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Eli Yishai

  • No parity between Zoabi's democracy and Kahane's racism

    By simply discussing the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel from the upcoming elections, the extreme right has already claimed another victory.   The double-hearing held in the Supreme Court on Tuesday under an extended panel headed by Justice Naor, to discuss the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel, respectively, was one of the more depressing displays of the absurdity we call "Israeli democracy." The constant worshiping of "balance" in the name of some imagined national sanity brought Zoabi – who represented the only party that calls for full equality in Israel – to the same…

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  • Can a feminist Mizrahi woman find her political home in Shas?

    Although it is run by ultra-Orthodox men and its path for social mobility is anchored in religion, Shas remains the only truly socially minded political party and is certainly the only Mizrahi party. One voter's search for answers. By Efrat Shani-Shitrit A few weeks ago, flyers targeting the women of north Tel Aviv were posted around the suburban streets of one of its better-known neighborhoods, Ramat Aviv: "If you live in Ramat Aviv, don't vote for us. If you work for someone who lives in Ramat Aviv: Only Shas." Aryeh Deri, who until the most recent Knesset had not led the…

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  • WATCH: Shas' stunning election ad is a challenge to both Right and Left

    The ultra-Orthodox party, which has drifted far to the right over the past several years, reaches out to the all the Israelis who are not middle-class - which is to say, the majority.  Shas, the party founded by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and today led by Rabbi Aryeh Deri, is usually seen as the narrowly-sectorial party of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox. Even the kingmaker status it had enjoyed for nearly two decades is usually (and rather haughtily) ascribed by commentators to their ability to march a docile and obedient religious minority to the polling stations, rather than to broad popular…

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  • War on Gaza: A promise Israeli politicians can keep

    As they head into elections, Netanyahu, Livni, Herzog, Lapid and Yishai can agree on one thing: even after nine military operations in 14 years, the only solution to the conflict with Gaza is another war with Hamas. By Yonatan Mendel Election season is upon us, which means that the country's best copywriters and campaigners are likely gathering with elected officials in meeting rooms in order to come up with a concise and clear message for the citizens of Israel - one that will inspire them to vote for those very same elected officials, and the brighter future they promise. Politicians and…

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  • What the polls say about Netanyahu’s election chances

    Netanyahu has more paths to the Prime Minister's Office than Herzog, but also more party leaders who oppose him personally. Seventy-one days ahead of Israel’s general elections, two major stories are dominating the political news cycle: the showdown between Shas’s former leaders – Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai – and the corruption affair involving senior politicians from Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Both Shas and Liberman lost some ground in last week’s polls, while Yishai’s newly formed party is coming close to passing the Knesset threashold, currently at 4 seats (3.25 percent of the votes). Netanyahu’s Likud party held its…

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  • A rights-based discourse is the best way to fight dispossession

    A solution to the ongoing displacement of Palestinians cannot be based on fruitless negotiations, but rather on the full implementation of international law. By Amjad Alqasis By the end of 2013, an estimated 7.4 million (66 percent) of the global Palestinian population of 11.2 million was made up of forcibly displaced persons. This week we mark 66 years since the Nakba, the most central part of the story of how Palestinians became refugees. However, we can point to five distinct periods of forced displacement that transformed the Palestinians into the largest, longest-standing unresolved refugee case in the world today. That…

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  • Court slams MKs for incitement leading to attacks on African migrants

    Tel Aviv District Court convicts man in failed fire bombing of apartment housing African migrants in south Tel Aviv. Judge lays some blame on politicians for inciting against African migrants. The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Elad Gadban to 27 months in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at the home of African migrants home on Sunday. The judge said some of the blame lies with politicians who have been inciting against asylum seekers. Gadban, 26, confessed to throwing three Molotov cocktail at an apartment in Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, which housed Nigerian migrant workers, along with an underage accomplice in May…

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  • A year in review: Anti-African racism and asylum seekers in Israel

    While most Israelis were focused on the latest war on Gaza or the last election, verbal incitement, physical attacks, incarceration without trial and forced deportation of Africans continued unabated. A timeline of Israel's war on African asylum-seekers between November 2012 and May 2013. By David Sheen Last Thursday, May 23, 2013, marked exactly one year to the day when a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant through the streets of Tel Aviv, smashing and looting African-operated businesses and physically assaulting any dark-skinned person they came across. Sadly, the Israeli economic, political and religious establishment - who were in large measure responsible for…

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  • An open letter to the incoming interior minister

    Dear Honorable Minister, Following coalition negotiations, free of Natan Eshel and other evils, you will be sworn in as Israel's interior minister. Having seen the hardships faced by a number of Israel's interior ministers, let us give you three recommendations to ensure that your tenure is pleasant: 1. Don't let lawyers shape policy for you. As we are afflicted with the severe defect of legal thought and reasoning, let us assure you that the lawyers around you will always try to take the reigns to determine policy and dictate your conduct, under the guise of legal advice (sometimes in the…

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  • Interior minister exploits rape by Eritrean for anti-immigrant campaign

    Prepare yourselves. Last May, when it was last announced that an Eritrean citizen raped an Israeli woman, Interior Minister Eli Yishai responded by placing thousands of asylum seekers, among them children, rape and torture victims and the elderly in administrative detention, all in accordance with Israel’s Prevention of Infiltration Law. In the wake of the horrifying rape that took place near Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, one can only guess what will happen next. Yishai began publishing libelous remarks on his personal Facebook page, while Shas’ shelved hate-filled campaign against foreigners [Hebrew] coincidentally appeared in Yedioth Ahronoth and on Ynet’s homepage,…

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  • Foreign Minister Lieberman: Palestinian police that hit IDF soldiers must die

    The reaction in Israel to viral videos showing IDF “weakness” shows Israelis only care about what they look like in the West Bank, and not why they’re there to begin with. But of all the reactions, Israel’s Foreign Minister had the last laugh once again. It’s been a bad week for us occupiers. Caught by the natives with our pants down. Twice! First, there was this embarrassing moment in Hebron when IDF soldiers were sourrounded by Palestinian police: But then came the worst, when Palestinians from the village of Kaddum threw stones on soldiers and the latter - are…

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  • For asylum seekers in Israel, the police is the judiciary

    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…

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  • Israeli bureaucracy leaves Sudanese vulnerable to arrest

    Sudanese refugees from the Nuba Mountains are being registered by Israel's Interior Ministry as South Sudanese, making it difficult for them to find and keep work, pay for rent, bills, or food, and subjecting them to potential arrest and deportation. How would you react if someone told you that your name was no longer your name?  Even though you had an official, government-issued identity card with it written on?  Or that your nationality was now different from the one you've held all your life, though your passport proved where you were from?  Now imagine that this unilateral change to your identity, which…

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