A new government public relations clip shows Israeli Jews as the perpetual victims of history. But once upon a time Israeli leaders were able to consider the pain of others, too. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed to out-do itself on Thursday when it released its latest hasbara (state-sponsored PR) video of Jews as eternal victims of persecution in their homeland. The clip tells the story of Rachel and Jacob, two contemporary Israeli Jews who live in a large, comfortable home, which is meant to be a metaphor for the Land of Israel. Slowly, the couple's home is invaded and…Read More... | 5 Comments
Erel Margalit, a loud-mouthed Israeli member of Knesset from the Labor Party, drew the ire of the internet on Thursday with a Facebook post in which he described Israel as a Fourth World country. [tmwinpost] Margalit wasn’t referring to the fact that Israel has the highest child poverty rate among all OECD countries. He wasn’t referring to the fact that millions of people living under Israeli rule have no democratic rights. He wasn’t referring to the fact that Israeli police disproportionately arrest the country's own Arab citizens. Margalit wasn't referring to his country's refusal to process asylum claims of refugees…Read More...
The first step is to replace party leader Isaac Herzog, who has adopted the prime minister’s approach to the Palestinians and was willing to join his government. By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein When Netanyahu abandoned the possibility of forming a coalition with Zionist Union by appointing Avigdor Liberman as defense minister, many on the Israeli center-left, including Labor chairman Isaac Herzog and liberal columnist Ari Shavit, were quick to self-flagellate. The truth is there was no missed opportunity, unless one is speaking of the chance to commit political suicide by linking up with a prime minister who had no…Read More... | 4 Comments
Once upon a time you could vote for Netanyahu or Meretz and move on with your life. Today even a conversation about the occupation can end relationships between loved ones. By Su* Like the very best of internet trolls, today my father banished me to Berlin with the non-Jewish son I never had. In the middle of Tel Aviv's popular Azrieli Mall, on the second floor, at the cafe where the tables are placed too close to one another. Yarmulka-wearing Israelis sat behind us, while at the next table over two women with Zara shopping bags who ate salads tried…Read More... | 2 Comments
The fact that the head of Israel's opposition could soon join forces with Netanyahu may actually bode well for the Israeli Left and Palestinian citizens alike. The Israeli media has been beside itself this week with the possibility that the head of the opposition Isaac Herzog, leader of the Labor Party cum Zionist Union, may join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the executive branch of the Israeli government. Roughly two weeks of chatterbuzz about Herzog-Netanyahu negotiations have yielded the usual five stages of rumors: from denial (“there are no negotiations”); to low expectations (“they’re just talks, they won’t lead to…Read More... | 1 Comment
A Zionist Union MK gets heat for saying not all Palestinians who use violence against Israeli soldiers are terrorists. Can attacks against uniformed soldiers be considered terrorism? By Tomer Persico Labor MK Zohair Bahloul in recent days raised the ire of Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum, including members of his own party, for his unwillingness to label Palestinians who attack Israeli soldiers "terrorists." Explaining why he opposes applying the word terrorist to all Palestinians who employ violence, Bahloul brought up the example of the pre-state militias that took up arms against the British Mandate government. "The Etzel (Irgun),…Read More... | 9 Comments
Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of 'ethnocratic' ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see. By Tomer Persico (translated by Maya Haber) Over the last few weeks we have heard about the collapse of the delicate duality the Israeli government has been trying to preserve for years. It is the duality of occupation at home and democracy for abroad, religious coercion at home and a booming high-tech industry abroad, the stabbing at Jerusalem's pride parade and pinkwashing abroad. It is a strategic duality. It allows Israel to play a part in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
It is a bitter irony that Israelis and Palestinians came into more frequent contact prior to the peace process. The Labor party's new 'separation plan' does nothing to correct that. By Nadia Naser-Najjab Israel’s Labor Party recently passed its own plan to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, instead of coming up with a plan that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to work together on building a better future, Labor chairman and opposition leader Issac Herzog appealed to the principle of separation by building more walls and preventing Palestinians from truly establishing their state. [tmwinpost] Under happier circumstances, separation can conceivably…Read More... | 5 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
Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…Read More... | 58 Comments
When leaders from center-left aren't willing to deepen the struggle against the occupation, it's hard not to feel that they, too, prefer the status quo. Notes from the Haaretz Conference for Peace. The most genuine moments at Thursday's Haaretz Conference on Peace came from two right-wing speakers — Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin, both ministers in Netanyahu's government — who unequivocally called the two state-solution a "hallucination," which they have no plans of ever implementing. Since neither of them have any intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under occupation, they view the current situation as the solution. Around the same…Read More...
Over 20 years later, the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO teaches us one thing: despite the hatred, we have no choice but to live together. From year to year, the memory of Yitzhak Rabin goes from a political issue to a nostalgic one. Twenty years after his assassination, the Israeli public is inundated with memories of Rabin the IDF chief of staff, Rabin the smoker, Rabin the straight-talker, etc. The films and articles memorializing him usually obscure (and often do not even include) one specific image: Rabin shaking hands with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in…Read More...
Between unequal distribution of municipal taxes that discriminate against development towns and admittance committees that bar entry to those who do not belong to the 'white tribe,' the Left must lead the struggle against the kibbutz's sectorial policies. By Elad Wolf Since the founding of the state, the kibbutzim have undergone a process of privatization. From their socialist infrastructure, the kibbutzim and the moshavim have turned into the enemies of equality and solidarity. Perhaps the time has come for the Left to move forward and release its hold on the kibbutzim. [tmwinpost] The biggest question one must ask is what…Read More... | 21 Comments
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