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discrimination in Israel

  • 'When the constitution becomes racist, it’s difficult to define what racism is’

    One year ago, Israel passed a constitutional amendment declaring that Israel belongs only to its Jewish citizens. The head of Israel’s premier Palestinian rights group discusses what has changed in Israeli courts, but also overseas. ‘The debate soon will be whether Israel is apartheid.’ In the year since the Israeli parliament passed the Jewish Nation-State Law, the equivalent of a constitutional amendment that declares Israel to be the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people and demotes the status of Arabic, not a whole lot has changed. [tmwinpost] That can mostly be explained by how new the law still is, and the…

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  • Tens of thousands of Druze protest for equality in Tel Aviv

    Demonstrators filled Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest the Jewish Nation-State Law and demand full equality. Will that be enough to pressure Netanyahu to backtrack? By Meron Rapoport Could it be that the "Israeli state" was born in Tel Aviv's central square Saturday night? Perhaps it's a bit early to say, but if there was one sentence that kept repeating itself at the Druze mass protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law, it was that "this law excludes us from Israeliness." That's what the anger was about, that was the affront. The Knesset last month passed a Basic Law,…

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  • When equality is the biggest existential threat of all

    In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting 'traitors,' the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for. Last week Israeli lawmakers had the opportunity to take a first step towards enshrining equality in the law. They rejected this opportunity, voting down Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka's proposed amendment to include a clause on equality in Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. [tmwinpost] The vote was taken on a preliminary reading of Zahalka's bill, meaning that it was shot down before it even left…

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  • In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition

    Isn’t it time to finally ask why every single attempt to achieve full equality for Palestinian citizens has failed? By Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz) This week the Israeli army radio, Galei Tzahal, conducted a survey which, among other things, polled the attitude of Israeli Jews regarding full equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. The results of the survey, conducted among 503 Jews, revealed that the Jewish public in this country is almost equally divided on this issue. 45 percent oppose full equal rights for the state’s Arab citizens, 43 percent are in favor, 6 percent replied “it…

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  • High Court to rule over fate of unrecognized Palestinian village

    The village of Dahmash has been around since 1948, and its residents have the documents to prove it. The authorities, however, have been threatening the unrecognized village with demolition for years. Now residents are taking matters into their own hands and putting together a festival to bring attention to their cause. On Monday, March 16 — a day before the national elections — Israel's High Court of Justice will hear an appeal by the residents of the unrecognized village Dahmash. The village, located between Ramle and Lyd ("Lod" in Hebrew), is not recognized by any local council. The hearing could…

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  • Behind election lurks Israel's ethnic divide

    The use of racially loaded code words at an anti-Netanyahu rally highlights the inter-Jewish racism that has plagued Israeli society and politics since day one. A look at the correlation between ethnic background and voting patterns. The anti-Netanyahu rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night was meant to be a high point of the campaign to oust Israel's prime minister in next week’s general elections — a last hoorah before a triumphant storming of the polls. But as such events go, it left a lot to be desired. The turnout was unimpressive, the speakers predictable, and the mood, attendees reported after the event,…

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  • High Court greenlights racial profiling at Israel's airports

    High Court rejects petition calling for an end to racial profiling against Arabs at Ben-Gurion Airport, yet refuses to make a principled ruling on the policy as a whole. Israel's High Court of Justice rejected a petition by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), demanding an end to racial profiling at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday. The petition — which the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed in 2007 against the Shin Bet, the Transportation Ministry and the Israel Airports Authority — sought to eliminate the category of "Arab nationality" as a criteria for conducting special security checks in the…

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  • How the joint Arab slate challenges Israel's discriminatory politics

    For the first time, the Knesset could have a sizable political bloc that is '100 percent for equality, 100 percent against occupation.' The joint Arab slate should use this to not only challenge the right-wing’s discriminatory agenda, but to expose the center-left’s distorted idea of democracy.  Last week, the four main political parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel announced their agreement to run as a joint slate in the upcoming elections. Although there is popular support for the decision, Palestinian citizens are uncertain of what the slate can achieve. Personal conflicts, ideological differences and other disputes will make it difficult for the parties to stay together…

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  • Is the 'Jewish nation-state' bill good for anyone at all?

    A law seeking to prioritize and designate Israel as the Jewish nation-state is exposing the crazies in Israel's government. This proposed basic law would codify and demarcate the state as something that belongs only to a subset of its citizens. The cabinet on Sunday passed a preliminary reading of a law — with the weight of a constitutional amendment — that would declare Israel to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. In order to pass the vote, Prime Minister Netanyahu put forward 14 principles on which the basic law’s final wording will be based. Democracy is in there as an afterthought, equality…

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  • Black humor: These Mizrahi comedians will make fun of you too

    By Rafael Balulu The Mizrahi discourse has its own set of eloquent speakers. Although varied, one can say that it seems that in 2013 there are many voices who are speaking in the name of this complex identity. Comedy has always been a subversive tool that made it possible to get away with poking fun of the holiest of holies. Galit Hoogi and Tom Aharon are two new, sharp stand up comedians who are challenging everything we know about stand up that deals with Israeli culture and Mizrahi identity. From the days of Avner Dan's imitations of different ethnic groups…

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