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Arab MKs

  • Bid to expel Arab Knesset member an ominous sign of what's to come

    After a year in which the government incited against Arab society and the media pandered to the Right's agenda, the attempt to expel Joint List MK Basel Ghattas points to a worrying future. By Abed Abu Shehada When the Knesset passed the so-called “expulsion law” last summer, widely seen as targeting Arab lawmakers, many believed it didn't matter, because no vote on expelling a member of the Knesset would reach the two-thirds majority (90 MKs) needed. They also said it was the media’s role to be objective and to cover the news reliably, so as not to become a tool in…

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  • Trump is no more racist than mainstream Israeli policy

    Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump's anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration? Just days after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump announced that he will be visiting Israel by the end of December, the billionaire populist called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Everyone is aghast, including several Israeli politicians, figures and organizations, who began expressing their disgust and indignation Wednesday morning. Some went as far as demanding that Trump be blocked from entering Israel's parliament, the Knesset, or to bar him from entering the country entirely.…

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  • The cynical use of homophobia to attack the Joint List

    The Pride Parade has become a litmus test of enlightenment for politicians. But clinging to that symbol is dangerous in that it disconnects the parade from its actual context — the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equal rights. By Inna Michaeli In a video question-and-answer segment produced by Haaretz this week, Arab actress and singer Mira Awad interviewed Balad party chairman Jamal Zahalka, and in her second question, asked him about the Gay Pride parade. It was no surprise that the program’s editors couldn’t help but lead the program with the pride question. A few moments later Awad asked about polygamy.…

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  • No, Arab MKs don't 'care too much' about the occupation

    Israel's Arab politicians are often attacked for 'dealing too much' with the Palestinian issue. But if they don't speak up for a people who lack even the most basic civil rights, who will? One of the most-repeated criticism of Israel's Palestinian members of Knesset, which always come up around election time, is that they "deal too much" with issues relating to Palestinians in the occupied territories, yet they neglect their voters — the Arab public in Israel. This criticism was raised, yet again, in Haaretz's poll [Hebrew] published last week, which raised both these issues, as if they contradict each other.…

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  • It's time to disqualify Israel's Central Elections Committee

    In the run-up to every general election since 2003, Arab parties and candidates have been forced to appear in front of this committee to prove that they deserve to participate in Knesset elections. The only thing worse than the process itself is the racist atmosphere in the meetings. By Salah Mohsen The Central Elections Committee (CEC), which votes on disqualification motions submitted against political parties and candidates, and has the power to ban them from running in the Knesset elections, has in recent years become a farcical and undignified charade. In the run-up to every general election since 2003, Arab…

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  • What Jewish-Arab 'progress' looks like, and why it's not enough

    A new political show on Israel's largest news channel has a 1:37 ratio of non-Jewish to Jewish guests. It should be no surprise that the normally soft-ball interviewers suddenly became hostile toward MK Ahmad Tibi. By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye‘ Israel's Channel 2 has a relatively new show titled "Kidon and Ben-Simon," named after its two hosts. The show, which airs twice a week, is classified as a "political interview-based show." In each episode Sharon Kidon and Daniel Ben-Simon interview a different political figure. Since the show launched in October 2014, dozens of members of Knesset, ministers and potential MKs…

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  • Time to end the delegitimization of Arab Knesset members

    Any time the subject of Arab legislators or Arab parties in Israel comes up, someone always feels the tiresome need to mouth off about how horrible Arab members of Knesset are. With crocodile tears, they accuse those MKs of manipulating or forgetting Arab citizens and getting lost in their occupation obsession (a thin guise for their real goal which is the destruction of Israel), instead of working to improve the lives of their voters. With all due respect, I’d like to blow this nonsense out of the water with a few facts. A recent quantitative study by the Abraham Fund…

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  • Welcome to the era of the single-ethnic party

    Inspired by the Israeli Arab parties of Knesset, who will likely be forced to join forces in order to remain politically relevant, Jewish Australian parliamentarians from the left and the right form their own joint party. Just cause they can. [SATIRE] By Sol Salbe In a move that has stunned observers, Australia's three Jewish MPs have announced that they will be running in a joint electoral formation in the next elections. The move by the Opposition Australian Labor Party's Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus, along with the conservative Josh Frydenberg of Tony Abbott's ruling Liberal Party, has been endorsed by…

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