As we mark International Human Rights Day, it is worth challenging the myth that Israel's High Court is the defender of human rights in Israel. By Noam Rotem When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords. This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority…Read More... | 21 Comments
Israel's Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he's seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill's wife, you guys know Bill. Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title of the great white hope of Israeli moderates, way back when in 2013), attended the Saban Forum at Brookings last night. As in the rest of his political career, Lapid's contribution to proceedings was somewhat difficult to place, but he didn't pass entirely unnoticed. At the end of the summit's third day, Lapid got…Read More...
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
When leaders from center-left aren't willing to deepen the struggle against the occupation, it's hard not to feel that they, too, prefer the status quo. Notes from the Haaretz Conference for Peace. The most genuine moments at Thursday's Haaretz Conference on Peace came from two right-wing speakers — Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin, both ministers in Netanyahu's government — who unequivocally called the two state-solution a "hallucination," which they have no plans of ever implementing. Since neither of them have any intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under occupation, they view the current situation as the solution. Around the same…Read More...
We often hear that that Israeli democracy is being 'hijacked' by a group of right-wing extremists. Too bad the alternatives aren't any more appealing. Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations. [tmwinpost] Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity" of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies…Read More... | 2 Comments
Yair Lapid isn't sure which Palestinians he wants to separate from or even how many of them there are, but he knows he needs a bigger wall to do it. Now is the time to get the Palestinians completely out of the lives of Israelis, according to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") party. The self-declared "centrist" politician called for a bigger, stronger wall to separate Palestinians from Israelis — urgently. Lapid made his remarks during an October 3 video interview he gave to Ynet, Israel's most popular online news site. A generous +972 reader volunteered to…Read More... | 1 Comment
Despite what Israeli leaders may have you believe, Islamic fundamentalism is not the driving force behind the latest violence. "Say a prayer before leaving your house, dress in your best clothing. Brush your hair well, and smile for the camera. You may end up as another poster on the bleeding walls of the city. No one is safe from their guns." — A young Palestinian from Silwan, Jerusalem, October 2015. This quote was written on Facebook a number of weeks ago by a young Palestinian who has been the subject of dozens of arrests and has spent much of his…Read More...
In response to the Reykjavik City Council's — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled 'The Hypocrisy of Boycott.' In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds. (Translated by Ofer Neiman) Dear Yair, What is Israeli to you? Actually, no need to answer. The time has come for you to hear what Israeli is to me. So what is Israeli to me? You are. I am…Read More... | 7 Comments
If the prime minister knew all along that he wasn't going to win the battle in Congress, why would he throw AIPAC and American Jewry into such a divisive fight? The Israeli prime minister's proxies and unofficial spokespeople tried their hardest to convince reporters on Wednesday that Benjamin Netanyahu knew all along his chances of blocking the Iran deal in Congress were slim at best. Yet much of the media in Israel is treating the administration's success in assembling 34 senators to defend a presidential veto as a political defeat for Netanyahu. “We knew that the agreement would pass but…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Israeli prime minister called elections hoping to strengthen his coalition, but he underestimated the personal resentment many Israelis feel toward him. One shouldn't, however, confuse the fierce competition for power with a battle over ideas: even if Labor wins, the end of the occupation is not around the corner. When Benjamin Netanyahu decided to fire Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and send Israelis to the polls for the second time in a little over two years, many people (myself included) defined these elections as “a referendum on Netanyahu.” Final results will only be in on…Read More... | 12 Comments
Without the Arab citizens there is no 'left-wing bloc' in Israeli politics. The only problem? The inclusion of Arabs was what led the Right to violently bring down the Left in the first place. By Lev Grinberg Since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, there have been no political blocs in Israel. No Left and no Right — only survival combinations. Therefore, all the talk of the “size of blocs” only distorts the depressing reality in Israeli politics, wherein the real issues are barely discussed. The reason there have been no blocs since 1995 is simple: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was…Read More... | 6 Comments
Herzog and Bibi’s political interests and the fragmented Knesset that is likely to emerge after the elections might force Likud and Labor into a power-sharing deal. Avigdor Liberman and President Rivlin already support the idea. The Israeli Labor Party, which will participate in the upcoming election under the banner of “The Zionist Camp,” held its primaries this week. Former party leader Shelly Yachimovich won second place (first place is reserved for party leader Isaac Herzog); Stav Shafir and Itizik Shmuli, two of the leaders of 2011’s social protest movement, were elected in top places. Altogether the list leans a bit…Read More... | 15 Comments
As they head into elections, Netanyahu, Livni, Herzog, Lapid and Yishai can agree on one thing: even after nine military operations in 14 years, the only solution to the conflict with Gaza is another war with Hamas. By Yonatan Mendel Election season is upon us, which means that the country's best copywriters and campaigners are likely gathering with elected officials in meeting rooms in order to come up with a concise and clear message for the citizens of Israel - one that will inspire them to vote for those very same elected officials, and the brighter future they promise. Politicians and…Read More... | 15 Comments
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