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  • No room for occupation in Israel's civics curriculum

    Students who open up the Education Ministry's new civics textbook won't find a word about military rule or discrimination against 20 percent of the population. There's a reason for that. By Gil Gertel Education Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to make some changes in Israel's civic education curriculum: it is now more religious and less humanistic. The problem is not with civic education, but rather with the state; civic education reflects reality, not those who mold it. The responsibility for reality does not fall on teachers, but on our elected leadership. Bennett is pushing education to the right It is true…

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  • Right-wing campaign portrays human rights leaders as foreign agents

    Israeli human rights leaders are now being portrayed as back-stabbing foreign implants. One minute and nine seconds. That's the length of the inciting video published this morning by right-wing activist Ronen Shoval. In less than a minute-and-a-half, Shoval manages to sum up all the reasons why an Israeli court deemed it okay to call "Im Tirzu" — an organization he founded — a "fascist" group. [tmwinpost] The video is part of a campaign by the group against foreign governments "planting" activists and groups belonging to Israeli civil society. It begins with a clip of a Palestinian man moving his knife…

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  • Trump is no more racist than mainstream Israeli policy

    Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump's anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration? Just days after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump announced that he will be visiting Israel by the end of December, the billionaire populist called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Everyone is aghast, including several Israeli politicians, figures and organizations, who began expressing their disgust and indignation Wednesday morning. Some went as far as demanding that Trump be blocked from entering Israel's parliament, the Knesset, or to bar him from entering the country entirely.…

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  • Israel’s Knesset gives a nod to settlement labels

    In order to give preference to contractors located in West Bank settlements, won't Israel's parliament first have to distinguish them just as the EU plans to? A key parliamentary committee advanced a draft law on Monday that would require the Knesset to give preference to West Bank settlement businesses in one-quarter of the goods and services it contracts. [tmwinpost] The bill, sponsored by Likud MK David Bitan, is an attempt to strengthen Israeli businesses in the occupied West Bank in response to European plans to label settlement goods. The bill must still pass a number of legislative hurdles before becoming…

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  • 'We don't need a constitution—we have the Bible'

    Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee says every piece of legislation should be 'compatible with Jewish law.' From the moment Israel's founding fathers declared the independence of their state, Israeli politicians have been unable to agree on a formal constitution. Although the Declaration of Independence stipulated that a constitution be written by October 1, 1948, the 1948 war—as well as the inability of different groups in Israeli society to agree on the purpose and identity of the state—prevented that from happening. Every so often the idea of a formal constitution is floated by politicians and civil society,…

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  • Knesset deputy speaker accused of pimping, meth abuse

    Junior MK Oren Hazan, who rose in the ranks at breathtaking speed to become the country's deputy speaker of the Knesset, is now being accused of running a gambling operation, procuring call girls and using crystal meth. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) was suspended from chairing parliamentary sessions Tuesday morning after a Channel 2 exposé alleged he was involved in running a gambling operation; procuring and paying for call girls for his clients; and even using crystal meth — all as recently as last summer. The suspension puts a looming question mark over the most rapid and…

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  • Throwing stones, starting fires: Shaked's first bill as justice minister

    A draft law sponsored by Ayelet Shaked would dramatically lower the bar for convicting Palestinians in Jerusalem for throwing stones, and set a penalty of 10 years in prison. The law's application to West Bank settlers is unlikely. A key government committee on Sunday passed a bill that would make it much easier to convict people of throwing stones at moving vehicles, and dramatically increase the punishment generally meted out on stone-throwers. The bill, sponsored by newly appointed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), is effectively a resuscitation of legislation proposed by former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni last November. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Isaac Herzog, leader of the non-opposition

    Many people are describing opposition leader Isaac Herzog's maiden speech in the 20th Knesset as the speech that could have won him the election. But is he offering an alternative that's any better than Netanyahu? Mabrouk on you, the new government تشوفو على وجهها الخير – may it bring only good things. That's how we, the naïvely optimistic Arabs, congratulate people on new things. Regardless of what we feel, we know how to congratulate. But let's not spend any more time on the new government. Sooner or later, Israel's 34th government will join its predecessors in the dustbin of history.…

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  • [VID] 'I have a dream': Ayman Odeh's maiden Knesset speech

    Head of the Joint List shares his vision of a shared, equal future for Jews and Arabs in Israel. But is it a vision left-wing Israelis and liberal American Jews can sign onto? Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List, gave his maiden speech in Knesset this week. Odeh, a 40 year-old lawyer from Haifa, heads a list of parties representing Palestinian nationalists, Baathists, Islamists, and Jewish and Arab socialists. [tmwinpost] He led this unlikely group to win 13 seats in the March election, making it the third-largest party in the Knesset — after the Likud and the Zionist…

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  • More female MKs doesn't mean a more feminist Knesset

    The fact that the 20th Knesset will have a record number of female MKs does not mean they will necessarily advance women's rights. Some of them, in fact, may end up doing just the opposite. By Samah Salaime Now that the winds have died down completely and I have finished writing all my commentary on the elections, I am returning to more familiar territory: feminism. Many men wanted to see me return to this modest niche; you know, to deal with issues that are proper for a woman. "What do you care about politics?" my good friend asked me. "You are…

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  • Sorry Israeli leftists, I've got no sympathy for you

    Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…

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  • Interview: What Hamas' media thinks of Israeli elections

    How is the Palestinian media covering Israeli elections? What do they think of the Joint List? A media survey covering Palestinian outlets in Israel proper, the West Bank, Gaza and beyond. And an interview with the editor of Hamas' official newspaper. According to the famous cliche, there is no better time for news than during wars and elections. When it comes to wars, both the Palestinian and the Israeli media would likely agree. When it comes to elections that will directly affect the lives of millions of people under occupation who have no right to vote, however, there is no…

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  • The Arab parties united? Great, now it's time to get to work

    After a great deal of work, the joint Arab election slate has finally come into fruition. But what does the list say about the place of women in Arab politics? Who proved himself to be the real leader of the group? And what can the Arab public do now? You know that joke about how Arabs can't agree about anything but the fact that they disagree about everything? Well, it is officially no longer relevant! With the looming elections and the raising of the electoral threshold, Israel's Arab population went into a long state of difficult contractions. A group of…

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