The wildfire that struck Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam left our Jewish-Arab village more resilient than ever before. We invite Israel's politicians to learn from us on how to heal our society's wounds. Our country has been up in flames this past week. Hundreds of fires have broken out in various areas resulting in tens of thousands of people being evacuated from their homes. The first fire started last Tuesday at Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salam, a unique community between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where Jews and Arabs live together in equality, which struggled to quell the flames and bring peace to the region. My husband and…Read More... | 11 Comments
Moti Yogev's 'muezzin law' is yet another step toward creating a public atmosphere that could lead to expelling Arabs from Israel. By Abed Abu Shehadeh As it does every year, the sounds of the muezzin reached the Knesset this past week. Last time it was Yisrael Beiteinu's Anastasia Michaeli who brought the "muezzin law" before the Knesset; this time it was MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home). The dangerous bill, which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, leaves little room for the imagination: "Houses of worship will be forbidden from using loudspeakers to call the worshippers to prayer or to transmit religious,…Read More... | 40 Comments
While Netanyahu distracts the Left with attacks on the media, his right-wing coalition partners are taking far more dangerous steps. By Ilan Manor Like many on the Israeli left, my Facebook feed last week was swarming with images of veteran journalist Ilana Dayan trouncing Prime Minister Netanyahu. Friends from all over country felt certain that Netanyahu's long, violent, personal, and erratic public rebuke of Dayan would be his undoing, that the prime minister had finally gone too far in his war on the media. Soon, journalists joined the choir berating Netanyahu for labelling Dayan a left-wing saboteur and propagandist. [tmwinpost]…Read More...
Although U.S. policy toward Israeli settlements has fluctuated over time, successive American officials have consistently taken a dim view of the settlement movement. Trump and his advisors may change all that very soon. By Derek Davison Although President-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy team are only beginning to develop their agenda for his coming administration, his surprising election on Tuesday may already be having an impact on Israel’s West Bank settlement policy. On Thursday, Jason Greenblatt, co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee, told Israel’s Army Radio that “it is certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activities should…Read More... | 11 Comments
Elor Azaria is guilty for firing the bullet that killed Abdel Fatteh al-Sharif this past March. But let us not forget the long line of inciting comments by top Israeli leaders that made it possible. By Noam Rotem Sgt. Elor Azaria stood on the witness stand during his trial this past week and described what led him to fire a bullet into Abdel Fatteh al-Sharif's head on March 24 in Hebron's Tel Rumeida neighborhood. Al-Sharif had, just moments before, stabbed an Israeli soldier before he was shot, wounded and posed no threat to anyone. Azaria fired his weapon directly at al-Sharif's head as the latter laid sprawled out on the ground. Since…Read More... | 1 Comment
What kind of hope does the prime minister offer us when every attempt to bring about peace is rejected as a plot to destroy Israel? By Yossi Dahan Less than a year ago, in a rare moment of honesty, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his vision for Israeli citizens, in present and future tense. It happened during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which came together to mark the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. "These days there is talk about what would have happened if someone or other would have remained. This is not relevant……Read More...
A new initiative seeks to find a new, creative way to solve the conflict. The only problem? It forgets about equality. By Yuval Eylon The latest hit in the peace plan business comes from "Two States One Homeland," an initiative that eschews both the two-state solution and the one-state solution, instead envisioning a confederation between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Founder Meron Rapoport fleshed out the movement's core principles at the movement's conference a few weeks ago: "We believe that the central aspect that was missed here over the past 22 years is the fact that the land between…Read More... | 11 Comments
My dear leftists, there's really no reason to ask the last person to leave Israel to turn out the lights, as many of you have done over the last 48 hours. Most chances are that things will remain just as bad as they are – which is, in itself, hardly a reason to rejoice. By Gilad Halpern The pioneering 1970s rock band Kaveret (Hebrew for beehive) was groundbreaking in many respects. Other than their huge musical contribution, the band's repertoire included comical, sometimes nonsensical songs that stood in stark contrast to the earnest, stuffy folk songs that had hitherto characterized…Read More...
Behind all the pretty words, Bennett's speech at the Israel Prize ceremony reveals exactly what he's after: a Jewish nationalist theocracy. By Gil Gertel During last Thursday's annual Israel Prize ceremony, Education Minister Naftali Bennett gave a speech laying out his vision. He called for the establishment of a national, Jewish state, and in order to justify his outlook he used a history that doesn't even exist in the bible, scorned diaspora Jews, and promised equality for all through Jewish supremacy. "This is the only way," he summarized his speech in support of Jewish theocracy, to the applause of those…Read More... | 8 Comments
At a time when Israel's education minister sees only Jews as moral, it is worth remembering a prominent Zionist educator who taught us that things could have turned out differently. By Gil Gertel This past week marked "Land Day," in which we commemorate and decry the dispossession of Israel's Arab citizens of their land. Fate also had it that on that very same week, the Israeli public found itself a new national hero, who took the slogan "death to Arabs" and made it a reality. On the day following the Hebron shooting, Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked those who hurried…Read More... | 17 Comments
The story of the Hebron shooting is a classic case of the lowly soldier syndrome — mostly Ashkenazi political leaders give the order, yet only those at the bottom of the ladder must pay the price. By Adi Mazor and Tom Mehager What is the difference between the Israeli soldier who shot 22-year-old Palestinian Abed al-Fatah Sharif in Hebron last week after a stabbing attack, and the soldiers from elite unites who shoot and kill Palestinian suspects? The difference is that the elite soldiers do behind the scenes — when no one is there to capture it on camera. [tmwinpost] Since the…Read More... | 3 Comments
The orchestrated onslaught against Israeli anti-occupation groups have led to death threats and physical attacks. But we will not be scared — we are determined to save our country from the same messianic, nationalistic, and racist forces that harm it. By Yuli Novak Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The…Read More... | 75 Comments
Students who open up the Education Ministry's new civics textbook won't find a word about military rule or discrimination against 20 percent of the population. There's a reason for that. By Gil Gertel Education Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to make some changes in Israel's civic education curriculum: it is now more religious and less humanistic. The problem is not with civic education, but rather with the state; civic education reflects reality, not those who mold it. The responsibility for reality does not fall on teachers, but on our elected leadership. Bennett is pushing education to the right It is true…Read More... | 2 Comments
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