John Kerry's speech this week clearly and rationally explained why the status quo will not enable Israel to maintain its Jewish and democratic character. Are Israelis paying attention? By Elie Podeh and Nimrod Goren Throughout 2016, analysts were wondering what – if at all – will be President Obama’s final move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The options discussed included a presidential speech (like the Cairo speech in 2009), updating the Clinton parameters of 2000, and the advancement of a resolution at the UN Security Council. Eventually, all answers were somewhat right: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was not initiated by the U.S., but…Read More...
According to the court's ruling, force feeding, universally recognized as a form of torture, is a legitimate tool to use against hunger strikers. By Noam Rotem For the past two months three Palestinians have been on hunger strike over their administrative detention without trial. The three are the brothers Mahmoud Balboul (a police chief), Muhammad Balboul (a dentist), and Malk al-Qadi (a journalist). On Sunday Israel's High Court ruled that the force-feeding law, which allows Israeli authorities to forcibly feed hunger striking prisoners against their will if their health condition is deemed to be life-threatening is able to balance between the public…Read More... | 2 Comments
A new poll shows that most Israelis and Palestinians support the idea of two states, but reject the practicalities of it. But there is a way out of this mess. By Michal Haramati A recently published opinion poll sought to answer our region's million-dollar question: is the two-state solution still relevant? Unlike many others, the poll was carried out simultaneously by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and included largely similar questions for both sides. The results are eye-opening. [tmwinpost] In keeping with previous polls, while the two-state solution is still preferred by…Read More... | 13 Comments
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…Read More... | 40 Comments
On paper Israel's for-profit manpower agencies act as job providers for impoverished groups from third world countries. In reality, they are the drivers of a system that harms workers, employers, and the state. By Abigail F. Kolker In Israel, there are some 60,000 migrant caregivers, comprising the largest group of documented migrant workers in the country. These workers provide individualized, home-based care for the elderly and severely disabled. The vast majority (over 80 percent) of these workers are women, mostly hailing from the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, and Moldova. [tmwinpost] The recruitment and monitoring of migrant caregivers is controlled…Read More...
To most Jewish Israelis they don’t have names or faces — they are at worst rioters and stone-throwers waving Palestinian flags; at best they are a discriminated-against minority. Their new activism is partly the result of generational divides and new technologies that have connected them to the rest of the Arab world that had been shut off since the birth of the State of Israel. In part it is the result of recent Israeli attacks against their relatives in the West Bank and Gaza, discriminatory police violence and a long history of political repression. No small number of factors has…Read More... | 12 Comments
From bombs dropped on innocent children in Gaza to the increasing gap between rich and poor, there are many good reasons why the current government needs to go. 1. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government went on an unnecessary adventure in Gaza killing 500 innocent children only a few months ago. 2. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government failed in making any progress toward ending the occupation of millions of Palestinians, while continually denying them the basic right to determine their own future. 3. Israel is going to early elections,…Read More... | 18 Comments
In order to avoid theocracy, apartheid and civil war, one Israeli believes it is time for her fellow Jewish citizens to start re-imagining their identity. By Dorit Naaman Fine, I am not yet a Palestinian Jew, but in 10 to 15 years - and certainly in my lifetime - this place will be called Palestine, and I will be a citizen of Jewish-Israeli heritage. By saying I am a Palestinian Jew I am being neither flippant nor provocative, as my critics would likely hasten to argue. Instead, I am analyzing the current reality and describing the future - utopian, or…Read More... | 44 Comments
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently proposed enshrining the Jewish character of Israel into a basic law, the closest thing Israel has to a constitution. What would such a law mean for Israel's Palestinian minority? Israeli academic Oren Yiftachel talks about 'ethnocracy,' a term he coined that describes the Israeli regime. By Lia Tarachansky / ‘The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Russian journalist with The Real News Network reporting on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the director of ”On the Side of the Road,” a documentary on Israel's biggest taboo - the events of 1948 when the state…Read More... | 19 Comments
Zionism has come to refer not to the many ways of building Israel, but to a litmus test. Any answer other than ‘I am a Zionist,’ is akin to being un-American in the 1950s. I didn’t join a Labor Zionist youth movement at 14 because I thought of myself as a Zionist. Actually I shied away from group identities, bouncing among social cliques at school and staying away from team sports. My parents just didn’t know what to do with me one summer and they heard about a nice Jewish camp, not too expensive. The Habonim-Dror camp turned out to…Read More... | 16 Comments
The 'conflict of narratives' hoax wins the day. You've got to hand it to Bibi – he is the master of micro-politics. What he lacks in vision he makes up for with details. He is also becoming very good at setting the media's agenda, something he wasn’t able to do in either his first term or the first couple of years of his second term. The “Jewish State” demand has effectively cornered Abbas into a familiar position: the Palestinians will reject a generous Israeli offer, without actually being offered anything. This has turned out to be the most incredible turn of…Read More... | 76 Comments
The Israeli prime minister tells reporters he wouldn't 'uproot' a single Israeli. Netanyahu's office later explains that the object of the new demand is to score points against the Palestinian Authority by 'exposing its real face.' A couple of statements from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are adding to the confusion over the kind of solution he envisions, if he supports one at all. Answering a question from a reporter in Davos regarding the possible evacuation of Jordan Valley settlements – Israel seeks to keep IDF forces along the Jordan River even after any withdrawal – Netanyahu said that he “wouldn’t…Read More... | 25 Comments
The fact that Israeli and American right-wingers are attacking Secretary Kerry should not make him immune to criticism from within the peace camp. Troubling reports have been coming out of the Israeli-American-Palestinian negotiations in recent weeks. According to Israeli and Palestinian media, Secretary of State Kerry’s initiative appears to be growing less ambitious with each passing day. The goal to get the two parties to agree on an outline for a final status agreement was abandoned long ago. Now, the Israelis and Palestinians are waiting on an American peace offer, which also seems to have been gradually demoted. What at…Read More... | 14 Comments
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