‘We are progress and modernization, freedom and equality, ‘peace and love.’ And they, what are they?’ On the history of the painful relationship between the Israeli Left and Mizrahim. By Ron Cahlili (Translated from Hebrew by Orit Friedland) The common wisdom is that Mizrahim and the Left are like oil and water, and that the two shall never meet. This is odd, because a lot of the immigrants who came to Israel from Islamic countries in the 1950s, and from Iraq and Egypt in particular, were Communists. That is, lefties. Thanks to them, says Sami Michael [prominent Israeli writer of Iraqi…Read More... | 8 Comments
Despite her direct responsibility for two wars which took the lives of 2,000 civilians, and her uncompromising, hawkish positions during negotiations with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni is still considered an acceptable choice for the Israeli 'peace camp.' It is time for the public to stop believing the lies. By Idan Landau On November 27, 2012, Tzipi Livni announced that she will be running for the upcoming elections as part of the newly-foundd Hatnua party, which presents itself as a diplomatic alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party seeks to promote the peace processs wth Palestinian Authority and supports two…Read More... | 26 Comments
The party's new proposal effectively says the unsayable: that on the occupation, Israel is wrong and the Arabs are right. There are so many people out there, in Israel and overseas, who know that this country has gone wrong and that Netanyahu and the right are leading it to hell. Yet they end up giving their tacit support to the worsening status quo because they don't have the courage to follow their thoughts to their logical conclusion: that Israel is at fault for the occupation, and that the occupation is at fault for the conflict with the Palestinians. Not Israel…Read More... | 36 Comments
With all due respect to Meretz and Hadash ... Until yesterday, the occupation was not an issue in the Israeli election campaign; the only parties running against it were Meretz and the non-Zionist, Arab or largely Arab slates, all of which are marginal to the country's politics. But with Amir Peretz's departure from the Labor Party for Hatnuah (The Movement), where he will be No. 3 after Tzipi Livni and Amram Mitzna, there is now a mainstream party with a critical mass of leadership material at the top whose focus is on ending the conflict with the Palestinians, and whose…Read More... | 51 Comments
In a surprise move, former Labor leader Amir Peretz has joined Tzipi Livni's new party. Former defense minister and Labor leader Amir Peretz announced today that he will be leaving his party and joining Hatnua, the new party formed by Tzipi Livni. Peretz, who criticized current party leader Shelly Yachimovich for not having any diplomatic agenda, will be placed third on the new party's list – exactly the spot he held on Labor's list. This move – made just before the parties had to submit their final lists to the election committee – concluded a strange couple of weeks, in…Read More... | 16 Comments
Despite positioning itself as the opposition party, estimates are that the hawkish Mofaz will join Netanyahu's government following the 2013 elections. Shaul Mofaz, 64, won the Kadima primaries decisively yesterday, beating Tzipi Livni 62%-38%. Livni chaired the party since the resignation of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over corruption allegations. Both candidates represent the Israeli security establishment: Iranian-born Mofaz was Chief of Staff during the Second Intifada and defense minister under Ariel Sharon; Livni served in the Mossad. The third candidate, Avi Dichter, who withdrew from the race last week, is a former head of the Internal Security Service, the Shabak.…Read More... | 12 Comments
There are legitimate reasons not to want to see Knesset member Amir Peretz win back the leadership of the Labor Party. He was out of his depth as defense minister during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when he distinguished himself by ranting that “Hassan Nasrallah will remember the name Amir Peretz!” As Labor leader, he seemed to think he was still running the Histadrut national union; the sort of cocky declarations that fire up workers sounded like empty boasts coming from a candidate for prime minister. (In Monday’s Labor primary, Peretz finished in an effective tie with Knesset member Sheli…Read More... | 11 Comments
It's probably hard to tell from outside certain Israeli circles, but the withering Labor party has been making some considerable noise over its approaching primaries campaign. With nearly as many serious contenders for the leadership as there are Labor members in the Knesset (eight), the competition has always had a rather moribund feel to it. Now, with Channel 2 exposing that at least 10 percent of registered party members are also registered members of rival parties Kadima and Likud, and many more did not know they have joined a party, the plot is taking a distinct lurch toward the macabre.…Read More... | 8 Comments
The results of the combined local-councils-devolved-assemblies-and-oh-by-the-way-voting-reform polls are coming in. While the results of the reform referendum and the assemblies are yet to be unveiled, it's already clear that the reform champions, the Liberal Democrats, have suffered a catastrophic defeat. The Guardian - which unforgettably called the 2010 elections for the Liberal Democrats - nabs it with the unequivocal headline, "Lib Dems suffer worst losses in a generation", and proceeds to treat us to choice anecdotes of humiliation: The party was ejected from power in Sheffield – home to Nick Clegg's constituency – as its national share of votes plummeted…Read More... | 2 Comments
If there’s anything more pathetic than leadership battles in a dead political party - it’s leadership battles between two guys who don’t even have a chance of winning the leadership of that dead party. One can only wonder what Haaretz was thinking when they gave their lead headline - twice! - this week to Wikileaks documents about remarks said by one loser of a politician about another loser of a politician. Isaac Herzog is no doubt one of the dullest, most ordinary, monotonous, uninspiring politicians this country ever gave birth to. To fully understand just how big a yawn Herzog…Read More... | 8 Comments
Where was "the peace camp" when the Knesset decided to probe human rights NGOs? As the Knesset is passing one undemocratic law after the other, many people ask themselves where is the famous Israeli Left. I have long argued that supporting the two-states solution (as many Israelis say they do) doesn't necessarily relate to support of human rights, freedom, equality before the law and other democratic values. Only a small minority in Israel is still fighting for those issues. Outsiders, especially from the Jewish-Liberal camp, tend to exaggerate the role the left plays in Israeli politics, and to downplay the…Read More... | 23 Comments
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