A new law punishing people for calling each other 'Nazi' makes clear that the Holocaust has became a tool used to keep us, the Jews, in a position of eternal victimhood - to blind us from seeing what is happing in Israel. That's exactly what the right wing wants. By Nir Baram "Israel became boring," complained a reporter who was obsessed with Israel for many years, "the world is changing and in Israel everything is the same…" *** One of the most important articles ever to be published in Israel was "The Need to Forget." In his 1988 op-ed, Yehuda…Read More... | 32 Comments
The case of Adam Verete, the schoolteacher whose contract is on the line following a complaint from a right-wing student over the “leftist” views he expressed in the classroom, continues to make waves in Israel. For many progressives, activists and columnists, the story serves as strong evidence of a rightward trend in Israel, as well as the decline of democratic principles. Verete, a teacher in an ORT high school in the quiet, northern town of Kiryat Tivon, confronted a student named Sapir Sabah after she expressed racist views in his classroom. In a separate incident, Sabah became angry after Verete criticized…Read More...
Your favorite pastime is a part of the occupation. Arguably the most popular political debate on Israel/Palestine is the one taking place between supporters of the two-state solution and those who support a one-state idea. A piece by Professor Ian Lustick in the New York Times won a lot of attention recently, and it’s not surprising: from our own modest experience here at +972 Magazine, I can state that we have noticed long ago that pieces based on the idea that “the two-state solution is dead/not dead” or “the one-state solution is possible/impossible” win a lot of attention and get…Read More... | 34 Comments
A country can, at least in theory, be 'Israeli and democratic.' It cannot and will never be 'Jewish and democratic.' Early into his second term as prime minister, as he was presenting his conditions for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a new demand for any final status agreement, one which was absent from every previous round of talks, both formal and informal. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu wasn't satisfied with Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel, something the PLO did in 1988, and once again as part of the Oslo Accords. He wants them to…Read More... | 44 Comments
Last week I wrote about the outdated feeling the debate over the occupation renders. One commenter wondered why both Larry Derfner (who also commented on the article) and I are “disappointed” with Knesset members from Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, even though they say the very same thing we write about on this site. I didn’t vote for Lapid, but his pact with the extreme right is enough of a reason to dismiss any hope that he will contribute to the end of the occupation in the foreseeable future. However, the issue here is not the existence of one, or…Read More... | 11 Comments
An Israeli decision to continue the occupation is illegitimate, even if it was reached through a democratic process. Democracy has no meaning when the population at hand is not allowed to take part in it. This is a slightly modified translation of my weekly op-ed in the Israeli daily Maariv. "Occupation denial" is the latest trend in the Israeli (and American) conversation regarding the conflict. Conservative scholars are presenting a revisionist reading of the Fourth Geneva Convention, claiming that it never applied to the West Bank and Gaza, while politicians are claiming that the term "occupation" is biased. Yet all those…Read More... | 33 Comments
Khalil Gharra has been taking part in daily vigils in support of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. After arresting him in the middle of the night, police fail to present any evidence against him, and he is released without bail. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, armed plainclothes policemen entered Khalil Gharra's room in the dorms at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The detectives waved a warrant at Gharra and another friend who happened to be there. They searched his room, confiscated a couple of laptops and threw Gharra in a cell at the infamous Russian Compound in Jerusalem. This wasn’t the first time Gharra…Read More... | 38 Comments
One simple answer to the question of why elections matter is that I feel part of something when I vote in Israel. Being away for four months, living deep inside the world of other peoples’ conflicts, provided a few more answers. For the first time since moving to Israel 15 years ago, I was not in the county on election day yesterday. Since Israel has no absentee voting for regular citizens, I was not able to participate. Given the wild demonization of the Left over the last few years, some people probably wonder why I even care. My colleagues at…Read More... | 7 Comments
While pundits recycle the same stale political issues and celebrities take part in almost-satirical get-out-the-vote campaigns, beyond the façade of Israeli democracy, true change lies beyond the ballot box. By Fiona Wright Commentary on Israeli elections is stuck in a depressing stalemate that masks deep cynicism toward a democratic process few believe can bring real change. Election after election, pundits weigh in on minor political shifts to the right, the effects of the latest war or the inevitable question of Palestinian-Israeli citizens’ ambivalence towards the whole process. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. What is conspicuously under-analyzed, however,…Read More... | 6 Comments
Moshe Feiglin is one of the Likud party's most extreme members, and one of its most clear and systematic ideologues. He is the head of the party's 'Jewish Leadership' group, and the 23rd name on the Likud-Beitenu list for the next Knesset elections. The following is an attempt by religion researcher Tomer Persico to assess Feiglin's views on popular sovereignty and democracy. By Tomer Persico The coming elections in Israel will introduce many new faces to the Knesset. Unless something very surprising happens, among those will be Moshe Feiglin, who heads a group called Jewish Leadership and has for the past…Read More... | 18 Comments
A new government regulation enables the indefinite incarceration of refugees suspected of committing crimes, even if there is not enough evidence to indict them. Were this regulation applied to Israeli politicians, many of them would be in prison. By Asaf Weitzen The upcoming elections will affect not only the lives of Israeli citizens, they will also affect the fates of more than 60,000 African immigrants living here. Ignorance regarding the circumstances of their arrival to Israel, along with fear and rare bureaucratic creativity, have led to a series of laws and regulations depriving them of their most basic legal protections, which…Read More... | 2 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
The New York Times published a laudable, bold editorial this weekend that highlights a number of creeping threats to Israeli democracy. The article is vital for reaching audiences who really care about Israel's future. After three years of onslaught on Israel's democratic foundations (which were already deeply flawed), the situation is now urgent. Every day, truly scary signs of under-the-radar McCarthyism can be seen – just this morning Haaretz reported on the attempt to oust an official (Hebrew) in the Education Ministry responsible for civics education, who has come under a right-wing witch-hunt, despite protests by both left- and right-leaning colleagues. The legitimization…Read More... | 9 Comments
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When will Israelis start speaking Arabic in public? by @myaguarnieri http://t.co/vyPJk3pKnd
Family members mourn Saji Sayel Darwish who was killed by IDF fire. More @activestills photos: http://t.co/WMgkgH5LDd http://t.co/Q3eyXx0ceM
'It's the occupation and Israeli bigotry, not boycotts, that are anti-Semitic' http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0
Two dead Palestinians and a law limiting Arabs' access to Knesset remind us what really shames the Jewish people http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0
'The occupation has turned Israel into a nation that tramples the weak – the mirror image of history’s anti-Semites' http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0