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demographic threat

  • Rabin’s legacy: A government inclusive of all citizens — not only Jews

    People generally associate Rabin’s legacy with the Oslo Accords, for which he was later murdered. Less cited is the fact that Rabin’s revolution was dependent on a one-time collaboration with Arab members of Knesset. Today, just like then, that remains our premier task. By Ron Gerlitz When I was in basic training in the army, our commanders woke us up in the middle of the night to tell us Rabin had been elected prime minister. The night he died, I was on a naval patrol boat on a routine and not-so-heroic mission off the coast of Lebanon. The radio was…

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  • Palestinian citizens will always be enemies in a Jewish state

    The Or Commission’s report on the October 2000 events was a symbolic indictment of Israel’s 'enemy doctrine' toward its Palestinian citizens. But Israel has not absorbed the lessons of the report, because demands for equality remain anathema to the state’s raison d’être. Twelve years ago, in its report on the events of October 2000, the Or Commission of Inquiry wrote a statement that was unprecedented in the history of Israel’s Palestinian minority. After extensively criticizing the police’s violent conduct, the commission concluded: “The police must instill among its officers the understanding that the Arab community as a whole is not their…

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  • Who needs the Right when we have Isaac Herzog?

    What is the difference between warning about Arab hordes heading to the polls and warning of Arabs being democratically elected to parliament? A few days after Benjamin Netanyahu swept the elections — partly attributed to his election-day racist warnings about Israel's Palestinian minority — I wrote a piece about his rival, Isaac Herzog, who was lugging his own brand of anti-Arab racism along with him on the campaign trail. [tmwinpost] Throughout the race, Herzog positioned himself as an alternative to Netanyahu who would reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, save Israel from looming international isolation, and return the country…

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  • When will Israel stop seeing Palestinians as a 'demographic threat?'

    Israel’s political and social outlook, rooted in its desire to be a 'Jewish state,' makes it impossible to view the Palestinians as anything but an existential problem, even those it accepts as citizens. By Amjad Iraqi Last week, Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet reported about the auctioning of a letter written by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, to then-Haifa Mayor Abba Hushi. In the letter Ben-Gurion rejected attempts to allow Palestinian Arabs to return to Haifa after fleeing during the 1948 war, stating that “until the war is over, we don’t want a return of the enemy.”  While the letter does…

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  • Israeli right-wing politician: 'Annex territories, grant Palestinians citizenship'

    Israeli right-wing politician and former IDF general Efi Eitam has made remarks that few would have expected to hear from him. Former IDF general and politician Efi Eitam is known for his extreme right-wing views and sharp tongue. From calling Arabs a "ticking bomb" to a "cancer," Eitam has never shown much warmth for his neighbors. Which is why it was surprising to read reports from the national religious website Srugim, quoting Eitam as saying the following remarks in a panel held last night to commemorate Berl Katznelson: The State of Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and grant full…

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  • The origins and politics of Israel's refugee debate

    An in-depth look at the historical and political developments that shaped Israel’s current African asylum-seeker crisis — and one way to resolve it that meets Israel’s own needs while doing right by those who most need its protection. African asylum seekers in Israel have brought their struggle into the limelight in recent weeks. Through acts of civil disobedience, public protests and a mass labor strike, the mostly Eritrean and Sudanese nationals are attempting to shift the public discourse surrounding their presence in the country, gain access to a credible process in which they can seek asylum, and challenge a new…

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  • Who gets to vote in Israel's democracy?

    If we exclude Gaza, one in every 4.5 people living under Israeli rule doesn't have the right to vote in the coming elections; that one person is (almost) always Palestinian. If Gaza is included, it's one in three who is not represented. The Israeli Knesset is the sole sovereign between the sea and the Jordan River, with the possible exception of the Gaza Strip, which exercises a certain degree of independence since the 2005 disengagement. As for the rest of the territory, according to all acceptable parameters of sovereignty and independence - it's under complete Israeli control. The Israeli government…

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  • Autoxenophobia: The 'demographic threat' goes worldwide

    The real demographic balance that should worry liberal, humanist, open and progressive people is the number of xenophobes in our society, rather than the number of people with beards, skullcaps or hijabs. By Dubi Kanengisser When I lived in Toronto, I used to jokingly exclaim "man, I hate those immigrants." Like all jokes, this had a grain of truth in it. It is easy to latch onto the obvious differences of "visible minorities" and extrapolate from one member to the entire group. We all have a little racist inside that we must overcome. But there are Israelis living abroad whose xenophobia…

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  • Dispute over wine festival in Be'er Sheva mosque: 'Muslim rage' or Israeli hypocrisy?

    Controversy erupted after local Arab residents complained that the Salut Wine and Beer Festival would be held on the grounds of a mosque-turned-museum. The public outcry from the festival-goers reveals both a fear of the 're-Islamification of Be'er Sheva,' as well as a liberal approach that takes for granted the ways in which the state religion affects the daily lives of its non-Jewish citizens. By Nasser Rego There has been some brouhaha about Arabs whining about wine. The sixth annual Salut Wine and Beer Festival was scheduled to take place in Be'er Sheva on September 5-6. Attendees were promised a smorgasbord of…

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  • NYTimes' due fear for Israeli democracy adds some misconceptions

    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…

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