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...
The silence of our communal leaders signals that remaining silent in the face of prejudice is legitimate, as long as it isn’t happening to Jews. By Emily Hilton One of the first things we are taught when as children is that racism is wrong, and that when we see it, we must call it out. As Jews, especially diaspora Jews, we know the perils of racist language, laws, and deeds that go unchallenged. [tmwinpost] The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which styles itself as the representative body of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom, has not made a single public statement…Read More... | 18 Comments
Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. By Tom Mehager The partnership between the ruling Likud party and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party is a prime example of how racism has been legitimized in Israeli public discourse in recent years. If in the past Likud had openly condemned Meir Kahane and his descendants, today those red lines no longer exist. [tmwinpost] Even Shas leader Aryeh Deri showed signs of partnering with Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, something that…Read More... | 22 Comments
Could these elections bring about the end of Netanyahu's rule? Why isn't anyone talking about half a century of occupation? And do these elections even matter, anyway? +972 and Local Call writers open up on what's at stake this time around. Reading much of the Israeli and international press, one might get the impression that the upcoming Israeli elections are solely a referendum on the last 10 years of Netanyahu’s rule. That might be partially true, but there are no few number of issues that aren’t being talked about, and there are stakes — and stakeholders — not being accounted…Read More... | 4 Comments
A small group of right-wing voters could tip the balance and lead to a change of government in Israel. Who are these voters, what do they care about, and would a Kahanist party in the Knesset be a step too far? Until one week ago, it looked unlikely that Benjamin Netanyahu could lose an election. It looked even less likely that the center and left-wing parties in Israel could ever outnumber the right-wing bloc to form a government. But last week, former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz merged with Yair Lapid’s centrist party and polls showed their new Blue and…Read More... | 13 Comments
The indictment would mark the first time in Israeli history that a sitting prime minister has been charged with a crime. By +972 Magazine Staff Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his intention to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday on criminal offenses in all three corruption cases against him. The attorney general decided to charge Netanyahu with bribery in one case alone, pending a hearing, while bringing a lesser charge of breach of trust in the other two. [tmwinpost] The decision would mark the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister faced criminal charges. Netanyahu, who has repeatedly…Read More... | 4 Comments
Twenty-five years after a follower of Meir Kahane massacred Palestinian worshipers in Hebron, Netanyahu is basing his future coalition on a Kahanist party. Now Israelis will have to decide between apartheid and a future of hope and equality. By Raluca Ganea Reality is often too complex to draw clear lines between cause and effect. But occasionally, a single act by a single person changes the course of history. Twenty-five years ago, on February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron. [tmwinpost] Instead of evacuating the Hebron settlement following the massacre, Israel punished…Read More... | 5 Comments
For the first time in over 30 years, a proper Kahanist party could be entering the Knesset. But is the rise of a party that advocates for Jewish supremacy, theocracy, and 'total war' as unprecedented as the outcry has suggested? The last week has been an eventful one in the annals of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dalliances with the racist ultra-right. Fresh from upsetting his authoritarian, antisemitic allies in Europe by failing to adequately maintain his recent efforts at Holocaust revisionism, Netanyahu has now paved the way for homegrown Israeli fascists to take their place — once again — in the Knesset. The prime…Read More... | 13 Comments
For Israeli left-wing voters, nothing is more important than overthrowing Netanyahu. Yet despite their common cause, the left remains anything but united and it is polling at unprecedented lows. There is one thing shared by nearly every Israeli who does not define her or himself as right-wing: a profound desire to oust Benjamin Netanyahu. And yet, despite all their efforts, none of the left-wing parties today look capable of doing so. Polls show the left-wing Meretz party hovering near the four-seat minimum threshold to enter Knesset. and at least one poll had Labor down to just five seats in recent…Read More... | 11 Comments
Although Israelis have historically voted for strong political frontmen, it seems that dazzling personalities are no longer sufficient to winning elections. It turns out that voters are looking at the values, worldview, and policies. Last October, Lior Shlein, Israel’s top satirist, made a convincing case that Yair Lapid is a cult leader. Lapid was a TV celeb who entered politics in 2013 trading on his teeny-bop looks and name recognition. He had no discernible ideology other than a vague promise to represent the mostly middle classes behind the social protest of 2011. Yet despite his own tony demographic, his Yesh Atid party…Read More...
Ahmad Tibi's recent announcement that he would split from the Joint List has rattled Palestinian citizens. In an interview, he speaks about the successes and failures of the list, why his party would be better off alone, and why he may join forces with Israel's centrist leaders. By Meron Rapoport Four years after it was established, the Joint List, which succeeded in uniting Israel’s Palestinian parties, is on its way toward dissolution. Dr. Ahmad Tibi, who heads the Arab Movement for Renewal faction, also known as Ta’al, made a surprising announcement last week, declaring he would run independently in the upcoming elections, set for April 9. The reason stems from Tibi’s…Read More... | 1 Comment
The last year has been a tumultuous one for the 35,000 asylum seekers in Israel, most of whom have come from Sudan or Eritrea over the past decade. The Israeli government started the year with a plan to pay most of the asylum seekers to leave for Rwanda and Uganda, and with a half-cocked plan to forcibly deport the rest of them to those countries. Asylum seekers who refused deportation faced indefinite imprisonment. Meanwhile, the government refused to even examine the vast majority of their asylum requests. “We live in a limbo” says Darfuri asylum seeker Jack Tigi-Tigi, 34, who arrived…Read More... | 1 Comment
The right had a decade to annex the West Bank, quash Palestinian aspirations, and thwart Hamas in Gaza. Yet today, more than ever, its invincibility is anything but certain. By Meron Rapoport The past decade belonged to the Israeli right. Since 2009, the right-wing bloc easily defeated its opponents and won elections, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became its undisputed leader and the most important political figure in Israel. In the past six years, the Jewish Home party — the rightmost mainstream political party — has held key posts in the government. [tmwinpost] Political commentators are in near-total agreement that a…Read More... | 11 Comments
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