Arabs are more present than ever in the Israeli public sphere, but attempts to marginalize them are growing at an even faster pace. A new law aimed at pushing Arab representatives out of the political system could wind up changing the rules of the game — in the worst possible way. The Knesset this week passed a law that will enable it to expel Arab MKs from their positions as elected representatives. The same day, a storm erupted over a program on Army Radio that examined a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Both events have one thing in common:…Read More... | 8 Comments
Plenty of democratic countries have mechanisms for de-seating elected representatives, but those countries don't have rich histories of trying to ban politicians of one ethnic group. And their laws weren't designed to target specific unpopular politicians. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with the “Expulsion Law” passed by Israel's Knesset early Wednesday morning. Lots of other parliaments have mechanisms for expelling elected representatives. In the U.S. Congress, all you need is a two-thirds majority vote determining that a member is guilty of “disorderly behavior.” What is wrong with Israel’s new law is that it targets one particular parliamentarian and her…Read More... | 6 Comments
Since members of Israel's parliament can't take out their anger about the Turkey reconciliation deal on Netanyahu, they go for the easiest target around — Haneen Zoabi. For all nine years of my childhood in Iran, I never personally encountered anti-Semitism. We lived in a mixed neighborhood, I studied at a Jewish high school along with non-Jews, and I cannot remember even a single instance where I was insulted or attacked for being Jewish. [tmwinpost] From time to time I would hear stories from older family members about quarrels with the neighborhood hooligans who would harass them for being Jewish.…Read More... | 11 Comments
Now that Israel has signed a reconciliation agreement with Turkey over the Gaza flotilla incident, it must apologize to its own citizens for its lies and distortions. Five takeaways. By Yael Marom 1. A Shayetet 13 combat soldier who was among those to raid the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 gave an interview to Ma'ariv Online on Sunday, in the run-up to the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey, in which he said the following: "We were sent to stop the terror flotilla, that was the mission. How can we pay compensation to terrorists who tried to murder us?" [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Palestinian member of Knesset Israelis love to hate and the IDF deputy chief of staff make harsh but nearly identical statements invoking 1930s Germany. The statements are received very differently. IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan raised a small storm when he said at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony Wednesday evening: "If there's something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance it's the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016."…Read More...
The draft law, which passed the first of three votes on Monday, would allow the expulsion of Arab MKs from the Knesset. It is one of several recent steps by the Netanyahu government to limit Palestinian political participation. Minutes before leaving for the spring recess Monday night, Israel’s Knesset passed the first reading of a law allowing legislators, with a three-quarters super-majority, to expel other members of Knesset for making statements they deem beyond the pale. The law is widely understood to have been drawn up to specifically target Arab-Palestinian members of the Knesset, particularly of one faction, a legislative…Read More... | 4 Comments
The government’s latest attempts to oust Balad from the Knesset are part of an intensifying campaign against Arab political movements, regardless of their different stripes. Three months ago, when the Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Palestinian citizens of Israel feared that they were witnessing the beginning of an intensified campaign against Arab political groups. Many suspected at the time that the government’s next target would be the Balad party, the nationalist faction of the Joint List, which has been in the crosshairs of consecutive Israeli governments since the 1990s. [tmwinpost] Those suspicions were confirmed last…Read More... | 7 Comments
Hundreds protested in the Arab city of Tira after a 39-year-old woman was murdered by her ex-husband. Arab MKs: The police must take responsibility for ignoring threats against her life. By Yael Marom Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel, including members of Knesset, local leaders and activists demonstrated last Saturday in the northern Arab city of Tira following the murder of Suha Mansour, a resident of the city. [tmwinpost] On the evening of Thursday, November 5, Mansour's body was found in her car, after she was shot a number of times from close range. Mansour, a 39-year-old educator, social activist,…Read More...
Netanyahu publishes letter to flotilla participants in which he states there is no blockade, while at the same time declaring that Israel will prevent them from reaching Gaza. UPDATE 7:27 A.M.: The IDF intercepted the Marianne ship early morning Monday and and began towing it to the Ashdod Port. No violence or injuries reported. The "Freedom Flotilla III" is due to approach the Gaza coastline in a matter of hours, sometime overnight Sunday. Its declared mission is to non-violently challenge Israel's nine-year blockade of the Strip by bringing in medical equipment and other humanitarian aid. It is not expected to…Read More... | 11 Comments
What is the difference between warning about Arab hordes heading to the polls and warning of Arabs being democratically elected to parliament? A few days after Benjamin Netanyahu swept the elections — partly attributed to his election-day racist warnings about Israel's Palestinian minority — I wrote a piece about his rival, Isaac Herzog, who was lugging his own brand of anti-Arab racism along with him on the campaign trail. [tmwinpost] Throughout the race, Herzog positioned himself as an alternative to Netanyahu who would reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, save Israel from looming international isolation, and return the country…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi bravely came out against violence directed at women and the way firearms are being used to terrorize the residents of Arab towns. But the demand for 'social oversight' over the mosques takes the matter one step too far. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) A painful and very important discussion is taking place in the Arab community in Israel, especially among those who are active on Facebook. And at the center of it is Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. The conversation harks back to the women’s marathon in the city of Tira and the violent threats against…Read More... | 4 Comments
Dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Jews sailed along the coast last week to mark the destruction of Jaffa — the former political, cultural and economic capital of Palestine — during the 1948 War. Organized by the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which works to raise awareness of the Nakba and promote the right of return among Israeli Jews, the participants, which included Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, listened to first-hand stories of the fear, expulsions and mass exodus of Palestinians from the city by the pre-state Zionist militias. Related: The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba S. African…Read More... | 11 Comments
The fact that the 20th Knesset will have a record number of female MKs does not mean they will necessarily advance women's rights. Some of them, in fact, may end up doing just the opposite. By Samah Salaime Now that the winds have died down completely and I have finished writing all my commentary on the elections, I am returning to more familiar territory: feminism. Many men wanted to see me return to this modest niche; you know, to deal with issues that are proper for a woman. "What do you care about politics?" my good friend asked me. "You are…Read More... | 4 Comments
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