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Amir Peretz

  • What's dividing Israeli society? Just don't mention the occupation

    Is it possible to discuss the sources of Israeli disunity without addressing the country’s military regime in the West Bank and siege on Gaza? Can Israelis ever accept Palestinians as part of that conversation? The plight, let alone the very existence of millions of disenfranchised people living under Israeli military rule, was nowhere to be found at the Anti-Defamation League's first-ever Summit on Social Cohesion in Israel Tuesday. Actually, that's not entirely correct. [tmwinpost] “We are no longer the occupiers, we have become the occupied,” former Defense Minister and erstwhile Labor Party leader Amir Peretz declared ironically to the hundreds…

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  • What Labor's new leader must do to resuscitate the Left

    Instead of creating an lifeboat for undesired political has-beens, new Labor leader Avi Gabbay should try to unite Israel's center-left behind a defiant message in the face of an emboldened right-wing coalition. By Abe Silberstein There are more than enough reasons for Labor Party voters to be thoroughly skeptical of their recently-elected leader, Avi Gabbay. He has little to no political experience, and the little experience he does have comes from the center-right of Israel's political spectrum: he helped co-found Kulanu with finance minister Moshe Kahlon, which continues to back the Netanyahu government despite a steady increase in undemocratic legislation and mounting…

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  • What happens the 'day after' Netanyahu?

    Even as the end of Netanyahu's reign seems to be approaching, it's no time to celebrate — the problems in Israel run far deeper than one man. Over the past few years, the top echelons of the Jewish Israeli Left have been trying to figure out how to remove or "replace" Prime Minister Netanyahu. [tmwinpost] Those who have been following these conversations over the past few years, could have, for a moment, become confused and think that the criticism of the government and regime in Israel are the result of Netanyahu's rule — not the occupation, discrimination, racism, not abandoning…

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  • Go ahead Herzog, join the coalition

    The fact that the head of Israel's opposition could soon join forces with Netanyahu may actually bode well for the Israeli Left and Palestinian citizens alike. The Israeli media has been beside itself this week with the possibility that the head of the opposition Isaac Herzog, leader of the Labor Party cum Zionist Union, may join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the executive branch of the Israeli government. Roughly two weeks of chatterbuzz about Herzog-Netanyahu negotiations have yielded the usual five stages of rumors: from denial (“there are no negotiations”); to low expectations (“they’re just talks, they won’t lead to…

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  • Why Mizrahim don't vote for the Left

    It is no wonder that Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties when the Ashkenazi-dominated Left has done everything in its power to exclude them. Want things to change? Start talking about Ashkenazi privilege. By Tom Mehager Those who have, historically, voted for Israel's left-wing camp are often nicknamed "the white tribe." On the other hand, the right wing enjoys a high percentage of Mizrahi voters. Why? In the run-up to the elections, it might be worth taking a look at this question. First of all, the social categories "Mizrahim" and "Asheknazis" are nowhere to be found in the platforms of Israel's…

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  • The trauma and tragedy of Israel's vocational education system

    Across the board, the achievements of vocational school graduates are significantly lower than those of non-vocational high school graduates. What is needed is equality. Nothing more, nothing less. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Alan Horowitz) Before surrendering to the vision of Stef Wertheimer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Shay Piron and the vocational education system, which calls for transforming the educational system into an indentured servant of the labor market and the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI), consider first some data on the vocational education system in Israel. The latest research on the topic was conducted by Noam…

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  • ‘How can this monkey be talking about an ideology that developed in Europe?’

    ‘We are progress and modernization, freedom and equality, ‘peace and love.’ And they, what are they?’ On the history of the painful relationship between the Israeli Left and Mizrahim. By Ron Cahlili (Translated from Hebrew by Orit Friedland) The common wisdom is that Mizrahim and the Left are like oil and water, and that the two shall never meet. This is odd, because a lot of the immigrants who came to Israel from Islamic countries in the 1950s, and from Iraq and Egypt in particular, were Communists. That is, lefties. Thanks to them, says Sami Michael [prominent Israeli writer of Iraqi…

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  • A real alternative? Tzipi Livni is far worse than Netanyahu

    Despite her direct responsibility for two wars which took the lives of 2,000 civilians, and her uncompromising, hawkish positions during negotiations with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni is still considered an acceptable choice for the Israeli 'peace camp.' It is time for the public to stop believing the lies.  By Idan Landau On November 27, 2012, Tzipi Livni announced that she will be running for the upcoming elections as part of the newly-foundd Hatnua party, which presents itself as a diplomatic alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party seeks to promote the peace processs wth Palestinian Authority and supports two…

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  • Meretz's peace plan: A challenge to liberal timidity

    The party's new proposal effectively says the unsayable: that on the occupation, Israel is wrong and the Arabs are right. There are so many people out there, in Israel and overseas, who know that this country has gone wrong and that Netanyahu and the right are leading it to hell. Yet they end up giving their tacit support to the worsening status quo because they don't have the courage to follow their thoughts to their logical conclusion: that Israel is at fault for the occupation, and that the occupation is at fault for the conflict with the Palestinians. Not Israel…

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  • Finally, Israel has an opposition: Tzipi Livni's Hatnuah party

    With all due respect to Meretz and Hadash ...  Until yesterday, the occupation was not an issue in the Israeli election campaign; the only parties running against it were Meretz and the non-Zionist, Arab or largely Arab slates, all of which are marginal to the country's politics. But with Amir Peretz's departure from the Labor Party for Hatnuah (The Movement), where he will be No. 3 after Tzipi Livni and Amram Mitzna, there is now a mainstream party with a critical mass of leadership material at the top whose focus is on ending the conflict with the Palestinians, and whose…

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  • Horse trading between centrist parties reveals leadership failure, looming loss

    In a surprise move, former Labor leader Amir Peretz has joined Tzipi Livni's new party. Former defense minister and Labor leader Amir Peretz announced today that he will be leaving his party and joining Hatnua, the new party formed by Tzipi Livni. Peretz, who criticized current party leader Shelly Yachimovich for not having any diplomatic agenda, will be placed third on the new party's list – exactly the spot he held on Labor's list. This move – made just before the parties had to submit their final lists to the election committee – concluded a strange couple of weeks, in…

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  • The end of the Sharon dynasty: 5 takeaways from Kadima primaries

    Despite positioning itself as the opposition party, estimates are that the hawkish Mofaz will join Netanyahu's government following the 2013 elections. Shaul Mofaz, 64, won the Kadima primaries decisively yesterday, beating Tzipi Livni 62%-38%. Livni chaired the party since the resignation of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over corruption allegations. Both candidates represent the Israeli security establishment: Iranian-born Mofaz was Chief of Staff during the Second Intifada and defense minister under Ariel Sharon; Livni served in the Mossad. The third candidate, Avi Dichter, who withdrew from the race last week, is a former head of the Internal Security Service, the Shabak.…

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  • Amir Peretz and the Moroccan stigma

    There are legitimate reasons not to want to see Knesset member Amir Peretz win back the leadership of the Labor Party. He was out of his depth as defense minister during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when he distinguished himself by ranting that “Hassan Nasrallah will remember the name Amir Peretz!” As Labor leader, he seemed to think he was still running the Histadrut national union; the sort of cocky declarations that fire up workers sounded like empty boasts coming from a candidate for prime minister. (In Monday’s Labor primary, Peretz finished in an effective tie with Knesset member Sheli…

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