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Avi Gabbay

  • What will Israeli politics after Netanyahu hold for the Palestinians?

    Disrupting Israel's insular political discourse will require fully activating the Palestinian leadership in Israel, grassroots and civil society organizations, and foreign governments and institutions. In August 2017, three thousand Israelis greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a rally in Tel Aviv organized by the Likud party. A few days earlier, media outlets reported that the Israeli police were close to recommending criminal indictments against Netanyahu regarding various corruption scandals after several of his close aides agreed to plea bargains in exchange for their cooperation with the authorities. [tmwinpost] Speaking to the crowd, Netanyahu accused the media and the political left…

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  • Elections: Good for Netanyahu, bad for Israel

    A coalition crisis could mean elections in a matter of months. If Netanyahu wins, even a post-election indictment will not stop the slide into a darker future for Israel. He wants them, he wants them not, he wants them, he wants them not. Over the last two weeks, the sport of Netanyahu psychoanalysis in the Israeli press over the possibility of snap elections has taken on a feverish tone. [tmwinpost] He doesn’t want them because he loves holding onto power. Because he wants to prove that of all Israeli leaders he alone is capable of sitting out a term and…

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  • Explained: Why many on the Left are furious at new Labor leader Avi Gabbay

    From vowing never to join forces with Arab political parties to saying there's no reason to remove settlements, Labor's new leader has alienated many on the Left in recent months. His latest move, supporting the deportation of asylum seekers, is different. Last July, Avi Gabbay was elected chairman of the Labor party on the promise to return the party to power. Since then, Gabbay has staked out positions considerably to the right of Labor’s traditional base, leaving many on the Left frustrated, even devastated. Labor gained ground in the 2015 elections because it cast itself as the anti-Netanyahu; now, Labor…

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  • Some Israelis think human rights are incompatible with Judaism. They’re wrong

    We must reject the false choice between giving up on our traditions and accepting narrow, tribal, and racist interpretations of Judaism. By Yariv Mohar Judaism and humanism are increasingly seen as diametrically opposed in Israel today. Labor Party chairman Avi Gabbay’s recent remarks, in which he echoed Netanyahu’s infamous comment that “the Left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish,” thrust back into the public discourse the sad and false notion that Judaism is incompatible with the belief in equality of all human beings. If nothing else, the current controversy presents an opportunity to discuss the matter. [tmwinpost] Sadly, in…

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  • Pandering to the Right is a losing strategy for Labor

    Israel's Labor Party must decide what it stands for before the next round of elections. Without a true vision for the country, there’s really no reason it should win. Avi Gabbay, the new head of Israel’s Labor Party, appears to be plotting a master strategy for winning elections, with laser-razor precision. A largely unknown candidate, he is certainly aware that his first headlines will set voters’ image of him for years. His statements from the last few weeks leave little doubt about the first thing he wants them to know: I am no leftist. First, he said Israel can have…

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  • Israel's 'Jewish values' will forever leave Palestinians on the sidelines

    Labor leader Avi Gabbay called the Left too 'liberal' and not Jewish enough, reminding us that he has much more in common with Netanyahu than he lets on. By Iddo Naiss From the earliest days of Jewish nationalism, there were fundamental disagreements between its different stripes over the role their ideology would have once submerged into a state. Many disagreements, but one common denominator: the interests of the Jewish people were first priority. [tmwinpost] This was logical during the period before the founding of Israel, when the Zionist movement worried solely about the fate of the Jewish people around the world,…

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  • Without obtaining power, the Israeli Left will remain paralyzed

    If we want Israel to change, if we want the occupation to end, we have to operate in the existing political sphere. We cannot simply wait for the one we want. A response to Edo Konrad. By Maya Haber American neoconservatives have been wildly successful at bringing the Israeli Right back to power through a network of funds, think tanks, media outlets, and philanthropic initiatives. In an article published in Jewish Currents last week, I argued that progressive Israelis could achieve similar goals if we learn from these efforts and set our minds to work. [tmwinpost] In a response published…

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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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