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  • Israel's Ashkenazi elites won't let Mizrahim lead the left

    More than 70 years after Israel was founded, the old Ashkenazi guard of the Israeli left is still doing everything in its power to prevent Mizrahim and other oppressed groups from taking the reins. By Lev Grinberg Give or take a few seats, it seems things will remain much as they were following Election Day on Tuesday, with the right- and left-wing blocs winning a near-identical amount of Knesset seats as they did in the last elections. And yet, despite what looks to be a similar outcome, it is worth examining the shift that has taken place inside what is commonly referred…

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  • Why are Israeli liberals suddenly courting a far-right nationalist?

    Liberman's political maneuvering may just bring about King Bibi's downfall, but that doesn't mean secular liberals should forget the reasons they opposed him all these years. Avigdor Liberman has, over the past decade, exerted a greater impact on Israel’s political discourse than any other lawmaker. In just a few years, he made once unthinkable ideas — such as stripping Palestinian citizens of their citizenship and forcing them to swear oaths of loyalty to the Jewish state — part of the mainstream discourse. [tmwinpost] Today, Israeli liberals and their intelligentsia are ready to ignore or brush aside Liberman’s racist, hyper-nationalist remarks and polices, while…

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  • The biggest myth about Israeli politics

    It’s tempting to believe that non-politicians are the antidote to bad politicians, but it's also wrong. In 2011, the Israeli pop singer Roni Superstar released a song called “Adoni” — literally “my lord,” or colloquially, “sir.” For sarcastic overtones, “His highness” will also do. Here is my free translation: “His Highness will tell me what he knows/ His Highness will make sense of what I ought to think… His Highness wishes to be Prime Minister… His Highness thinks he is so smart…” The otherwise banal song kept surfacing in my mind during the last election cycle. Something about it seemed apposite.…

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  • Let's stop talking about a false 'Jewish-Arab partnership'

    By creating symmetry between Israelis and Arabs, Jews on the left are not only missing the bigger picture — they are actively taking part in erasing the Palestinian struggle.  By Rami Younis and Orly Noy The sad state of the “left-wing camp” was clear long before the final results of the Israeli elections were published last week. Without skipping a beat, the ritual of declaring what is wrong with the left — and how to fix it — began. [tmwinpost] Among the more popular of those suggestions was the cure-all “Jewish-Arab partnership” potion. The prescription sounds so ideologically correct and politically necessary that any…

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  • There is no good vote in a paralyzed society

    For years, Israelis have allowed values of equality, justice, and peace, to go by the wayside. Tuesday's vote reflects not only the impotence and absence of a left, but just how paralyzed Israeli society is. In some ways, Tuesday's election is predictable. Netanyahu and his right-wing camp are expected, according to most polls, to secure the 61-seat majority needed to form a governing coalition. And yet the results remain impossible to predict, especially because the smaller parties hovering around the election threshold could determine the outcome. [tmwinpost] While polls may give us a sense of where the wind is blowing, people are still undecided and,…

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  • Win or lose, Netanyahu has already cemented his legacy

    In his 10 years in power, Netanyahu has engaged in race-baiting against his own citizens, declared the occupation a permanent feature of Israeli reality, and shifted both the national and international conversation on Palestine. It is time to acknowledge that these are no mere trends — but his very legacy. Ten years after he was elected prime minister, it is nearly impossible to imagine an Israel without Benjamin Netanyahu at its helm. An entire generation of Israelis has come of age in the Netanyahu era, and much of what young Israelis have internalized about politics, about their identity, and about Israel is the result of…

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  • What Israelis aren't, but should be talking about in these elections

    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…

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  • It’s time to stop asking why the Israeli left has disappeared

    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…

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  • Activists discover right-wing mole during Gaza solidarity protest

    Left-wing Israeli activists expose far-right activist who infiltrated a solidarity demonstration at the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli left-wing activists discovered a right-wing mole who had joined them in a solidarity protest at the Gaza fence last Friday. The protests, in solidarity with Palestinian "Great Return March" protests on the Gaza side of the fence, have been taking place for several months now. [tmwinpost] The mole, who has been posing as an anti-occupation activist both online and offline, turned out to be a member of the far-right nationalist group Im Tirzu. In addition to joining the demonstration under false pretenses, the man transmitted information…

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  • Netanyahu will do all he can to destroy Jewish-Arab alliances

    The alliance between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish left has historically been viewed as a threat to the rule of the right. That's why Netanyahu is doing everything he can to undermine it. By Eli Bitan The Israeli right knows exactly how to harm the left: by making its alliance with Palestinian citizens not only impossible but illegitimate, thus drawing away its power. The Jewish left, for its part, has historically done enough to undermine this alliance. But recent events have created new possibilities — and that's why the right is coming out with guns blazing. [tmwinpost] This dynamic is…

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  • Beyond Liberal Zionism: How I became a non-Zionist

    Changes in Israeli society are rendering Liberal Zionism's political program impracticable and irrelevant. Non-Zionism provides an alternative. By Daniel J. Solomon The past decade has not been kind to Liberal Zionists. Israel’s far-right government has undermined democratic norms at every turn, entrenched occupation via continued settlement building, and sought to snuff out the national aspirations of Palestinians. Meanwhile, the American left has taken a harder line on Israel that shades into questioning the Jewish state’s right to exist. [tmwinpost] Being a Liberal Zionist today means inhabiting a political no man’s land. And there is something to admire in the tenacity…

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  • The color of racism: What many get wrong about race relations in Israel

    Protests against an Arab family moving into an all-Jewish neighborhood in northern Israel have sparked worldwide condemnation and accusations of 'white supremacy.' But understanding the ways Jewish supremacy and white supremacy work in Israel is the first step toward dismantling them. By Lihi Yona Over the past few weeks, protests have rocked the northern Israeli city of Afula, following news that an Arab family was moving into the Yizrael Quarter neighborhood. The demonstrators, who were joined by the former mayor of Afula, say they are “not racist,” and that they believe that Jews and Arabs should live separately. Shaun King, an American…

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  • The new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left

    Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won't be easy, but the Israeli left's first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. The Israeli left is in the midst of an historic crisis. Out of power for over 20 years (with the exception of Ehud Barak’s brief and fractious stint as prime minster), Labor is now headed by a millionaire telecommunications executive who once served as a minister under Netanyahu. Meretz, the dovish, social-democratic party, barely made it into the Knesset in 2015. The peace camp is fractured…

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