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  • Israeli politician says Israel is 'Fourth World' — for the stupidest reason imaginable

    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…

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  • Labor must take the security narrative back from Netanyahu

    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…

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  • When your own Jewish father calls you a Nazi

    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…

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  • Go ahead Herzog, join the coalition

    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…

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  • Would pre-state Zionist militias be terrorists by today's standards?

    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),…

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  • The duality of Israel's occupation, at home and abroad

    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…

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  • The collapse of Oslo should be a source of hope, not despair

    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…

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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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  • Why Herzog's diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheid

    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…

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  • Plenty of talk about 'peace,' little commitment

    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…

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  • The side of Rabin's legacy Israelis love to forget

    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…

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  • It's time for the Israeli Left to part with the kibbutz

    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…

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  • Where have Israel's leftists gone? The changing face of Labor

    The Labor party is convinced that it can somehow disassociate itself with the Left, call itself the ‘center’ and sneak its way back into power with semantic tricks. It will take the entire left-wing camp down with it. By Tom Cohen Last year, a delegation of Knesset members went to visit PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Among the MKs who participated were Hilik Bar of Labor and Tamar Zandberg of Meretz. There had been a terror attack a few days earlier and there was some pressure to cancel the visit. But MK Bar, who was the head of the Knesset’s Two-State…

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