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…Read More... | 16 Comments
jewish and democratic
By upholding the state's explicitly racist plan for Umm el-Hiran, the court shows again that it cares more about Israel's Jewish character than about democracy and justice. One year ago, the unrecognized Bedouin village of Alsira won a major victory when the Be’er Sheva District Court refused to reinstate demolition orders against the entire village. The case set a legal precedent for defending other unrecognized villages threatened by the discriminatory Prawer Plan, which could forcibly displace up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in the Naqab (Negev). That cautious hope was dashed last week, however, when, in a 2-1 ruling,…Read More... | 27 Comments
There are no guarantees that the near future will herald freedom for Israel/Palestine. It will, however, shatter the perception of comfort that has paralyzed Israel since the beginning of the millennium. By Ran Greenstein When we look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a curious pattern can be detected. Every 20 or 30 years a major turning point is reached. This happens in part due to pure coincidence, and in part due to natural processes involving generational change, which takes two or three decades to mature. The cycle started in 1897 with the foundation of the Zionist movement, which…Read More... | 104 Comments
From its origins until today, liberal Zionism has been unable to reconcile Israeli policies of dispossession and military control with the image of a democratic state. Is it merely a matter of semantics, or inherent to the ideology? Part two of Ran Greenstein's analysis. By Ran Greenstein As discussed in the previous part of this article, liberal Zionists like Arthur Ruppin and Hans Kohn responded in divergent ways to the challenge of reconciling broad universal values with narrow Zionist aims. What they shared with other activists and intellectuals, though, was full realization of the costs involved in their choices. This…Read More... | 44 Comments
In an editorial published Tuesday, 'The Jerusalem Post' accused left-wing NGOs of bringing African asylum seekers to Israel in order to undermine the state's Jewish majority. By accusing the Left of such Machiavellian tactics, the Post's editorial board is, quite simply, inciting against those whose political views it disagrees with. The Jerusalem Post saw fit to publish what is ostensibly a critical editorial about the recent protests by African asylum seekers in Israel on Tuesday, but which amounts to little more than a poison-pen letter to the country's left-wing NGOs. Using the familiar trojan horse of the demographic threat Africans pose…Read More... | 10 Comments
One group of Israelis is working tirelessly to ensure that every citizen of Israel feels like they belong, regardless of religion or ethnicity. By Uzzi Ornan (Translated by Jordan Michaeli) There is a discriminatory regime in Israel, a regime under which citizens are granted and denied rights on the basis of whether they are Jews or non-Jews. Separate laws were made to determine citizens' personal status or issues such as the state's official days of rest. Even if an Israeli citizen does not believe the government should be able to decide whether they “belong” (or if they "belong") to any…Read More... | 46 Comments
A country can, at least in theory, be 'Israeli and democratic.' It cannot and will never be 'Jewish and democratic.' Early into his second term as prime minister, as he was presenting his conditions for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a new demand for any final status agreement, one which was absent from every previous round of talks, both formal and informal. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu wasn't satisfied with Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel, something the PLO did in 1988, and once again as part of the Oslo Accords. He wants them to…Read More... | 44 Comments
Moshe Feiglin is one of the Likud party's most extreme members, and one of its most clear and systematic ideologues. He is the head of the party's 'Jewish Leadership' group, and the 23rd name on the Likud-Beitenu list for the next Knesset elections. The following is an attempt by religion researcher Tomer Persico to assess Feiglin's views on popular sovereignty and democracy. By Tomer Persico The coming elections in Israel will introduce many new faces to the Knesset. Unless something very surprising happens, among those will be Moshe Feiglin, who heads a group called Jewish Leadership and has for the past…Read More... | 18 Comments
The Left's instinct to petition the courts against anti-democratic laws is counterproductive and misplaced. It’s time for Israel to pay the price for its legislation. The Knesset approved yesterday the anti-boycott law, pretty much in its original form. The list of the undertakers of Israeli democracy can be read here (Hebrew). Exceptional swinishness was expressed by MK Uri Orbach, who heckled MK Ahmed Tibi’s speech by calling “your time is over – it was over in 1948.” This particular gem was repeated by MK Carmel Shama (Lamma Ding Dong) Ha’Cohen. A few minutes after the bill was passed into law,…Read More... | 50 Comments
If the pharaoh is not allowed to repent, why go through with the charade of giving him an option? If the point is a display of divine power, why does one need to go through the pharaoh at all? Tonight marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover, commemorating the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. On this occasion, each Jew is expected to consider herself as having personally participated in this historical event; because if the exodus had not happened, Jews would still be slaves in Egypt. Therefore, this event has contributed to every Jew's liberation in perpetuity. Taken literally,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Despite the hysteria of the past week, Israeli democracy is in perfect health. Well, for the Jewish citizens of the country anyway. Avigdor Lieberman's push to investigate leftist NGO's is a political trick which lacks significant power to change the situation on the ground. Lieberman's trick was designed to cast the Israeli left as reactionary and quick to cry wolf. It largely achieved its goals. The incredible mobilization to 'save Israeli democracy' reinforces the notion that democracy for Jews is in perfect health. The left was attacked, people took to the streets and the system worked. If Lieberman's desire to…Read More... | 8 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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