Any time the subject of Arab legislators or Arab parties in Israel comes up, someone always feels the tiresome need to mouth off about how horrible Arab members of Knesset are. With crocodile tears, they accuse those MKs of manipulating or forgetting Arab citizens and getting lost in their occupation obsession (a thin guise for their real goal which is the destruction of Israel), instead of working to improve the lives of their voters. With all due respect, I’d like to blow this nonsense out of the water with a few facts. A recent quantitative study by the Abraham Fund…Read More... | 17 Comments
As Israel's right wing escalates its attempts at silencing Israel's Palestinian minority, Ran Greenstein offers the Arab street an alternative approach at fighting back. By Ran Greenstein “At the end of every sentence you say in Hebrew there's an Arab with a hookah” (Meir Ariel, a Song of Pain) There is no Israeli politician, past or present, for whom this phrase is more applicable than Avigdor Liberman. His brainchild, the Governance Law, which was adopted by the Knesset earlier this week, raises the electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25%. This may not seem a lot, but had it been in…Read More... | 23 Comments
A half-empty Knesset voted Tuesday to approve an electoral reform bill theoretically intended to stabilize governance in a country with a notoriously unstable system by raising the voting threshold to 3.25% from the current 2% (itself an increase from earlier years), among other reforms. To understand why change elicits such visceral reactions, it should be viewed in the context of three aspects: the Israeli political system, Jewish-Arab relations, and majority-minority relations more broadly. The Israeli political system No party in Israel has ever won an absolute majority in the Knesset, and there has always been a governing coalition. Those coalitions…Read More... | 15 Comments
Inspired by the Israeli Arab parties of Knesset, who will likely be forced to join forces in order to remain politically relevant, Jewish Australian parliamentarians from the left and the right form their own joint party. Just cause they can. [SATIRE] By Sol Salbe In a move that has stunned observers, Australia's three Jewish MPs have announced that they will be running in a joint electoral formation in the next elections. The move by the Opposition Australian Labor Party's Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus, along with the conservative Josh Frydenberg of Tony Abbott's ruling Liberal Party, has been endorsed by…Read More... | 2 Comments
What we do to the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs - in the last two days, for example - has caused more damage to the Jewish people than anything since the Holocaust. Who knows? Maybe the Jordanian judge, Raed Zueter, killed by Israeli soldiers Monday, went mad from grief over his critically ill 5-year-old son lying in a coma, and really did attack the troops, and maybe they truly had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Or maybe there was no such attack, maybe there was just an argument and the soldiers got a little trigger happy, not for…Read More... | 49 Comments
When a minority consistently feels disenfranchised and excluded, it retreats from civil society. Now is the time to ensure that Israel’s Palestinian minority and its elected representatives no longer take that route - for the sake of all citizens. By Ilan Manor Following the shameful presidency of convicted rapist Moshe Katzav, most Israelis felt that only Nobel Prize laureate Shimon Peres could restore dignity to the office of president. In the past six-and-a-half years in office, Peres not only rehabilitated the presidency, he also revitalized it and its influence. There is no greater testament to his success than the fact that…Read More... | 20 Comments
Earlier this month, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the preparation of and support for a new ‘NGO law.’ The law would impose a 45 percent tax on donations to NGOs calling for a boycott of Israel, the prosecution IDF soldiers, that deny Israel’s state symbols. The NGO law is the latest of some 30 anti-democratic laws that have been put forth under Netanyahu’s last two terms. http://youtu.be/0AHhnIwyfA0 Related: Right-wing parties revive attack on left-wing NGOs Foreign influence, transparency problems of NGO MonitorRead More... | 6 Comments
Photos By: Keren Manor, Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, Tali Mayer / Activestills.org This last week, nearly 200 Sudanese asylum seekers refused to check in to their nightly roll call at the Holot 'open' prison in Israel' south, choosing instead to march to Jerusalem in protest of their imprisonment without trial and the state's failure to respond to their asylum claims. After spending a night sleeping on the floor of the Be'er Sheva central bus station and another night on a kibbutz, they completed their march to the Knesset where they were met by Israeli immigration officers who arrested them forced…Read More...
