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equality

  • In Israel's official portrait, only Jewish lives matter

    A new government report published on the eve of Israel's Independence Day only concerns itself with infant mortality statistics and life expectancy of Jewish citizens. What does that say about Israel's attitude towards non-Jews? It is not all that uncommon for nationalist Israelis to accuse anybody politically to the left of them of supporting, or attempting to transform Israeli into “a state of all its citizens.” The idea being that a state which sees, counts, serves, and protects all of its citizens equally, irrespective of ethnicity or creed, would destroy Israel as we know it — Israel the Jewish state, which…

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  • Equality could be the ultimate deterrence to violence

    If the Israeli security establishment is looking for a proper way to put an end to violence, a little equality in the eyes of the law might go a long way. By Talal Jabari One of my very first assignments as a young journalist was to go to Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem to take pictures and gather quotes pertaining to the demolition of several homes that day. I remember looking on as the bulldozers went about their work, and as the residents of the homes, male and female, wept helplessly as they watched their life’s savings collapse into neat…

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  • Nobody is coming to end the occupation, part two

    Israel's response to the Quartet's 'recommendation' that it halt settlement expansion makes one thing perfectly clear: Netanyahu has fully internalized that nobody is coming to end the occupation. The Quartet on Friday released a long-awaited report on … well, actually, nobody is really sure what it is about or why it was written. In fact, it’s not really clear what the Quartet is aside from a grouping of countries and international institutions that once upon a time endorsed a peace plan that never got off the ground (George W. Bush’s Roadmap for Peace). [tmwinpost] The Quartet report did not say…

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  • Ethnic cleansing poll a dangerous sign for Israel

    The vast majority of Jewish Israelis don't want to give up their privilege. But nobody has the right to 'democratically' deny rights to another. The most shocking piece of information to come out of a Pew Research Center survey of Israeli society published Tuesday is that nearly half of Jews in the country say they support the ethnic cleansing of Arabs. Forty-eight percent of Jewish respondents agreed/strongly agreed that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel.” Digging deeper into the data, however, that glimpse into the collective political mindset of half of Israel’s Jewish population becomes less and less surprising.…

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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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  • Poll: 45% of Israeli Jews don't think Arabs should have equal rights

    Did the good folks at Israel's Army Radio station not think to ask Arab citizens themselves whether they think they deserve full and equal rights? Israel’s Army Radio conducted a poll of Jewish citizens of Israel and asked them whether Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights. No, this is not the start of a joke. Yes, over 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arab. [tmwinpost] No, not a single one of those Arab citizens were asked whether they themselves think they should have equal rights. (Or whether Jews should, for that matter.) The Jewish respondents in the poll…

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  • 'The problem isn't Arab protesters, it's the society that sees them as an enemy'

    Fifteen years since the events of October 2000, in which Israeli police killed 13 Arab protesters, Hassan Jabareen, head of Israel’s leading Arab civil rights organization, talks to +972 about the lessons Israel’s Palestinian population learned from the killings, the escalation of systematic discrimination since, and the vision of a democratic state of all its citizens. 'If Arabs in Israel determined their political leanings in accordance with what Jews said, they would always be inferior.' The Arab public in Israel this week marked 15 years since protests that resulted in the police killings of 13 people and left hundreds wounded.…

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  • The real roots of violence in Jerusalem

    On Jerusalem Day, it is worth asking what effective response we can offer for the violent crisis that has raged in the city for almost a year. Some observers blame ongoing discrimination against East Jerusalem residents for the rage and violence that erupts from the Palestinian population in the city. The response they propose is based on narrowing gaps and ending discrimination. This is also the solution proposed – at least declaratively, and after a wholesale “strong arm” approach – by right-wingers, who do not conceal the fact that their chief motivation is to prevent the division of the city.…

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  • Israelis elected a non-democracy

    Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel's character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals. Many on the center-left in Israel are still trying to wrap their head around Netanyahu's victory. They simply cannot grasp that most Israelis really want another right-wing government led by Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, the only two of Israel's 10 largest cities where the Zionist Union got more votes than the Likud, some people seem to be rationalizing the victory with the anti-Arab, fear-mongering campaign Bibi led in…

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  • The next time Netanyahu talks about 'common values'

    Hours after disavowing the two-state solution, the Israeli prime minister makes clear that his version of democracy includes as few Arabs as possible. A few hours after the polls opened in Israeli elections on Tuesday, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a message that offends the very spirit of democracy and equality. Invoking military terminology, the prime minister warned that his own “right-wing regime” is in danger because “the Arabs are mobilizing in large numbers ... to the polls.” Lamenting that the Right doesn’t have its own get-out-the-vote movements, Netanyahu said it does have its “Order 8,” an emergency call-up…

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  • Judge: Equality in the West Bank, just not for Palestinians

    A Jerusalem judge acquits an Israeli man who broke through an West Bank checkpoint into Palestinian-controlled territory, ruling that it’s unacceptable for an Israeli citizen to be discriminated against by virtue of his religion. (Arab — but not Jewish — citizens of Israel are allowed to enter 'Area A'.) But the ruling means nothing for the vast majority of West Bank residents who face discrimination on a day-to-day basis. By Hagai El-Ad In a refreshingly bold statement, an Israeli court recently seems to have firmly upheld the core values of justice and equality: the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled a few…

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  • [WATCH] The Druze in Israel: Appropriating identity (part 3)

    According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The third part of this series looks at Druze identity and its variations: from Palestinian to Israeli. Watch parts one ('A history lesson') and two ('Land expropriation') of this series. Related: Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa'ad released from military service Activists show solidarity with latest Druze conscientious objector

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  • The agonies of being an Arab democrat in the Knesset

    When establishing the Knesset’s Palestinian democratic party, the founders of Balad had to shift their discourse and terminology: from the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of one inclusive democratic state, to the reinvention of Israel as a democratic state, the party's secretary general writes. But has such a shift paid off? By Awad Abdelfattah On the eve of the 2009 Knesset elections, as I stepped off a platform following a political debate, an Israeli journalist approached me. "Is it true that you don’t vote,” she asked, “even though you are secretary general of a party that takes part in elections?”…

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