In response to the Reykjavik City Council's — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled 'The Hypocrisy of Boycott.' In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds. By Rami Younis (translated by Ofer Neiman) Dear Yair, What is Israeli to you? Actually, no need to answer. The time has come for you to hear what Israeli is to me. So what is Israeli to me? You…Read More... | 7 Comments
Arab citizens of Israel
The three Arab lists in the Knesset are expected to run together in response to a raised election threshold. Asked about self-identity, the majority consider themselves Arab, but a growing and significant minority call themselves Palestinian. Nearly 70 percent of Arabs citizens of Israel intend to vote if the three existing Arab parties run on a joint list, compared to 56 percent who voted in the 2013 elections, a new +972 poll found. But the call to boycott the elections holds powerful sway. A majority of 54 percent says that if there are such calls to boycott the elections, they…Read More... | 1 Comment
A group of prominent Jewish and Arab intellectuals published a petition Thursday calling on the Israeli government to establish a committee of inquiry to investigate the shooting death of Khir Hamdan at the hands of Israeli police officers. Hamdan attempted trying to attack a police van, and was shot as he turned his back and began running from the police. The killing lead to widespread protests across the country, as well as a one-day general strike. The petition states that tens of Arab citizens have been killed by the police since 2000. The signatories see that fact as a sign…Read More... | 11 Comments
Attacks by Jewish hooligans on Arabs, unprecedented incitement by right-wing politicians and clashes between Israeli Police and Arab youth. We've been here before, but never like this. By Ron Gerlitz This article is written at the height of an extensive, violent escalation in the Jewish-Arab conflict, both within Israel and between Israel and the Palestinians in the territories and the Gaza Strip. Regarding the events inside Israel, it is important to note the dramatic difference between the events of October 2000 and those of the past week. In October 2000, it was Arab citizens of Israel confronting the police. In…Read More... | 6 Comments
It would do wonders for equality and integration, and Israeli Arabs seem willing to volunteer, but they're being pounded from both sides by Arab and Jewish nationalists. In principle, I don’t think there would be anything unjust in going so far as to draft Israeli Arab youths to do a year or two of civilian national service in hospitals, schools, etc. – even though there is a well-known, deeply entrenched pattern of discrimination against Arab citizens in this country. If it’s unjust to draft them to do national service in an old-age home, it’s much more unjust to force them…Read More... | 24 Comments
Tuesday's Haaretz editorial calls on Arab citizens to vote in the Israeli elections, despite the feelings of failure and disappointment they may have toward the Israeli parliament. The piece (accurately) states that voting numbers are relatively low among Palestinian citizens of Israel, resulting in a Kensset representation that is roughly half of their share in the populations. Quote: Therefore, the Arab public has no better alternative than the civic struggle, which demands patience. Despair and abstention are the worst enemies of such a struggle, and they are luxuries that Israel’s citizens can’t afford. Massive Arab turnout in this election would…Read More... | 17 Comments
Despite the onslaught of discriminatory legislation and racist declarations by public leaders, empirical data suggests that the government of Israel is closing the gaps between its Jewish and Arab citizens in many fields. The refusal to recognize those changes is dangerous and counter-productive. By Ron Gerlitz and Batya Kallus The policies of the current government and Knesset in relation to Arab citizens include statements that are divisive, discriminatory and dangerous. The provocations against the Arab leadership and members of Knesset are ongoing, and are strengthened by extremist elements of the government. However, all of the harsh declarations and actions by government ministers have not…Read More... | 34 Comments
The New York Times continues to push the myth that Israel was once liberal and democratic, and is now growing detached from these values. Now it publishes an op-ed by a former Knesset speaker, which promotes this notion and similar misconceptions about the United States and the U.S.-Israel relationship. Only a couple of weeks after its unusual editorial arguing that Israel’s democracy is in peril, the New York Times has published an op-ed in the same vein, written by a prominent Israeli public figure. Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, who almost became leader of the Labor party in the early 2000s,…Read More... | 102 Comments
Even from the right-leaning, Netanyahu-venerating paper Israel Hayom, I was taken aback by an op ed yesterday by Rivi Gutgold. I found it to be an anti-feminist assault that seems to pre-date Madmen and shatters any residual myth of the feminist Israel. It began: With all due respect to the feminist world in which we live, the truth of the matter is that in the days before Passover, when it comes to most women, their world is divided into two: one includes the women whose homes have been spotless and ready for Passover for two weeks, their counters already…Read More... | 19 Comments
The following op ed in Haaretz [Hebrew only] revisits the theme of how unpleasant it can be for an Arab citizen, native-born in Israel, to use his or her national airport to travel freely. Many people have heard this theme before; my colleague Aziz Abu Sarah has written about it thoughtfully, and I reported on a potentially positive Supreme Court ruling a year ago. At the time, I quoted my friend Adeeb Awad and a few others about their experiences. In his op ed this week, Adeeb expands his thoughts about an experience not often discussed: That of an Arab…Read More... | 14 Comments
A new survey of Arab citizens of Israel following waves of anti-Arab activity shows that most have not given up on Israeli society, but instead express strong support for social activism to advance Arab issues, general social problems, and an end to the occupation. With so much nastiness directed against them, it wouldn’t be surprising if Arab citizens have given up on Israel. But with insufficient polling and reporting on public opinion in the Arab community, it can be hard to know. And this is an important time to know how one-fifth of the population thinks. The current Knesset has…Read More... | 14 Comments
News sources reported during the day on the humiliating harassment of a foreign journalist by IDF soldiers, as she tried to enter Israel from a Gaza crossing. According to IDF radio (Hebrew) and the Jerusalem Post, Pulitzer Prize-winning, veteran photographer Lynsey Addario, working for the New York Times, was returning to Israel after an assignment in Gaza. The 27-week pregnant Addario – who just last March experienced the horror of being kidnapped and sexually assaulted at the hands of Qaddafi loyalists in Libya – contacted Israeli authorities responsible for the Erez crossing before arriving, asking and receiving approval to be…Read More... | 24 Comments
The leaders of a civil society organization working for equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel spoke on Tuesday before the Trachtenberg committee – the government-appointed panel charged with recommending steps to improve economic and social justice in Israel. The committee's invitation to Ron Gerlitz and Dr. Mary Totry of Sikkuy, the Association for Civil Advancement in Israel, might be partly a response to claims that the committee does not sufficiently represent Arabs in Israel. Headed by Harvard-trained economist Professor Manuel Trachtenberg, the panel was appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and has generated widespread criticism. One sort of criticism actually…Read More... | 2 Comments
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The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
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