Three major laws were passed in the Knesset this week: One against the Palestinians parties, the second against the ultra-Orthodox, and the third against the prospect of peace. Netanyahu's coalition mobilized this week to pass its centerpiece legislation: the draft reform, the governance law and the referendum law. It's not a coincidence that those three laws are directly targeting those who are not represented in the government – the first takes aim at the ultra-Orthodox community, the second at the Arab citizens of Israel, and the third is meant to torpedo a future agreement with the Palestinians. The laws were…Read More... | 11 Comments
Up until now, very few details have been released about how many people and how much land will be affected by the Prawer Plan. Knesset Internal Affairs Committee chairperson MK Miri Regev revealed details of a secret document prepared in the Prime Minister's Office about the implementation of the Prawer Plan for the resettlement of the Negev Bedouins, Yedioth Ahronoth reported this weekend. According to a map obtained by MK Regev, the state will take over 250,000 dunams (61,700 acres) currently populated by Bedouins, while the Bedouins will receive 170,000 dunams (42,000 acres). Around 40,000 people will have to leave…Read More... | 16 Comments
Over 5 million Israelis have the right to vote in the municipal elections today. National politics are not as directly reflected in municipal polls as they were in the past - when Likud and Labor used those as platform for securing their parties' political machines (plus, there just isn't much of a competition in the big cities) - but you can always learn about some of the deeper trends from them. Here are a few things to watch: 1. Jerusalem: Major Nir Barkat is favorite against Moshe Leon. Leon's candidacy is backed by a political deal between Shas' Aryeh Deri…Read More... | 6 Comments
I'd be very surprised if any of you recall a post I published here last December. I was showing off my version of an Irish protest song from the 1980. The original refrain, penned by Irish songsmith John Maguire runs as such: "Hey Ronnie Reagan / I'm black and I'm pagan / I'm gay and I'm left and I'm free." My girlfriend Ruthie and I applied the tune to a local politician, our staunchly anti-democratic, openly racist Foreign Minister Avigdor "Ivet" Lieberman, and were stunned to see it go viral on YouTube. Since then, another protest tune recorded in our living…Read More... | 6 Comments
1. Wow. The most powerful leaders in Israel's Knesset really have no concept of being loyal or trustworthy to their voting constituencies, and are making a mockery of the democracy of which they so often boast. 2. This also reflects the majority of Israeli society itself - the fact that Netanyahu and Lieberman have the power to do this, that there is no alternative and that there is no one on the streets yet. 3. It is a loud and clear message to all lefties and relatively sane people to get the f--k outta here. 4. If…Read More... | 19 Comments
Why waste all this energy on small victories against the powerful right? Let them hit the wall. Hard. The social networks today were all abuzz with a big victory for the left over the right. Bank Leumi, the largest bank in Israel, was forced to freeze a charity campaign when customers discovered that money they raised could have gone to Im Tirtzu, an extreme right wing political group. My colleague Dahlia Scheindlin has a post here explaining the issue in depth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the party on Twitter and Facebook. To be honest - I just wasn’t that impressed.…Read More... | 13 Comments
These days, starting your day with a newspaper can be a depressing experience. Here's five methods to get through the daily paper. By Omri Marcus Each morning, we wake up to headlines about a new crazy law, another bizarre way to spend our tax money or another macho quote by the Foreign Minister. When the news sucks, we are left with two basic options: The easy option is to become Prime Minister and shut down whichever media outlet reports news you don’t like. If you happen not to be Mr. Netanyahu – well, you'll have to use a more sophisticated approach.…Read More... | 3 Comments
(To fully enjoy this post, YOU MUST first listen to this short 15 second audio clip. The link is for a Hebrew website, but the audio link is clearly visible on the top, with the standard “play” button next to a small picture of Avigdor Lieberman. In this link, you will hear from which location our beloved Foreign Minister chose to conduct his latest radio interview concerning the flare up with Hamas.) Izzie calls Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, but apparently catches him at a bad time. And then she does it again - with someone else... Izzie:…Read More... | 5 Comments
This just in. Ynet reports on a terrible forecast for the future by Foreign Ministor Avgidor Lieberman: “Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman does not share Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's optimism as to the chances of the Washington peace summit maturing into an agreement. "You have to understand that signing a comprehensive peace agreement is an unattainable goal – not next year and not in the next generation," he said Sunday, in a Yisrael Beiteinu event celebrating Rosh Hashana. According to the report on Ynet, Lieberman also had grim views on other topics. “The American economy is not only headed for a double…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Bedouin village al-Arakib, in the northern Negev, was destroyed again today. Hundreds of policemen blocked the access to the village, removed the residents from the temporary homes they constructed, and razed the place with bulldozers. Al-Arakib was destroyed for the first time last week, only to be rebuilt later by residents and volunteers in the following days. According to news site Ynet, 10 temporary structures were constructed in al-Arakib in the past week. They were all destroyed today. Arab Knesset member Taleb El-Sana (Raam-Taal) fainted after being removed by force from one of the homes. He was evacuated to…Read More...
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