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  • Israel's 'Jewish values' will forever leave Palestinians on the sidelines

    Labor leader Avi Gabbay called the Left too 'liberal' and not Jewish enough, reminding us that he has much more in common with Netanyahu than he lets on. By Iddo Naiss From the earliest days of Jewish nationalism, there were fundamental disagreements between its different stripes over the role their ideology would have once submerged into a state. Many disagreements, but one common denominator: the interests of the Jewish people were first priority. [tmwinpost] This was logical during the period before the founding of Israel, when the Zionist movement worried solely about the fate of the Jewish people around the world,…

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  • Without obtaining power, the Israeli Left will remain paralyzed

    If we want Israel to change, if we want the occupation to end, we have to operate in the existing political sphere. We cannot simply wait for the one we want. A response to Edo Konrad. By Maya Haber American neoconservatives have been wildly successful at bringing the Israeli Right back to power through a network of funds, think tanks, media outlets, and philanthropic initiatives. In an article published in Jewish Currents last week, I argued that progressive Israelis could achieve similar goals if we learn from these efforts and set our minds to work. [tmwinpost] In a response published…

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  • Why I'm not fighting for a 'better Israel'

    Can a national ethos that needs to balance out its democratic ideals with demographic domination ever provide an avenue for implementing a truly progressive agenda? A response to Maya Haber. The commemorations of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination have a strange tendency: once a year the Israeli peace camp gathers, both physically and virtually, to reflect on how exactly we got to this particular political moment. This year, discussions have been especially tumultuous after it became clear that the rally in Rabin’s honor, organized by two centrist organizations, would be a wholly apolitical affair — one that aims to bring together…

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  • Israel is not a democracy as long as the occupation exists

    An Israel that does not fight to free Palestinians from occupation is an Israel that will excel in occupation. This is the Left's most urgent and important mission.  By Alon Mizrahi As in every year, the run-up to the commemoration of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin last week was full of attempts to describe Jewish existence in Israel with as much pathos as possible. Questions such as "what are we struggling for?" are answered as if life here is some kind of script or speech. [tmwinpost] The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is another reason for celebration, as well as…

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  • Is the Left ready for the day after Netanyahu?

    The political demise of Benjamin Netanyahu could be a watershed moment in Israeli politics. Does the Left have what it takes to swing the pendulum its way? If things indeed develop as they seem to be and we are nearing the end of the Netanyahu era, then we are indeed facing a watershed moment in Israeli politics. It appears the prime minister could likely be indicted in a number of corruption scandals now that Ari Harow, his former chief of staff, has agreed to turn state's witness under a plea bargain and testify against his previous boss. It is both easy and tempting to be cynical about the…

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  • When will the Israeli Left accept the occupation started in '48, not '67?

    Only when the Israeli Left accepts that the occupation began in 1948 — and remains an open wound for Palestinians — can Arabs and Jews truly refuse to be enemies. One of the negative characteristics of the Israeli “Left” is how it terms the military rule over the West Bank and Gaza “The Occupation.” Part of the Left even accuses Palestinians who claim there is no difference between Petah Tikva and Ariel of being like the Right, because “that’s what the Israeli Right claims.” For most Palestinians, however, this exaggerated and Orwellian talk of “The Occupation” blurs Israel’s real shame, and…

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  • IDF radio commander: Don't call it the West Bank

    Yaron Deckel, who heads the third most popular radio station in Israel, orders his staff to refrain from using the term, saying it has been 'adopted by the Palestinians and the Left.' The commander of Israel's Army Radio has ordered his staff to refrain from using the term "West Bank" while on air. [tmwinpost] Yaron Deckel, who has served as the station commander since February 2012, sent a directive to his staff in which he said the decision was made since "West Bank" has been "adopted by Palestinians and the Left," instead ordering them to use the word "territories" ("shtachim") to…

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  • Surviving the Passover seder: A how-to for leftists

    The Passover seder can be trying at the best of times: all that food, family and arguing. But it's even more treacherous territory if you're a leftie — so here's your guide to getting through the night (relatively) unscathed. By Ido Nice The Passover seder is fast approaching, and along with it, the inevitable political arguments with extended family. Every year, some opinion writer pens a “guide” to surviving the entire affair, and coming out on top. [tmwinpost] But you can’t win an argument in which both sides have valid claims, and the Israeli Left’s tendency to ignore the valid…

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  • Arab citizens, not Israeli leftists, pay the real price for speaking out

    The Israeli government may be cracking down on human rights NGOs and left-wing activists, but Palestinians citizens of Israel are the ones suffering from concrete persecution — with sometimes fatal results. The recently-passed law prohibiting the entry of boycott supporters into Israel is just the latest in a string of legislation and administrative measures aimed at curtailing freedoms and cracking down on dissent against the occupation. But this broad trend actually obscures two separate phenomena, with distinct dynamics and implications. [tmwinpost] The first one is the ongoing oppression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Although better off than the non-citizens in the West Bank…

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  • Top Israeli university marketing country's arms industry to the world

    A new university course at Israel's Technion Institute of Technology teaches students how to brand and market Israel's defense industry to global audiences. By Shimrit Lee Contrary to popular belief, Israel’s military-industrial complex doesn’t run on government and arms manufacturers alone. Academia, a sphere often imagined as a bastion of free speech, independent from corporate interests, plays a crucial, though less visible, role in the establishment. Its complicity in violence shouldn’t be ignored. [tmwinpost] That’s why last Thursday evening, I joined a small group of activists from Coalition of Women for Peace in central Tel Aviv to protest a new program, put…

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  • If Israeli Jews want change, they must refuse to be masters

    The fact that the occupier declares his refusal to be 'the enemy' of the oppressed is simply not enough. Israelis must go one step further and refuse to lord over Palestinians. A few hours before Saturday evening's Arab-Jewish protest in Tel Aviv, the town of Qalansuwa held a conference to mark the international day of solidarity with Palestinians in Israel. Yes, there is such a thing. This is the second year in a row that we mark this day, with events taking place in Gaza, Ramallah, and Beirut. [tmwinpost] I had the honor of speaking at the conference on Saturday, and as…

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  • Shared and shattered: Gentrification and Judaization in Jaffa

    Over the past 70 years, the city of Jaffa has gone from being the 'Bride of Palestine' to the 'Arab backyard' of Tel Aviv. Today, as it undergoes rapid gentrification, Jaffa has become a central hub for both Palestinian and Jewish resistance. Israeli anthropologist Daniel Monterescu speaks to Fathom editor Alan Johnson about his new new book, which unpacks the history of a city that continues to be made and remade.   By Daniel Monterescu and Alan Johnson / Fathom Part 1: Personal and intellectual influences Alan Johnson: Can you say something about your family background and the major influences on your intellectual development,…

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  • The guide for leftists who want to stop preaching to the choir

    For years the Israeli Left has excluded the vast majority of the country from its ranks. Here are eight steps on how to broaden the tent.  By Noam Shuster-Eliassi Over the past several years, various writers and NGOs have finally come to the conclusion that the Israeli peace camp is on its death bed, and that along the way it has forgotten, well, everyone. Today many concede that over the years there formed an "alliance of the elites" between Israeli activists from Tel Aviv who leisurely met with activists from Ramallah. The members of this alliance headed delegations and took…

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