader that the center-left camp is searching for, one that could challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the ideological and electoral front. Labor is now polling 25 seats. A similar result in the general election would be the party's best since 1999, when Ehud Barak led it. Yachimovich differs from Netanyahu on her economic views, and she was so far…Read More... | 33 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of playing the American political game. It seems that his friend Mitt Romney is now involved in Israeli politics, having cancelled a meeting with Labor head Shelly Yachimovich at the last minute. Labor Minister: 'Romney may have been misled by political players in Israel.' A meeting between the Republican nominee and the Labor leader, Shelly Yachimovich, was cancelled last minute by Romney's staff, despite having initiated it and repeatedly confirmed it until today. According to Haaretz, a probable reason for the cancellation was a request from Prime Minister Netanyahu, who sees Yachimovich as…Read More... | 4 Comments
After only 70 days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mega-coalition shrank back to 66 members of Knesset yesterday. Kadima, the Knesset's biggest party, decided to leave the government over the failure to reach an agreement on national draft reform. A few takeaways: 1. The entire maneuver that resulted in the national unity government was a mistake by the prime minister, who had been about to announce elections on September 4, and win them easily. Currently, elections are scheduled to take place in October 2013, but common wisdom says they will happen six to nine months from now, in the winter or spring…Read More... | 7 Comments
An understanding of the profitable side of the occupation - way more considerable than most people imagine – could force us to change our entire political thinking. Ami Kaufman (on his +972 blog) and Emily Hauser (Open Zion) join the debate regarding the financial burden the occupation puts on the Israeli economy. As Ami notes, this is something that goes hand in hand with the conversation on J14 (a.k.a the "social justice" protest). Terminating the occupation and the expensive settlement project, the saying goes, would benefit Israeli economy more than any other measure the protesters offer. As both Emily and…Read More... | 25 Comments
The Israeli political system and the media were thrown into a frenzy by the unprecedented announcement that the early elections will be postponed following a coalition deal between Kadima – formerly known as the opposition – and Likud. Everyone is spitting mad: the talking heads have been cheated out of their favorite game; newbie Yair Lapid is like a child who was pushed out of the sandbox; Labor was basking in poll numbers that had it slated for second place, and is now left dazed and confused. The far-right faction of Likud has to get into bed with Kadima, which…Read More... | 15 Comments
At least two new parties could enter the next Knesset, but polls show that the most important figure - the split between the two major blocs - is surprisingly static. It's official: The coalition has decided to call early elections, which are to take place on September 4, 2012. The final confirmation of the date is expected next week, once the Likud's bill on early elections acquires the necessary Knesset votes. Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed a rather stable coalition, yet the government expected major hurdles in the coming Knesset session – most notably, the need to come up with a new…Read More... | 38 Comments
"The Crisis of Zionism," appears to be a book about politics, history and ideology, but in fact it is a research into identity; the identity of a community and the identity of the author. It is a book about the construction, the de-construction and the effort to reconstruct an identity; it sheds light on forgotten historical political facts, while leaving out others; it invents a new narrative, but is by no means false, since such is the nature of all identity projects. In his groundbreaking work, "Imagined Communities," Benedict Andersen quotes French author Ernest Renan: "The essence of a nation…Read More... | 21 Comments
UPDATE (Wednesday, 1:45 p.m. local): The Hebron police and the IDF evacuated this morning a house in Palestinian Hebron that had been occupied by Jewish settlers since last Thursday. The evacuation was preceded by a political back-and forth between government officials on the issue. Leading Likud members, including deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon have accused Defense Minister Barak of not respecting government policy. Some Likud members demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu stop the evacuation. Earlier today, security sources told Israeli media that the evacuation would take place only after Passover. Around noon the army made the settlers leave the house, located near the Cave of…Read More... | 23 Comments
The Knesset committee in charge of organizing the torch-lighting ceremony for Independence Day has come up with this year's list of participants--and it doesn't include any Arabs. While Knesset members criticized the exclusion of minorities, the move reflects reality of life in Israel. According to Ynet, a Knesset committee's exclusion of Palestinian citizens of the state from the torch-lighting ceremony that takes place on Jerusalem's Har Herzl and marks Israel's independence drew sharp criticism from a number of Knesset members. Reuven Rivlin, Speaker of the Knesset and a member of the Likud party, remarked: In Israel, there are groups that…Read More... | 11 Comments
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RT @haaretzcom: #Israeli minister apologizes for accusing #UK of 'disguised anti-Semitism' http://t.co/IwPl27D0fi #BDS
New on +972: #Palestinian hospitalized after being handcuffed, abandoned at #checkpoint http://t.co/zEgDZ7Nkfb
Why are children over 8 in #Gaza prevented from visiting their fathers in #Israeli prisons? @nsheizaf http://t.co/hKq92yXcOr
#Palestinian hunger-striker signs deal with #Israel, agrees to #Gaza deportation for 10 years http://t.co/zrg2FP7uMw via @MaanNewsAgency
New on +972: Why does the #IDF hold #Gaza fishermen responsible for rocket launching? http://t.co/BJVhJMwxzT