Israeli citizens are about to vote in national elections for the second time in six months. But has anything changed since April? Why is no one talking about the occupation? And are we really about to see the end of the Netanyahu era? +972 writers talk about why these elections matter. Israeli voters will head to the polls for the second time in six months on Tuesday. It has been a short but brutish campaign, in which the racism, rabble-rousing, and mudslinging that have come to dominate Israeli election cycles seem more extreme than ever. [tmwinpost] Benjamin Netanyahu, embattled and paranoid, has…Read More... | 6 Comments
A new campaign ad by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked signals that this time around, only the far right is talking about democratic norms — and how to undo them. Does the opposition have a response? Of all the aspects of political campaigns that voters love to hate, none is more maligned than the political advertisement. The term “30-second spot” has become synonymous with dumbing down, mudslinging, and manipulation of political campaigns ever since the Daisy Ad. [tmwinpost] But punchy ads are great. They can help de-code the strategy each party has chosen, and short scripts packed with narrative are enormously…Read More... | 5 Comments
Four years ago, the prospect of another Netanyahu government meant perpetuating the status quo. This time, the opposition is offering the status quo — and Netanyahu something far worse. The short distance between resignation and despair is the difference between knowing that things aren’t going to get any better and the fear that they could very easily get worse and there's nothing to do about it. In many ways, that feels like the theme of the upcoming Israeli elections — at least for the small minority of Israelis whose political identity and priorities are wrapped up in the fights to…Read More... | 19 Comments
Over the past 13 years the settler Right succeeded in establishing itself as a hegemonic force in Israeli politics, education, judiciary, culture, and society. If the Left has any chance of pushing back, instead of moderating itself it must radicalize. By Rami Kaplan A sense of doom has overcome the left-wing camp in Israel these days. The prospect of replacing the right-wing government appears more out of reach than ever, and even the term “left wing” has become a slur. The Left’s despondency could be because its flagship issue of the past 30 years, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is either too…Read More... | 27 Comments
Ayelet Shaked sends a heartfelt message to the Druze community in Israel and across the world on the first day of Eid al-Adha, leaving out over a billion Muslims. By Oren Ziv More than 1.8 million Muslims are celebratuing Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of Sacrifice,” around the world this week. Social networks are full of non-Muslims — including Jews and Christians — wishing their Muslim friends a happy holiday. Even Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked did her part, publishing a standard holiday greeting on her Facebook page on Monday. The only problem? Her wishes extended to the Druze, excluding more than a million Muslims who live in Israel and over…Read More... | 3 Comments
What disturbs the Right is not the occupation, but those who attempt to expose the violence that maintaining military rule over a civilian population requires. By Frima (Merphie) Bubis “Thousands of videos won’t change the fact – Breaking the Silence is an organization that slanders IDF soldiers around the world and is based on the distortion of facts and lies.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked made this Kafkaeqsue remark after video documentation contradicted the prosecutor’s version of events in the show trial of Breaking the Silence spokesperson Dean Issacharoff. This material, which revealed that the government had interrogated the wrong Palestinian in an…Read More...
A proposed bill to increase the sentences for Arab men who kill women 'on the basis of family honor' is not a step forward for feminism, but a step back. The Justice Ministry recently presented a bill to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice committee that would define murder on the basis of “family honor” as “aggravated murder,” which requires a sentence of life imprisonment. At first glance, this might seem like a good change, but it’s not. [tmwinpost] For the last two decades, I have been fighting the excessive use of this term – murder on the basis of…Read More... | 3 Comments
Netanyahu's party and government are finally making explicit what has long been implied: rejecting the premise that the Palestinians will ever have a state of their own. Over the past few years, analysts have been using the term “creeping annexation” to describe Israel’s land grabbing, segregationist policies in the West Bank. But over the past few days, the country’s leaders have been openly signaling that annexation need no longer creep. It is the new game in town. [tmwinpost] On Sunday night, Likud’s Central Committee, the body responsible for updating the party’s constitution, unanimously passed a resolution to extend Israeli sovereignty…Read More... | 4 Comments
A new video in which soldiers beat a handcuffed Palestinian detainee poses a challenge to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked: will she call to investigate this incident, or are investigations reserved solely for persecuting political rivals? By Yariv Mohar A video of IDF soldiers beating a young Palestinian man in handcuffs, filmed earlier this week, puts Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s moral commitments to the test. Not long ago, Shaked publicly called for an investigation into an incident involving Breaking the Silence spokesman Dean Issacharoff, who claimed to have beaten a Palestinian as a solider in Hebron. “The IDF is the…Read More...
The Knesset is fast-tracking legislation to hobble and hide corruption investigations against Netanyahu. The bill would further erode Israeli democracy, training citizens to accept that they do not have the right to know the facts about their leaders. The Knesset raced toward adopting a law this week intended to constrain Israeli police from making recommendations about indictments based on its investigations, and to keep the findings of those investigations from the public. The law would apply retroactively to the current investigations involving the Prime Minister. [tmwinpost] The bill represents another blow to democratic practice in Israel, along with laws in recent…Read More... | 1 Comment
The persecution of Breaking the Silence's spokesperson is further proof that the state's investigative bodies are not only deeply politicized, they are simply uninterested in doing their job. Between the years 2013 and 2016, Israeli anti-occupation group Yesh Din tracked the police's response to 289 cases of "ideological crimes" against Palestinians in the West Bank. In each of those cases, the Palestinians filed a complaint with the police; some of them included photographic material, video, and testimonies provided by Israeli civilians or soldiers. And yet, only 20 cases led to indictments. In no less than 183 of them, the police were unable to locate the…Read More... | 10 Comments
That the minister of justice can singlehandedly launch an investigation against the anti-occupation group is a symptom of the decline of the rule of law and creeping authoritarianism within the Green Line. It is not often that the justice minister of a country personally demands the investigation of a political adversary to prove they did not commit a crime. But that is precisely what happened last week in the absurd case of Dean Issacharoff, the spokesperson for Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence. The state prosecutor announced last Thursday that the investigation into Issacharoff’s claim that he badly beat a…Read More... | 6 Comments
As the pro-peace camp has shrunk into oblivion, human rights groups have become the only real anti-occupation force in Israel today. That has made them uncomfortably political. Israel’s High Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that equality and human rights are not, or should not be, controversial in Israel. “[It is difficult to accept] the idea that a commercial promoting human rights could be socially or politically controversial,” wrote Justice Anat Baron. “The recognition of and commitment to human rights are intrinsically linked to the very existence of a democratic society.” [tmwinpost] The honorable justice must have missed Israeli Justice…Read More... | 1 Comment
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