Israelis emigrating — or considering emigration — for political reasons are inadvertently adopting the spirit of the boycott movement in the sense that they, too, have given up on the idea of change coming from within. Everywhere I turn these days, many of my peers have left Israel, are leaving Israel, are planning to leave, or are talking about leaving Israel. My family and I included. The reasons for leaving are always personal, and it’s hard to point to a specific political trend. But the discourse around leaving is indicative of a real crisis in the Israeli Left regarding the inability to…Read More... | 15 Comments
Huldai tells Army Radio that Israel may be the 'only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights.' Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel's occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday's deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is "perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights." [tmwinpost] "On the…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Palestinian flag is our symbol of resistance to occupation and land theft. Only once we remedy the injustices of the past will we be able to stop waving it. Last week the joint Arab-Jewish party Hadash and Zionist leftist party Meretz held a joint protest in Tel Aviv against the appointment of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the growing extremism of the Netanyahu government. During the demonstration Meretz activists demanded that Palestinian demonstrators refrain from waving their national flag, a move that angered many Palestinian activists. The controversy over the two flags shows, once again, that the Zionist Left…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Right doesn't reject the concept of universal human rights because it threatens the Zionist project, they do so because it would mean seeing Palestinians as equals. By Dror Etkes There is a positive aspect to the continuing, orchestrated campaign by Israel's right-wing government and its helpers against "leftist" organizations, which many seem not to be paying attention to. As the campaign goes on, it helps create an intuitive, collective understanding for most people who have refrained from dedicating their life to understanding the inner politics of left-wing organizations in Israel, that there is no room for the artificial barrier…Read More... | 3 Comments
The orchestrated onslaught against Israeli anti-occupation groups have led to death threats and physical attacks. But we will not be scared — we are determined to save our country from the same messianic, nationalistic, and racist forces that harm it. By Yuli Novak Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The…Read More... | 75 Comments
Herzog's new diplomatic plan goes against the real interests of all those who live between the river and the sea — Jews and Arabs alike. Now it's up to the Left to come up with a new vision based on real coexistence. The Labor Party committee decided last week that it was officially parting with the two-state solution. The decision was not preceded by passionate discussions, nor was it extensively covered by the media. Had Prime Minister Netanyahu and Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog not traded barbs a few days later, I highly doubt anyone would have noticed. Even more than…Read More... | 7 Comments
Without recognizing how deep-seated the trauma of ordinary Israelis really is, the Israeli peace camp will continue to be seen as elitist and disconnected. By Yakir Englander (translated by Dr. Henry R. Carse) My political opinions are aligned with Israel’s Left, but I was not born that way. Even today my personal Israeli narrative is far from typically liberal. I grew up in a modern ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the city of Bnei Brak, and although I am sociologically far from that context today, many of the core values that still influence me stem from the Hasidic tradition. When I was…Read More... | 16 Comments
My leftism is beyond the establishment, and it stems first and foremost from my experiences as an outsider. By Netta Amar-Shiff I grew up in a house that was mostly involved in maintaining family unity and keeping the mitzvot, all within the geographical radius of my home, my synagogue, and my school. Although I never knew who or what Arabs were, I knew a little bit of Arabic, since I lived with my grandmother, may her memory be a blessing, for several years. When I was young knowledge of the language did not serve as a bridge for anyone in…Read More...
This is not a time for ideological purity. There is an overriding goal and that is ending the Occupation. By Jeremiah Haber Since the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister in 1999, if not earlier, there has been no center-left in Israel. Of course, there has been something referred to as “center-left” but that was only relative to the so-called Right of the Likud, Kadima, Shinui, Yesh Atid, and defunct parties whose names I forget. Former prime minister Ehud Barak managed almost single-handedly to destroy the center-left, which had supported recognition of the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination,…Read More... | 11 Comments
This isn’t a choice between 'Jewish or democratic' — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the political center-left in Israel has committed itself to the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. For these mostly secular and traditional people, “Jewish” used to mean some sort of cultural character, and democracy meant free and fair elections. This political camp is deeply committed to the balance between those two ideas and believes that when one overtakes the other, we are lost. [tmwinpost] Thus if Israel is too “Jewish,” it risks becoming a halakhic…Read More... | 27 Comments
When will the Jewish Left wake up and come to terms with the fact that the rules of the game have changed? It seems that even the most skeptical of radical left-wing activists in Israel were taken by surprise by the aggressive, relentless, and mounting attacks that we have witnessed over these past few days against left-wing activists. This madness refuses to die down. Day after day we hear about arrests of left-wing activists, who disappear into their cells without ever being informed of what they are being accused. The police slap a gag order on the entire story, preventing…Read More... | 24 Comments
Those trying to delegitimize rights groups because their funds come from overseas are sending a very clear message: human and civil rights are not values that exist naturally in Israel. Left-leaning Israelis have for decades warned that the occupation will one day come home to roost — that the injustices visited upon Palestinians in the territories will eventually undermine the democratic fabric of Israel itself. [tmwinpost] Such warnings are problematic, since they suggest that military occupation is somehow acceptable as long as it isn’t detrimental to the occupier. But at the end of the day warnings that “occupation corrupts” ring true,…Read More... | 16 Comments
One of the first Israeli politicians to champion the two-state solution, Yossi Sarid was also one of the last vestiges of the Israeli Left's old guard. He will be remembered warmly for never turning away a person in need, but also for his contentious attitudes toward religious and Mizrahi Jews. For better or worse, there has never been a more perfect embodiment of the old Israeli left than columnist and politician Yossi Sarid, who passed away from a heart attack age 75 late last week. He was an uncompromising champion of human and civil rights, of free speech, of separation…Read More...
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