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democracy

  • The end of American exceptionalism

    Trump has shown that the U.S.'s democracy is just as flawed and illusory as the many countries that it has preached to for decades. And that's a good thing to admit. In a Daily Show segment covering the U.S. presidential race last year, Trevor Noah told his audience that, “as an African, there’s just something familiar about Trump.” Noah compared some of Trump’s statements with those of leaders from his home continent – Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Uganda’s Idi Amin, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi – concluding that Trump is actually “the perfect African president.” It was a joke that pointed to a…

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  • We feel you, America — it's lonely at the bottom

    With the election of Donald Trump, a lot of progressive Americans must now be feeling what we here in the Israeli left have felt for a long time — outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone. For a while now, I've been writing about how lonely it is to be a leftist in Israel, to be part of the minority that opposes the occupation and 50 years of discrimination and human rights violations, a minority that insists on challenging fundamental aspects of this government's policies and this society's values. About how it has become increasingly dangerous and radical simply to speak one's mind, as…

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  • Israelis don't get to hold a referendum on Palestine

    A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…

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  • Israel's Knesset just voted on a very dangerous law for democracy

    The draft law, which passed the first of three votes on Monday, would allow the expulsion of Arab MKs from the Knesset. It is one of several recent steps by the Netanyahu government to limit Palestinian political participation. Minutes before leaving for the spring recess Monday night, Israel’s Knesset passed the first reading of a law allowing legislators, with a three-quarters super-majority, to expel other members of Knesset for making statements they deem beyond the pale. The law is widely understood to have been drawn up to specifically target Arab-Palestinian members of the Knesset, particularly of one faction, a legislative…

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  • Ethnic cleansing poll a dangerous sign for Israel

    The vast majority of Jewish Israelis don't want to give up their privilege. But nobody has the right to 'democratically' deny rights to another. The most shocking piece of information to come out of a Pew Research Center survey of Israeli society published Tuesday is that nearly half of Jews in the country say they support the ethnic cleansing of Arabs. Forty-eight percent of Jewish respondents agreed/strongly agreed that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel.” Digging deeper into the data, however, that glimpse into the collective political mindset of half of Israel’s Jewish population becomes less and less surprising.…

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  • Israelis elected a non-democracy

    Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel's character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals. Many on the center-left in Israel are still trying to wrap their head around Netanyahu's victory. They simply cannot grasp that most Israelis really want another right-wing government led by Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, the only two of Israel's 10 largest cities where the Zionist Union got more votes than the Likud, some people seem to be rationalizing the victory with the anti-Arab, fear-mongering campaign Bibi led in…

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  • The next time Netanyahu talks about 'common values'

    Hours after disavowing the two-state solution, the Israeli prime minister makes clear that his version of democracy includes as few Arabs as possible. A few hours after the polls opened in Israeli elections on Tuesday, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a message that offends the very spirit of democracy and equality. Invoking military terminology, the prime minister warned that his own “right-wing regime” is in danger because “the Arabs are mobilizing in large numbers ... to the polls.” Lamenting that the Right doesn’t have its own get-out-the-vote movements, Netanyahu said it does have its “Order 8,” an emergency call-up…

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  • Liberman to head of Joint List: You're not wanted here

    Why is it that neither the debate host nor the heads of the other political parties stopped the foreign minister as he alluded to the expulsion of one out of every five Israelis? By Oren Persico When does staying silent become collaboration? Last Thursday, Channel 2 hosted a debate between the heads of all the major parties (aside from Netanyahu and Herzog). During the debate, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman directed some pretty harsh language against Joint List head Ayman Odeh. Liberman claimed that Odeh and his friends in the Joint List represent terrorist organizations and said they should be…

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  • No Voice: Hopes for Israeli elections from those who cannot vote

    Over 200,000 people with no legal status live in Israel today. There are another 4 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All of these people are directly affected by Israeli elections but they have not right to vote. This is what they have to say — about the Right and the Left, the ‘demographic threat,’ peace, war, democracy and dictatorship.   ‘Occupied people cannot vote for their occupier’ By Bassam Almohor The argument heats up at one of the tables in this men-only café in a Palestinian city. Israeli elections are a hot topic of discussion for the…

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  • Liberman's de-patriation plan of illusions

    Liberman's proposal to cure Palestinian citizens of their 'split personality' violates pretty much everything democracy stands for. Headlines blazed in Friday’s Yedioth Ahronoth announcing the outlines of a peace proposal released by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. It’s not clear what prompted Liberman to release the plan at this moment – campaign considerations, a brief drop in attention as the "Jewish Nation-State Law" took center stage, or a distraction from Israel’s deteriorating foreign relations as yet another European parliamentary debate on Palestinian statehood was held on Friday, this time in France. But there is nothing new about it for Liberman, who has been…

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  • In my name, in your name, in all of our names

    We talk endlessly about equality and feminism while putting up with a bunch of greedy pyromaniacs controlling the Middle East and running a war over our heads, a war in which we are but extras. And yet the role they assign us is instrumental: we are factories for their cannon fodder. By Naamit Mor Haim (translated from Hebrew by Dr. Assaf Oron) During this recent Gaza war and its various ceasefires, I found myself astonished at the catch-phrase popular among the Israeli left – on banners at demonstrations and plastered social-media profile pictures, bold white letters against a black background, in…

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  • In Gaza, looking back at Hamas’ legacy

    Gaza’s younger generation always believed in Hamas’s right to be in power, but Hamas never believed in the youth’s right to take part in their own society. By Abeer Ayyoub I was only 18 when Hamas won the parliamentary elections in 2006. I wasn’t fully aware of the difference Hamas could make for the country, or the development the PA might have been able to offer if it had stayed in power. I was, however, totally convinced that the democratic results should be respected. Hamas won the elections, but democracy wasn’t respected. The Islamic movement was boycotted by almost everyone…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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