According to reports, the secretary of state has accepted Netanyahu’s demand that Israel be recognized as a 'Jewish state.' I added an important update to this post, see below. Haaretz's Barak Ravid reported Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is demanding that Arab leaders pressure the Palestinians to recognize Israel as "a Jewish State,” or at least not protest if he can get Abbas to agree to such terms. This is yet another confirmation that the Obama administration has accepted the new demand posed by Netanyahu, and that it is intended to be a part of its proposal for a…Read More... | 32 Comments
new israel fund
A verdict by the Jerusalem District Court finds that recognizing 'certain lines of resemblance' to fascism in the ideology or activities of the right-wing movement can be seen as 'truthful.' The verdict is a major blow to Im Tirtzu’s efforts to portray itself as a mainstream, grassroots movement. The extreme-right group Im Tirtzu lost a court case against a group of leftist activists who opened a Facebook page called “Im Tirtzu – A Fascist Movement.” Judge Raphael Ya'akobi of the Jerusalem District Court determined that some of Im Tirtzu’s attributes bear certain similarities to fascism – thus allowing the activists…Read More... | 18 Comments
The Left is mobilizing around the process while ignoring troubling signs: the dangerous dynamic of the Oslo/Camp David period is already here. On Wednesday night, as members of the Israeli Knesset were getting ready to vote on a package of amendments that could push the Palestinian parties out of the Israeli parliament, political activists were conducting last-ditch efforts to persuade coalition members who previously opposed the bill to actually vote against it. Only one did, former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, who called the new legislation what it is: not an attempt to improve government procedures, but part of a dangerous…Read More... | 13 Comments
Soldiers beat cameramen in Hebron after suspecting that they work for B'Tselem. Recent years have seen an organized campaign by mainstream Israeli journalists and politicians against human rights organizations in Israel and the West Bank. Reuters reported that two of its cameramen were abused by IDF soldiers in Hebron on Wednesday night. The men were stripped, beaten, and made to breathe tear gas at a very close range. The soldiers also took one of their cameras, which was later found unharmed nearby. The incident took place shortly after a local teenager was shot to death by a Border Police soldier at…Read More... | 11 Comments
From attacks on our site to talking points for rabbis: thoughts for the Jewish New Year. So it's that time of year again, when Gerald Steinberg writes an article about us. Steinberg, the head of a right-wing organization called NGO Monitor, has been using +972 (along with a few of other organizations) as tools in his efforts to demonize the New Israel Fund (following its decsion to add us to their donor-advised list). This is what he has to say: A number of +972’s bloggers have invoked the immoral and false “apartheid” analogy, and in a February 2012 interview in…Read More... | 49 Comments
In a conference in Berlin on Israeli-German relations, Israeli speakers ask Germany to become the 'true' friend that Israel needs. (Berlin, GERMANY) - “No self respecting democracy in the world can accept the current wave of anti-democratic legislation in Israel,” said New Israel Fund President Naomi Chazan in Berlin this weekend. Chazan, a former Meretz MK, spoke at a conference held by the Heinrich Böll Foundation titled “Estranged Friends? Israeli and German perceptions of state, nation, force - a comparison.” (Disclaimer: The writer was a guest of Heinrich Böll Foundation. +972 Magazine received a grant from Heinrich Böll Foundation, and is due to…Read More... | 25 Comments
In the struggle within the Orthodox Jewish community between reactionaries who use Judaism as a weapon against democracy, and modernists whose worldview is based on integrating the two, the reactionaries have been the dominant voice - but the silent majority is starting to raise its own. By Rachel Liel It cannot be easy to be a modern Orthodox Jew in Israel today, not when leading voices in the community are calling for Israel to reject the modern, democratic world. The latest such declaration came from Benny Katsover, an “elder statesman” of the West Bank settler movement. “The main role of…Read More... | 14 Comments
If the threat against Israeli democracy is not recognized and opposed, it will gather momentum until inevitably, one of democracy’s vital organs – tolerance, enshrined in law, for minority groups and minority opinions – will cease to function. By Rachel Liel One thing on which virtually all Israelis, from right to left, can agree is that the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, whose 16th anniversary was marked this past Saturday night with the traditional annual rally, proved that something had indeed gone horribly wrong in this country’s democracy. The chants of “Rabin is a traitor,” the oft-seen posters of him wearing…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli Tabloids Maariv and Yisrael Hayom, which led the attack on the New Israel Fund in recent months, celebrated yesterday what they believe is a change in the NIF policy regarding its support for leftwing organizations. A page 4 story in Maariv, written by the paper's reporter in New York, Tzah Yoked, has declared that "from now on, organizations that reject the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in Israel will no longer be eligible to receive money from the New Israel Fund." The story repeated some of the misleading information Maariv published in the past, claiming that NIF-backed…Read More... | 1 Comment
The New Israel Fund denies that it will change its guidelines in ways that might end the support for organizations such as Mossawa Center and Adalah, who are openly calling for turning Israel into "a state for all its citizens" or a bi-national state. The concern over the so-called new guidelines rose after an interview given by NIF director Daniel Sokatch to the JTA. Sokatch was quoted saying that: If we had an organization that made part of its project, part of its mission an effort to really, genuinely organize on behalf of creating a constitution that denied Israel as…Read More... | 1 Comment
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