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
On the backdrop of rising discrimination and violence against Israel's Arab citizens, a new children's book invokes the spirit of friendship between Arabs and Jews, giving us at least one thing to look forward to in 2016. By Yoni Mendel (Translated from Hebrew by Ami Asher) A new children's book, "Sweet Tea with Mint And Other Stories" is being released in a climate of increasing discrimination. With the Education Ministry excluding books from its curriculum out of fear of “miscegenation,” at a time of record low of Arabic proficiency among Jews, and with the images of Jews dancing and stabbing photos of Palestinian…Read More... | 11 Comments
The decision to prevent high schools from teaching a Jewish-Palestinian love story might sound like an innocent attempt at promoting Jewish continuity. In fact, it's the sound of Israel's extreme right going mainstream. Israel's Education Ministry announced Wednesday that it would ban Israeli high schools from teaching a novel about a love affair between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man. [tmwinpost] The decision was made despite the fact that the book, Dorit Rabinyan's "Gader Haya," was recommended for use in advanced literature classes by numerous bodies — including a professional committee of academics and educators — at the request…Read More... | 40 Comments
When members of the opposition are trying to outflank Netanyahu on the right, even the IDF seems like a saner alternative to Israeli politicians. By Yoni Mendel "A nation in uniform," "an army that has a state," "a democracy of army bases." In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state. This, among other things, is what the sociologist Baruch Kimmerling meant when he said, "whether we want it or not — we are a clearly militaristic society, and this militarism is also a central principle around which Israeli society is organized." Uri Ben Eliezer…Read More... | 2 Comments
The politicians in Israel's government want nothing more than for Palestinians to simply give up on statehood. They're not so clear on what happens next. The man in charge of educating the next generation of Israelis believes that the driving force behind terrorism is hope. Yes. You read that correctly. “Terrorism is not a result of the Palestinians losing hope but rather because they have hope,” Bennett said earlier this week. “A Palestinian state is their hope … If we stop their hope, the motivation for terrorism will drop.” (Hebrew) The idea is composed half of logic and half of delusion. [tmwinpost] The logical…Read More...
While the government claims to take a 'zero tolerance' stance on terrorism — whether Palestinian or Jewish — the reality on the ground paints a very different picture. The phrase “zero tolerance” is doing brisk business in Israel-Palestine. Public figures like to talk tough in violent times and 2015 has been a particularly bloody year here, even by our grim standards. "Zero tolerance" sounds, at first, like an impartial expression of the intent to solve problems, impervious to bias or personal agendas. The term has consequently been jumped on by Israeli politicians and security personnel in an attempt to establish parity…Read More... | 1 Comment
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