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Ofir Akunis

  • Likud MK: Settlement construction is good for peace with Palestinians

    Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ofir Akunis took Netanyahu's position that settlement construction is not an impediment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians to a whole new level. According to a report in Haaretz Tuesday: ... [Akunis asserted] that past experience has shown that a halt to construction has only driven the Palestinians away from negotiating with Israel. "The Likud policy is very consistent. Our call to the Palestinians to enter into direct peace negotiations without precondition is in effect," he said. (Emphasis mine) Akunis, the same Likud lawmaker who in the last Knesset proposed a bill to limit all foreign…

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  • 'Why don't you write about Syria?'

    Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help. It's not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: "why don't you write Syria instead?" Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel's image, in some sick, relativist fashion. A rather funny - or tragic, depending on what you…

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  • The Likud presents: The craziest, most radical list ever expected to win elections

    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…

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  • Human rights march in Tel Aviv to counter anti-NGO legislation

    The true essence of the foreign funding bill is its subjugation of all Israeli civil society organizations to the government’s whims. On Friday, December 9, 2011, Israeli civil society fights back at the human rights march By Ehud Uziel The revised Akunis-Kirschenbaum foreign funding bill backed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman is genius. Their proposed amendment to the income tax law will obligate a 45% taxation rate on donations from “a foreign state entity” to Israeli nonprofit organizations. The amendment will leave room for only one type of exemption for NGOs: those that also receive funding from…

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  • Natural gas discovery: 2010's most underestimated story

    The New York Times reports good news for Israel: Exploratory drilling off Israel’s northern coast this week has confirmed the existence of a major natural gas field — one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds of the past decade… As I wrote in the past, this story has not garnered the attention it merits. The natural gas find could finance a huge improvement in public services, which have been seriously underfunded in recent years, with disastrous consequences. Alternatively, it could make the wealthiest people in Israel – already one of the Western world's most unequal nations – even richer.…

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