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democracy

  • 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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  • In Israel, Holocaust obsession prevents real change

    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…

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  • On the Adam Verete affair and anti-democratic trends: Three notes

    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…

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  • Two state vs. one state debate is a waste of time, political energy

     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…

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  • Why I oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state

    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…

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  • When the conversation over occupation feels outdated (part 2)

    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…

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  • On 'occupation denial' and the case for international pressure on Israel

    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…

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  • Jerusalem police arrest Palestinian activist in his Hebrew U dorm

    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…

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  • A personal account: (Not) voting in an age of cynicism

    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…

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  • Election punditry masks cynicism toward democratic change

    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,…

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  • A 'truly' Jewish democracy: On the ideology of Likud's Moshe Feiglin

    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…

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