The last polls ahead of Tuesday’s election have been published. Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu joint ticket could lose as many as eight seats, but the right-wing coalition he is projected to lead is still strong. Meretz is trending up, while Livni is losing support. We have updated out Poll Tracker with the surveys published over the weekend. Election laws forbid publishing polls in the days immediately prior to the vote, so this is likely the last round of numbers we will see from the various polling firms, at least publicly (the parties continue to conduct internal polls sometimes). This pie represents the…Read More... | 5 Comments
Those who attacked Palestinians in central Jerusalem claimed they wanted to prevent them from speaking to Jewish girls. The fear of interracial relations once found only in the fringes of the right are now turning into a legitimate, mainstream political issue in national-religious circles. Jerusalem Police are still carrying out arrests of suspects – mostly teenagers – in Friday's shocking attack that took place in the city's center. A few dozen Israeli Jews beat up three Palestinians, leaving one gravely injured and still hospitalized. According to several testimonies, the attackers also tried to interfere with medical treatment being provided to the wounded. At…Read More... | 35 Comments
Two days ago, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari was photographed in his chambers tearing up a copy of the New Testament. Yeterday, MK Ahmad Tibi responded. I'm quite tired of MK Tibi's gimmicks and theatrics and what seems to be a constant need to get a headline. I agree with Speaker Reuven Rivlin who claims it just lowers the Knesset's "esteem" (what esteem exactly, I don't know... but still). Yet, I can't shake the feeling that if I had a picture of a man who for me epitomizes so much of the evil that has cursed this world through generations…Read More... | 7 Comments
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely and her crazy sidekicks hijack the Women's Advancement Committee When Meir Martin Kahane was elected to the Knesset some 27 years ago, he had the popularity of a leper. President Chaim Herzog, summoning party leaders for the ritual consultation before appointing a prime minister, pointedly refused to invite him. When he would rise to the podium, the plenum would empty. Channel 1, the sole TV channel at the time and then as now politically controlled by the governing coalition, refused to cover him - until it was forced to do so by the Supreme Court. MK…Read More... | 7 Comments
Poll finds half of the Jewish public in Israel supporting the ruling against renting homes to Arabs As if the Rabbis' edict against renting homes to Arabs wasn’t enough, a new letter, made public yesterday, has some 30 well-known wives of Orthodox Rabbis warning Jewish girls against dating Arabs or even working with them. Ynet reports: The letter stated that "there are quite a few Arab workers who use Hebrew names. Yusuf becomes Yossi, Samir becomes Sami and Abed becomes Ami. They seek your proximity, try to appeal to you and give you all the attention you could ask for,…Read More... | 14 Comments
By Vera Reider I take the No.10 in central Tel Aviv, and, for lack of places, move to the back of the bus. I sit down, I take out my book, and then I see it, right on the glass screen between the seats and the back door, a big, round, sticker: "Now everyone knows - Kahane was right." Former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane was the founder and leader of the Kach movement, which called for racial segregation and for expelling of all Arabs from Israel Slowly boiling up, I begin and try to figure out what to do about…Read More... | 5 Comments
Readers: This is a long post, so here it is in a nutshell: I argue that in his recent book, Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis, Senior Vice President at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, implicitly endorses the involuntary expulsion of Israeli Arab citizens in the future as a way to solving what he calls "Israel's conundrum", i.e., what to do about its Arab citizens. I try to understand what leads Dr. Gordis, a well-known rabbi and author with whom I agree on many things, to this conclusion. I note that discussion of the "transfer" option, which once was considered taboo by…Read More...
Marriage between Jews and Arabs were never a real political issue in Israel. Rabbi Meir Kahane once tried to introduce laws banning sexual relations between Jews and none-Jews and was thrown out of the Knesset. At the time, Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar wrote that Kahane's actions and ideas remind “the worst harms that were imposed upon our people.” Recently, the racist plans of Rabbi Kahane are infiltrating the Israeli mainstream. Now The Jerusalem Post's editorial (!) refers to "the dangers of intermarriage" as a pretext for its support of the new Knesset bill allowing ethnically segregated communities (my bold):…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Headlines: The Dollar declines, Israeli politics sink even lower > The dollar has sharply declined throughout the world. In Israel, the national bank has been trying to stop this development (which would hurt exports and economic growth) by buying huge amounts of foreign currency. Predictably, it is failing to exclude Israel from the global trend. This is an interesting and important story, but let us put it in perspective: the exchange rate is right now about 5-6% below what it was most of the year, and other currencies (and export markets) are unaffected by this trend. > Defense Minister…Read More...
Note: this text was written in 1994, at the request of Hofesh, a leading Israeli freedom-from-religion site. This is a translation, modified by what I learned over the last 12 years. In order to understand this story, you have to know a bit about the life of a boy coming from a national-religious family in Israel. Like all my classmates, I knew at the end of grade 6 that I would continue my studies not in a high school, but in a yeshiva-school. There simply was no other option. Zevulun Hammer, the religious politician who was a long-serving Minister of…Read More... | 1 Comment
For her senior project in visual communications at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT), artist Sivan Hurvitz exhibited a series of illustrations called "Turn right at the end: the future of a country that gave up on democracy." In her strikingly realistic, detailed illustrations - six in all - Sivan imagines "an apocalyptic, harshly exaggerated, imaginary, future scenario" in an Israel that is no longer a democracy. Her purpose, she writes, is "to provoke and raise questions among Israelis about the direction the country is going in and to think if this is the country we want to become in…Read More... | 15 Comments
The following was originally posted on Wish You Orwell. Israel is famous for supporting the documentation of the personal stories of Holocaust survivors: various functionaries often repeat the phrase that since the ranks of the survivors are depleting rapidly, it is vital that their stories be documented for posterity. This, apparently, derives from the strange notion that once the witnesses and the physical evidence of the Holocaust is gone, so would its memory. The Israeli media prominently reports on any damage caused to the concentration camps, and the stealing of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from the Auschwitz death camp…Read More... | 1 Comment
No less than 18 months in prison for East Jerusalem Palestinian. Judge: “the Court must protect the public interest against sophisticated criminals with a smooth tongue and sweet talking, who can lead astray innocent victims" The main reason for which the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder notorious Kach party, was kicked out of the Knesset in the 80's was the set of racist bills he tried to pass in the Israeli parliament. One of the most well known of them was intended to make sexual relations between Arab and Jews a criminal offense. In his verdict verifying the Knesset’s decision…Read More...
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