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haneen zoabi

  • Why are Palestinian citizens expected to be loyal to Israel?

    Israelis on the Left and Right alike expect Palestinian citizens of Israel to display loyalty to the state, yet they never acknowledge Israeli crimes against Palestinians. It’s high time they took a long look in the mirror. By Rami Younis “Is he also going to grow up to be an enemy of Israel like you?” A. asked as he played with Adi, my one-and-a-half-year-old nephew. “Maybe, if god and Gideon Levy will it, he and a lot more like him will grow up to be a fifth column,” I answered as I put another Winnie the Pooh plate into the…

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  • How freedom of speech was crushed during Protective Edge

    One of the side effects of Operation Protective Edge has been a dramatic narrowing of the political conversation in Israel. The author aggregates all the major incidents during the Gaza War in which freedom of speech in Israel was curtailed, often violently. By Orli Santo An entire spectrum of formerly acceptable left-leaning opinions and sentiments – from defending Palestinians’ human rights to merely empathizing with their suffering – has become taboo. In the past two months people who publicly expressed such opinions were beaten on the streets, derogated in the media, threatened, boycotted, and fired from their jobs. Lawmakers who…

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  • What was different about this war?

    Beyond an unprecedented degree of destruction in Gaza, Israel's latest offensive on the Strip brought with it unrivaled levels of racism and incitement back home. By Elizabeth Tsurkov The war between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza would appear as the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas; however, this war was different from previous rounds of fighting on both sides. The level of destruction in Gaza was unprecedented, while in Israel anti-democratic and racist forces gained much more prominence and influence compared to previous wars. As in all other nations during times of war, the Israeli public rallies…

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  • Why does the Israeli left oppose MK Haneen Zoabi?

    The Zionist left doesn't oppose Zoabi because of her controversial comments or her participation in the Gaza flotilla. It opposes her because she calls for full equality. (Translated by Sol Salbe) Last week Haaretz columnist Ravit Hecht wrote that any true leftist ought to oppose Haneen Zoabi. True, Hecht did concede that the question "is not a legal question but a moral one"; that is, she recognizes Zoabi's right to continue serving in the Knesset (truly magnanimous of you, Ravit!). However, later on in the piece she falls squarely in line with all the right-wing accusations against Zoabi, from support for terrorism…

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  • Why Palestinian citizens of Israel are no longer safe

    Despite institutionalized discrimination, in recent years Palestinian citizens of Israel have increasingly integrated into the economy, political life, academia and general society. The nature of the current assault on Israeli-Arabs launched from both the Knesset and the street is, in fact, a reaction to this integration. By Ron Gerlitz About a month ago I wrote here that the fabric of relations between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel was worsening, and that this was not just an escalation but a frightening new era of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. In retrospect, we were just at the start of the deterioration and…

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  • Israeli air strikes kill 120 Palestinians in single day; Hamas refuses truce without end to blockade

    Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday. as both Israel and Hamas evaluated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire. A top PLO official said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce, a claim that was quickly refuted by Hamas. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed Gaza's only power station Tuesday morning. Amnesty International condemned the strike, saying it amounted to "collective punishment of Palestinians." The strike on the plant is liable worsen severe problems with Gaza's water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities. Meanwhile, the head of Hamas' military wing, Mohammed Deif, stated that…

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  • The agonies of being an Arab democrat in the Knesset

    When establishing the Knesset’s Palestinian democratic party, the founders of Balad had to shift their discourse and terminology: from the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of one inclusive democratic state, to the reinvention of Israel as a democratic state, the party's secretary general writes. But has such a shift paid off? By Awad Abdelfattah On the eve of the 2009 Knesset elections, as I stepped off a platform following a political debate, an Israeli journalist approached me. "Is it true that you don’t vote,” she asked, “even though you are secretary general of a party that takes part in elections?”…

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  • When the canons roar, the Israeli Left remains silent

    It appears not much has changed since Operation Cast Lead, when opposition leader Haim Oron tragically decided to support the military offensive. Rather than apologizing and giving evasive answers to the media, the Left, led by the failed opposition leader, should be standing up to yell 'enough!' By Elinor Davidov It took seven days of "Operation Brother's Keeper" for the leaders of the Israeli Left in the opposition to say, sofly, that there is a problem with the current military operation, with its goals and with its implementation. For the first time, a week of collective punishment, a closure on the…

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  • The Israeli media’s hit job on MK Haneen Zoabi

    In a now-infamous radio interview, the nation’s Public Enemy No. 1 made it clear she disagreed with the kidnapping of the three Israeli boys. But that part has been edited out of the story by every major news medium except 'Haaretz.' Once again, Knesset member Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian from Nazareth, is Public Enemy No. 1 in Israel. The Knesset just gave her a bodyguard because of all the death threats she's been getting, and she's being investigated for incitement. Everyone is convinced she endorsed the kidnappings of the three Israeli teenagers. I was convinced, too, after I heard the…

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  • Cracks in the wall: A glimmer of hope for Israel-Palestine

    From up close, a wall can seem smooth, unbreakable and infinite – it is the only thing in sight. The wall, a wall of despair or a wall of separation, is real. But by taking a few steps back, either physically or spiritually, cracks in the wall can come into sight. By Moriel Rothman I’ve been in the U.S. for almost two weeks now, and I’ve begun to see cracks in the "Despair-Wall" that I wasn’t seeing – or wasn’t able to see – 14 days ago. When I boarded the plane departing from Ben Gurion International Airport, it was with feelings of darkness, of…

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  • What Yair Lapid's anti-Zoabi comments reveal about Israeli politics

    It is not considered racist in Israel to discriminate against 20 percent of the population and the millions more living in the occupied West Bank. It is considered the self-determination of the Jewish people. The few words Yair Lapid said to the press the day after the election that made his Yesh Atid party the second largest in Israel, are still troubling me. Ami Kaufman mentioned it in his post, but I think it merits a bit more attention, since while we in Israel may be desensitized and no longer shocked, it really is quite disturbing. Those following news here…

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  • Ex-pats launch Israeli Opposition Network, call for regime change in Israel

    UPDATE: Scroll to bottom for corrections. New York -- For Yael Berda, the unexpectedly strong showing of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party in Israel's recent national elections is no reason for centrists or liberals to celebrate. Lapid's party labels itself centrist, she says, but its domestic and security policies are so similar to the right wing parties' that it will only serve to bolster their agenda. The neophyte politician is from Israel's wealthy Ashkenazi elite, which identifies with Europe and the United States. "In that cultural sense," she said, "You can call Lapid a…

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  • What Israeli Arabs really want from their leaders

    It's not what the Jewish majority likes to believe.  A common Jewish Israeli criticism of Arab Knesset members is that they do a disservice to their constituents by focusing on high politics, mainly the Palestinian issue, instead of dealing with bread-and-butter economic issues that would really help them. (There may be something self-serving about this line of criticism, but who knows?) Last week I went to Jedeida-Makker, an Israeli Arab village a couple of miles inland from Acre, to hear Balad MK Haneen Zoabi give a campaign speech. The residents, including the local council head, indeed told her that she…

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