And nobody objects. I was listening on the radio to the prime minister's speech in the Knesset on Wednesday for the 18th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) of the Rabin assassination, and it just struck me how far we’ve come in this country. Bibi Netanyahu is now preaching to Israel the lessons of Rabin's murder. And nobody says anything. Members of the Rabin family sitting in the Knesset, whatever they were thinking, didn’t say a word. Neither did the MKs of the Labor Party or Meretz, or MK Ahmed Tibi or anybody else who lived through that time and understands…Read More... | 11 Comments
+972 speaks with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel’s executive director Hagai El-Ad, discussing bittersweet legal victories, the downward trajectory of civil rights in Israel and how ACRI is facing its greatest challenge, winning over the Israeli public. Hagai El-Ad’s change in career paths came from a self-realization that his destiny was not in some distant galaxy, but very much grounded on Earth, specifically, in Israel’s civil rights arena. The executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), El-Ad, 43, earned a master’s degree in astrophysics before moving to the nonprofit sector. In 2000, he became…Read More... | 7 Comments
Israeli society is undergoing a process by which the words 'Eritrean' and 'Sudanese' are becoming synonymous with the word 'cleaner,' while 'Filipina' has long ago become synonymous with 'caregiver.' And who else is behind the education process if not the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry? The job market in Israel has always been divided along nearly impenetrable national and “racial” lines; the Knesset, like the Supreme Court, is careful to maintain the divisions. In the past the divisions were primarily between Mizrahi Jews, Muslim Arabs, and Christian Arabs. These days there are different groups as well. There is a direct link…Read More... | 1 Comment
The fact that Israel chooses to base its nursing sector on migrant workers and turn the patients into employers does not mean that migrant workers must pay the price. That is, unless one listens to the rulings of the High Court of Justice. Those who do not appear before the High Court of Justice may mistakenly believe that legal proceedings are conducted there. The sides make claims, at length, and prove their statements. The judges press them, requesting additional evidence. While we inherited the High Court of Justice from the British, this is no House of Lords. Legal proceedings are…Read More... | 7 Comments
I was never a big fan of Merav Michaeli during her showbiz career. But I have to admit: over the past two years, since her writing in Haaretz and political career began - I've been hooked. Now, as a newly elected Labor MK, she has the chance to live up to the high expectations many have of her. Yair Lapid, who promised his voters “new politics” but instead gave them cooperation with Naftali Bennett's right-wing Jewish Home party, could learn a bit about the real change that is needed in this place from Michaeli’s inaugural speech in the Knesset last…Read More... | 4 Comments
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
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Plan to displace Bedouin
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PHOTOS: Palestinians mourn woman who died after tear gas shot into her home http://t.co/gdpB13PxZT @activestills http://t.co/G2EK89wlfa
When tear gas is fired into the home of asthma sufferers, tragedy ensues http://t.co/QjoHtn1QBd
'Lapid may not be intelligent or principled, but he is a walking, talking barometer of the Israeli public mood' http://t.co/WjTl6Qz0CT
PHOTOS: Palestinians mourn woman allegedly killed by tear gas in West Bank refugee camp http://t.co/gdpB13PxZT http://t.co/XwhaQ1hjqL
PHOTOS: Tear gas kills woman in Aida Refugee Camp, by @activestills http://t.co/gdpB13PxZT http://t.co/nT1rYtDFUw
#Haaretz columnist Reuven Pedatzur killed in traffic accident, by @dimireider http://t.co/mBlqQHlt5S
Yair Lapid, the great secular crusader, has finally found God. And he has but one thing to ask of Him: http://t.co/WjTl6Qz0CT