With his attacks on Kerry, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is positioning himself as the new leader of the Israeli right. I basically agree with those claiming that there is no daylight between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on the issues, only on style and timing. Netanyahu has surrounded himself with opponents of the two-state solution: his political circles are full of settlers, national-religious and other hawks -- and not only in the cabinet, but in his own bureau. As veteran political correspondent Shalom Yerushalmi noted in Maariv on Wednesday, for weeks these people have been running around saying…Read More... | 11 Comments
Far-right politicians prefer it when their more outlandish proposed laws are shot down prudently from across the aisle. One party on the Left now tries to edge out of that role. Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon on Monday declared that her party will no longer rescue Israel's ruling coalition from itself, and will not vote against an annexation bill proposed by Miri Regev (Likud). The bill, endorsed by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, would apply Israeli law to much of the Jordan Valley - effectively negating the possibility a future Palestinian state that might share a border with any…Read More... | 12 Comments
Up until now, very few details have been released about how many people and how much land will be affected by the Prawer Plan. Knesset Internal Affairs Committee chairperson MK Miri Regev revealed details of a secret document prepared in the Prime Minister's Office about the implementation of the Prawer Plan for the resettlement of the Negev Bedouins, Yedioth Ahronoth reported this weekend. According to a map obtained by MK Regev, the state will take over 250,000 dunams (61,700 acres) currently populated by Bedouins, while the Bedouins will receive 170,000 dunams (42,000 acres). Around 40,000 people will have to leave…Read More... | 16 Comments
Bedouin activists call for general strike, protests to meet MK Miri Regev and Knesset Interior Committee as they tour areas that will be affected by the Prawer-Begin Plan. Text by Michael Omer-Man Photos by Oren Ziv and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org (Correction amended below) As part of its discussions aimed at advancing the Prawer-Begin Plan that would result in the mass displacement of Israel’s Bedouin citizens, the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee toured the Negev desert on Sunday. In formulating the Prawer plan, the Bedouin community was not consulted and an alternative formulated by Bedouin leaders was not considered. Read +972's…Read More... | 5 Comments
Tel Aviv District Court convicts man in failed fire bombing of apartment housing African migrants in south Tel Aviv. Judge lays some blame on politicians for inciting against African migrants. The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Elad Gadban to 27 months in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at the home of African migrants home on Sunday. The judge said some of the blame lies with politicians who have been inciting against asylum seekers. Gadban, 26, confessed to throwing three Molotov cocktail at an apartment in Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, which housed Nigerian migrant workers, along with an underage accomplice in May…Read More... | 2 Comments
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... | 28 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
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