Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won't serve in the next Knesset. The Likud, Israel's ruling party the last four years, and the one expected to win the next elections according to every poll I have seen since 2009 (!), held its primaries on Sunday and Monday. The outcome was somewhat expected but is still stunning, and more than anything, it reveals the deep change Israel is going through. The top of the ticket will be held…Read More... | 32 Comments
International organizations warn of a humanitarian disaster and pending war in South Sudan. Israel, however, has seized the new state's independence as an opportunity to deport South Sudanese nationals, who formerly enjoyed the temporary protection Israel extends to Sudanese citizens. Authorities on Sunday began arresting South Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel ahead of their deportation. This is one asylum seeker's plea for just treatment. By Joseph Monyde Malieny This is a genuine, heartfelt letter to the great Israeli society, and an expression of the pain in my soul to Israeli authorities, due to their unethical attitude toward African communities in Israel. We, the…Read More... | 10 Comments
MK Miri Regev's comparison of asylum seekers to cancer was offensive to many because of what it says about Africans - but what about what it says about those struggling with the disease? A cancer survivor responds to MK Miri Regev. By Ruth Hiller MK Miri Regev’s recent racist rant hit a nerve with me. She described the African asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan, now in Israel , as a “cancer in Israel’s body.” I have to admit, as a recent breast cancer survivor, this made me cringe. Cancer, even when caught at an early stage, can have severe consequences on…Read More... | 4 Comments
UPDATE: At the end of the Knesset hearing Tuesday, MK (Kadima) Yulia Shamalov Berkovtich said that "All human rights activists should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building," referring to a facility now being constructed in the south to hold African refugees. She referred to those aiding refugees as "hypocrites" that incite against Jews. After the controversy in which Likud MK Miri Regev denied (documented) footage of her calling Sudanese a "cancer," National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari defends use of the term at Knesset special hearing. On Tuesday morning, the Knesset Committee on Internal Affairs and the Environment…Read More... | 27 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi [Raam-Taal] tweeted this status on Friday: I oppose the entrance of infiltrators from Eritrea because they are coming to work instead of the Palestinians, but if they are here, they should be treated in a humane way, and not with the barbarity of (MK Danny) Danon and (MK Miri) Regev Some Israeli liberals on Twitter attacked Tibi for the first part of the sentence, and he later said that he should have not used the term "infiltrators" but instead refer to the Africans as immigrants who seek work. Eritrean citizens comprise most of the Africans who…Read More... | 39 Comments
Israeli governments have neglected the poor neighborhoods of Tel Aviv for decades. Today, Knesset members use the asylum seekers to channel the anger of local residents and score easy political points. For a moment, at around 11 p.m., it seemed that things were really getting out of control: Each report from the Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv was worse than previous ones: A couple of journalists – Haggai Matar from +972 and a reporter from Haaretz – were attacked and rescued by police; a mob of roughly 100 people tried to storm the Central Bus Station, considered a meeting…Read More... | 27 Comments
Coalition MKs incited the crowd against the refugees and asylum seekers during a protest in south Tel Aviv, which was followed by attacks on African immigrants and confrontations with police. A Likud MK called for the prosecution of Israelis giving shelter to Africans. More than 1,000 Israelis protested this evening (Wednesday) against the African refugees and asylum seekers who have settled in South Tel Aviv in recent years. According to eyewitnesses' reports, the crowd grew angry and ultimately violent, following speeches from Knesset members, including members of the government coalition. It was one of the most violent protests Tel Aviv…Read More... | 62 Comments
A common mistake for a leader is to take pride in things which he can't anticipate or have little control over. This is Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu, in his much publicized YouTube interview, celebrating the absence of popular protest in Israel (17:00 min): Protesters are having lots of fun with this bit lately. Here is a nice mix by former entertainment journalist Noy Alooshe that's circulating around the net today. The chants in the back say "the people want social justice." The bit at the End shows Likud MK Miri Regev chased away from the Tel Aviv tent camp. BTW, there…Read More... | 2 Comments
This post has been updated, Sunday, 24 July, 2011 The race is on to de-legitimize the housing protestors this week, a group of youngsters camped out on Rothschild Boulevard angry about the high cost of housing. Rothschild is the tony downtown of Tel Aviv, which was renovated some years ago, and now apartments there net a pretty penny. The renovation also made it into a social hub for the whole city, with inviting cafes, benches, fountains and periodic art installations. When I moved here, it was full of sand and flies. I quite like the change, even though I recognize…Read More... | 13 Comments
Headlines: Yesterday’s new today > This is a news roundup, but do the newspapers necessarily publish news? This is yet another day when the Yom Kippur War protocols capture the headlines, without revealing anything significant about that war that we didn’t already know. Israel was caught by surprise despite sufficient intelligence? Jordan was a secret ally? Israeli leadership considered extreme measures? These are just about the best known facts about that war. > Is the city of Lod in the grip of a crime wave? There have been 8 murders this year in a city with a population of 74,000,…Read More...
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Rumor: Instead of running in the next elections, Netanyahu will replace Peres as president http://t.co/Mb1EZ96Cmn
When it comes to philanthropy, there's a wall around Israeli hearts http://t.co/wvyG723MXx
WATCH: Arab women protest against domestic violence in Israel http://t.co/wvKDEmmJzf
Yearning for Iran: An elegy for my other homeland http://t.co/I74G8T0ZO8
When it comes to philanthropy, there's a wall around Israelis' hearts http://t.co/wvyG723MXx
WATCH: Arab women protest against domestic violence in Israel http://t.co/wvKDEmmJzf @IsraelSocialTV
RT @haaretzcom: #Israeli minister apologizes for accusing #UK of 'disguised anti-Semitism' http://t.co/IwPl27D0fi #BDS