Aside from the elderly, the Russian-speaking community in Israel is no longer throwing its support behind the Yisrael Beiteinu leader. So why aren't the other parties capitalizing on Liberman's loss? By Edi Zhensker Much has been written about media's role in establishing the daily agenda in Israel: issues that the media decides to spotlight make it into the public discourse, while other issues that the media doesn't deem fit to cover fall by the wayside. During the elections, the spotlighted issues are even more pronounced, since politicians and their parties fight for every second of screen time or photo in the…Read More... | 25 Comments
After years of engaging in relentless, blatantly racist incitement against the Arab parties, the foreign minister may soon get his comeuppance. Avigdor Liberman, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party and current foreign minister, is trying to get the new unified list of Arab parties disqualified from running in the upcoming elections. According to settler website Arutz Sheva, Liberman's petition is based on the claim that Balad, one of the parties on the list, supports terrorism. Liberman's previous campaigns included a proposal to strip citizenship from Israeli citizens who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. His 2009 campaign…Read More... | 1 Comment
Liberman launched his election campaign under the slogan 'Ariel to Israel, Umm al-Fahm to Palestine,' once again signaling his willingness to expel Palestinian citizens from the country. The only difference? This time around he is being flagged as a moderate. By Samah Salaime Egbariya Every time Avigdor Liberman opens his mouth to speak, one can smell hate and fear-mongering. In a speech during his election campaign launch Thursday morning, Liberman went a step further in his racist and inciting speech against Israel's Arab citizens. While his Yisrael Beiteinu party is being investigated for a major corruption scandal, Liberman is pulling…Read More... | 76 Comments
Netanyahu now has the same number of seats as his main coalition partner, Yair Lapid. This leaves him at the mercy of his arch-rival, President Reuven Rivlin, if the coalition would need to be reshuffled without new elections being called. Up until mid last month, Netanyahu's coalition enjoyed a reasonably obvious hierarchy. The Likud-Beitenu list led with 31 seats; Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid followed with 19; Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home barely caught up with 12; and Tzipi Livni's Hatnua closed the list with 6. This classical enough arrangement suffered its first blow in mid- July, when Avigdor Liberman unilaterally broke…Read More... | 3 Comments
Bibi will be the lamest of ducks in his next and last term as PM. Hold the applause, though – what's rising up to take his place is worse. If, as expected tomorrow, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu gets in the low-30s in Knesset seats, this election will mark the beginning of the post-Netanyahu era. Bibi will remain as prime minister as long as the new government survives, but he will be a lame duck, helpless to rein in the demagoguery and wild initiatives of the quasi- and not-so-quasi-fascists in his coalition. He will watch the chasm widen between Israel and the West, Israel…Read More... | 55 Comments
With national elections less than two weeks away, political campaign videos are much in the news. A few days ago Noam Sheizaf wrote about the Balad party video that was banned, allegedly for mocking Hatikvah, the national anthem. Now Shas, the Mizrachi ultra-Orthodox party that is predominantly Moroccan, is getting some heat for a campaign video that some have decried as racist. In an image that Mordecai Richler and Philip Roth would recognize, the video shows a short, swarthy, curly-haired man standing next to a gorgeous, statuesque blonde under the huppah, or marriage canopy. Behind them stands a stern-looking security…Read More... | 13 Comments
As Israeli elections approach, are you considering voting for a party you don’t really like, merely to prevent Bibi-Lieberman from winning? Here is a piece from a friend active with the Da’am Workers Party on the importance of voting not just for the lesser evil, but for a party that offers a real alternative to exclusive nationalism and unbridled capitalism. By Yonatan Preminger By tactical voting to block the worst candidate, Israel’s left wing perpetuates the status quo. In order to enter the Knesset, a political party must garner a minimum percentage of votes (currently 2%), but our reluctance to support…Read More... | 7 Comments
After Yisrael Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli’s rant a few days ago against homosexuals (which will apparently continue in a lengthy interview later this week in Maariv) it was MK Uri Ariel's (National Union) turn to do some gay-bashing. On June 18 he was interviewed on the Knesset channel and said that gays should not be drafted into the IDF. There’s a lot of buzz on the social networks, saying that Ariel and Michaeli’s statements are just an attempt to divert attention from the coalition’s bigger problems and crimes (the Ulpana neighborhood, Finance Minister Steinitz giving billions to the corporations,…Read More... | 12 Comments
A new initiative to get Americans citizens living in Israel to vote in the upcoming presidential election claims it is not advocating a specific candidate. However, its strategic campaign manager admitted it is funded by the "Adelsons" of the philanthropic world. I recently came across an ad online seeking volunteers for something called the "iVoteIsrael Campaign." The link was to a very polished website that encourages Americans living in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. election on November 6, 2012. We are a diverse group of Olim, recent-arrivals as well as vatikim from all over the country who are deeply…Read More... | 26 Comments
Palestinian citizens cannot be expected to serve an institution that protects the Jewish identity of the state. If Israel prohibits its Palestinian citizens from participating in elections, it would cease to function as a democracy, and it would lose its case against claims of apartheid. By Fady Khoury The media reported this week that MK Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) has introduced a new bill prohibiting citizens who have not completed military, national or civil service from being elected to the Knesset. This bill joins an array of several other bills proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, which condition…Read More... | 19 Comments
Israeli authorities are attempting to impose new censored textbooks in Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem. Jalal Abukhater provides a sample of the changes and argues that censorship of Palestinian heritage and history is illegal, ineffective and dangerous. Students and parents are mounting protests. By Jalal Abukhater While the mainstream media has been dominated by big stories, others are not getting enough attention. For example, Israel’s Jerusalem Education Administration (JEA) recently decided to enforce the use of new, censored textbooks in all private schools in East Jerusalem. The JEA is a joint body of the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Ministry…Read More... | 83 Comments
MK Faina Kirshenbaum from Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu Party - the same MK responsible for proposing the bill to establish parliamentary committees to investigate the funding of NGOs in Israel - was quoted today in Israel's Ynet as saying that the tent protest organizers remind her of Palestinians. I'm paraphrasing and translating: The tent leaders' demands are incoherent, and if we [the government] aren't prepared with a clear plan, they will continue to approach us with new demands. This reminds me of negotiations with the Palestinians - because when the issues are not well-formulated, they constantly come back to us with…Read More... | 5 Comments
"There is no citizenship without loyalty," said Israeli MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), who proposed the bill, which passed its final reading in a vote of 37-11 in Israel's parliament Monday evening. The law will allow the Supreme Court to "revoke citizenship, in addition to issuing prison sentences, against people who are convicted of treason, serious treason, aiding the enemy in a time of war, or having committed terror against the state." What is serious treason as opposed to regular treason? Who is the enemy? How is terror against the state defined? Even the Israeli General Security Service deemed the bill irrational…Read More... | 13 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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