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? 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 contractions. A group of…Read More... | 23 Comments
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…Read More... | 1 Comment
Islamists, Marxists, women and Jews: The Arab parties have done the seemingly impossible and are likely announce a united election slate in the coming days. By Yael Marom and Nadav Frankovich Israel's Arab parties are expected to announce the formation of a combined election slate in the lead-up to the upcoming elections. The slate, which will group Ra'am, Balad, Hadash and Ta'al into one party (without formally merging), has been named "The United List," and is set to include secular, religious, female and Jewish politicians. While the different Arab parties have historically run separately, a law spearheaded last year by…Read More...
Raising the Knesset threshold was a game-changer, and now the Arab parties must find a way to unite in order to stay relevant. Will they put aside their egos and political differences for the sake of Israel's Palestinian minority? A war of attrition has been declared on the Palestinian minority in Israel, in the wake of endless discussions over the possibility of uniting the Arab parties to run in the upcoming elections. It turns out that Arabs are not really connected to realtime: with every passing week, simple folk such as myself (not to mention 60 percent of the Arab…Read More... | 20 Comments
Regarding the controversy over Mairav Zonszein's 'New York Times' op-ed: An ongoing climate of fear and suspicion is not conducive to ‘vibrant democracy.’ It is unfriendly to left-wing protest over security matters. Since my colleague Mairav Zonszein published her ballbuster op-ed “How Israel Silences Dissent” in the New York Times several days ago, there’s been – what a surprise – a backlash. There was one substantive counterpoint to the article, though, by self-described leftist Noah Efron in Haaretz, who wrote that the instances mentioned by Zonszein of threats, sanctions and violence against opponents of the Gaza war also disturbed…Read More... | 29 Comments
The debate over the state of Israeli democracy (or the rise of fascism) is code designed for lefty Zionists. Others don't get it, and it may even do more harm than good. Some thoughts following Haaretz's interview with Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell. There has been growing discussion over the last few weeks regarding the risk of fascism in Israel and the dangers to Israeli democracy, most recently in an extensive interview by Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in Haaretz. I hold Sternhell in high regard, and his book, The Birth of Fascist Ideology, is among the few required readings in my undergraduate degree I actually remember in some…Read More... | 17 Comments
MK David Rotem unabashedly stopped a vote that would apply Israel’s freedom of information act to the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) “Settlement Division,” an extra-governmental organization that receives 100 percent of its budget from the State of Israel and is responsible for much of the settlement building in the West Bank. Why would he do such a thing? When asked by opposition MKs Zehava Galon and Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee made no effort to hide his agenda: “I want to stop you from getting information to use in [petitions to the High…Read More... | 3 Comments
And nobody objects. I was listening on the radio to the prime minister's speech in the Knesset on Wednesday for the 18th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) of the Rabin assassination, and it just struck me how far we’ve come in this country. Bibi Netanyahu is now preaching to Israel the lessons of Rabin's murder. And nobody says anything. Members of the Rabin family sitting in the Knesset, whatever they were thinking, didn’t say a word. Neither did the MKs of the Labor Party or Meretz, or MK Ahmed Tibi or anybody else who lived through that time and understands…Read More... | 11 Comments
After a stormy night session, the coalition was able to pass the necessary amendments and election laws that would make it more difficult to topple a government and eliminate small factions. Left-wing and Palestinian members of Knesset protested the legislation in 'silent speeches.' Ultra-Orthodox MK Eichler spoke to the Arab public in Arabic, saying 'we are with you.' (video below) During the last session of the Knesset before its summer recess, the coalition was able to pass a first reading of the “governance legislation,” - an amendment to Israel's Basic Laws - which would make it more difficult for the…Read More... | 33 Comments
Who are the leading Arab candidates in the upcoming Knesset elections? Who is trying to ban them from running, and how? How did such attempts end in previous elections? How many Palestinian citizens can vote in the Knesset elections, and how many are expected to vote? A Q&A by the human rights organization Adalah answers those questions, and more. By Adalah [At the bottom of the document you will find the viewing option bar, which will allow you to zoom in or out. If you still have troubles reading or in case you don't see the embedded document at all,…Read More... | 6 Comments
On Monday, the eve of Nakba Day, I attended a book launch for the memoirs of five elderly Holocaust survivors who emigrated from Europe to Canada after the Second World War. The event took place in the main sanctuary of a large, well-established Conservative synagogue in a prosperous area of Toronto, very much like the one I attended as a child in Vancouver. Canadian and Israeli flags hung from flagpoles at either side of the pulpit. The director of the non-profit foundation that edits, publishes and distributes the memoirs gave an eloquent speech; this was followed by a series of…Read More... | 25 Comments
In a piece recently published, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Professor Michael Oren - a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war - as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter's name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed,…Read More... | 32 Comments
UNITED NATIONS -- (Breaking) MK Ahmed Tibi entered the UN Media Centre this morning, shortly before President Abbas was scheduled to speak, and was greeted like a rock star by the assembled Israeli and Arab media representatives. Speaking in Hebrew, Arabic and English, Dr. Tibi gave several quick interviews to various radio and television shows. Shortly before he went on air with Israel Radio, he told the producer in Hebrew that he had read President Abbas's speech and had it on his iPhone.Read More... | 2 Comments
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The Iran Deal
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