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  • Silencing our mosques is the next stage in our dispossession

    Moti Yogev's 'muezzin law' is yet another step toward creating a public atmosphere that could lead to expelling Arabs from Israel. By Abed Abu Shehadeh As it does every year, the sounds of the muezzin reached the Knesset this past week. Last time it was Yisrael Beiteinu's Anastasia Michaeli who brought the "muezzin law" before the Knesset; this time it was MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home). The dangerous bill, which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, leaves little room for the imagination: "Houses of worship will be forbidden from using loudspeakers to call the worshippers to prayer or to transmit religious,…

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  • Cheer up! Trump's victory gives us reasons to be optimistic

    The election of Donald Trump is a reminder that when the American people want change, they go out and make it. When will the same thing apply to Israelis? The grief that overcame my Facebook feed Wednesday morning is understandable. The thought that a violent, racist, anti-Semitic man such as Donald Trump will now hold run the most powerful country in the world is nothing short of frightening. [tmwinpost] And though I understand this kind of reaction, it is wrong to view Trump's election in apocalyptic terms. Not only because the anxiety and desperation paralyze us politically, but because things are…

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  • We feel you, America — it's lonely at the bottom

    With the election of Donald Trump, a lot of progressive Americans must now be feeling what we here in the Israeli left have felt for a long time — outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone. For a while now, I've been writing about how lonely it is to be a leftist in Israel, to be part of the minority that opposes the occupation and 50 years of discrimination and human rights violations, a minority that insists on challenging fundamental aspects of this government's policies and this society's values. About how it has become increasingly dangerous and radical simply to speak one's mind, as…

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  • The crisis of Israel's anti-occupation Left

    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…

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  • Tel Aviv mayor says the occupation is a cause of Palestinian terror

    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…

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  • The day I throw out my Palestinian flag

    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…

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  • What's so threatening about human rights?

    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…

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  • Political persecution won't stop us from breaking our silence

    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…

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  • The Israeli Left needs to step up its game

    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…

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  • When will the Left start talking about Israeli trauma?

    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…

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  • Being a Mizrahi woman in the Left

    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…

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  • We need a center-left political alternative in Israel

    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,…

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  • Stop asking whether Israel is Jewish or democratic

    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…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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