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kahanism

  • Are voters about to send Kahanists back to the Knesset?

    If the polls are accurate, more than 140,000 voters will vote the Kahanists back into the Knesset in next week's election. Yet the desire for a pure Jewish state long ago moved from the margins of Israeli society to the mainstream. By Ron Cahlili One week before Israel’s national election, nearly every major poll shows the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) winning enough votes to cross the threshold. Until recently, the party was widely considered the rotten apples of the Israeli political barrel — a fringe party that represented a tiny subculture. Now it looks likely to take four seats in the Knesset. To…

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  • These elections are a choice between resignation and despair

    Four years ago, the prospect of another Netanyahu government meant perpetuating the status quo. This time, the opposition is offering the status quo — and Netanyahu something far worse. The short distance between resignation and despair is the difference between knowing that things aren’t going to get any better and the fear that they could very easily get worse and there's nothing to do about it. In many ways, that feels like the theme of the upcoming Israeli elections — at least for the small minority of Israelis whose political identity and priorities are wrapped up in the fights to…

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  • Why Benny Gantz is more dangerous than the Kahanists

    Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. By Tom Mehager The partnership between the ruling Likud party and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party is a prime example of how racism has been legitimized in Israeli public discourse in recent years. If in the past Likud had openly condemned Meir Kahane and his descendants, today those red lines no longer exist. [tmwinpost] Even Shas leader Aryeh Deri showed signs of partnering with Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, something that…

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  • What will it take for Israel's right-wing voters to say enough?

    A small group of right-wing voters could tip the balance and lead to a change of government in Israel. Who are these voters, what do they care about, and would a Kahanist party in the Knesset be a step too far? Until one week ago, it looked unlikely that Benjamin Netanyahu could lose an election. It looked even less likely that the center and left-wing parties in Israel could ever outnumber the right-wing bloc to form a government. But last week, former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz merged with Yair Lapid’s centrist party and polls showed their new Blue and…

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  • How to stop Kahanists from taking over

    Twenty-five years after a follower of Meir Kahane massacred Palestinian worshipers in Hebron, Netanyahu is basing his future coalition on a Kahanist party. Now Israelis will have to decide between apartheid and a future of hope and equality. By Raluca Ganea Reality is often too complex to draw clear lines between cause and effect. But occasionally, a single act by a single person changes the course of history. Twenty-five years ago, on February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron. [tmwinpost] Instead of evacuating the Hebron settlement following the massacre, Israel punished…

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  • Israel's fascist sideshow takes center stage

    For the first time in over 30 years, a proper Kahanist party could be entering the Knesset. But is the rise of a party that advocates for Jewish supremacy, theocracy, and 'total war' as unprecedented as the outcry has suggested? The last week has been an eventful one in the annals of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dalliances with the racist ultra-right. Fresh from upsetting his authoritarian, antisemitic allies in Europe by failing to adequately maintain his recent efforts at Holocaust revisionism, Netanyahu has now paved the way for homegrown Israeli fascists to take their place — once again — in the Knesset. The prime…

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  • Two years after stabbing, 20,000 participate in J'lem pride march

    Police arrest man carrying a knife, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at the Jerusalem pride march. Over 20,000 people took part in the annual Jerusalem pride march on Thursday afternoon, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at the march by a religious extremist. Hundreds of police officers were on hand, forcing every participant to undergo inspection before entering Liberty Bell Park, where the march to was set to begin. Police arrested 22 people at the march, one of whom was carrying a knife. According to Haaretz, police summoned right-wing activists classified as “under watch” for clarification and…

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  • Trump's win poses a challenge we must respond to

    The nativist rabble-rousing and promises of expulsion and exclusion that carried Donald Trump to victory are worryingly similar to the resurgence of Meir Kahane's Kach movement in Israel. Neither can be ignored. On the eve of the U.S. presidential elections I stood opposite an alcove in Kraków’s High Synagogue, gazing into an empty socket in which a Torah scroll once stood. The synagogue — named for the fact that the prayer hall was installed on the first floor, in order to protect its Jewish congregants from the Christian gathering-places nearby — is no longer active, but evidence of its past remains: the circular window…

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  • Israel's extremists aren't as fringe as you think

    If a video of religious youth stabbing a photo of a murdered Palestinian infant isn't enough to convince mainstream Israel that there is a problem, what will? Celebrants at a Jerusalem wedding for a couple from Israel's radical right were filmed dancing and singing as they brandished a photo of Ali Dawabsheh, the 18 month-old Palestinian baby who was killed in a July arson attack on his family home in the West Bank village of Duma. In the video, which was recorded on a cell phone, a dancing wedding guest impales a photo of the baby on a knife. His…

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  • When setting fire to a bilingual school is no longer 'racist'

    The three teens who set fire to the Jerusalem bilingual school in November have one less thing to worry about: according to the state, their actions are no longer considered racist. Nearly five months after Jewish extremists set fire to first-grade classrooms in Jerusalem's Max Rayne Hand in Hand school, the prosecution has reached a plea bargain with two of the three suspects — brothers Nahman and Shlomo Twito — which would remove the clause stating the arson was racially-motivated. [tmwinpost] I must admit that beyond the anger and frustration, this piece of news caused me to laugh at my…

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  • No parity between Zoabi's democracy and Kahane's racism

    By simply discussing the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel from the upcoming elections, the extreme right has already claimed another victory.   The double-hearing held in the Supreme Court on Tuesday under an extended panel headed by Justice Naor, to discuss the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel, respectively, was one of the more depressing displays of the absurdity we call "Israeli democracy." The constant worshiping of "balance" in the name of some imagined national sanity brought Zoabi – who represented the only party that calls for full equality in Israel – to the same…

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  • Let's stop using the terms 'fascism' and 'democracy' from now on

    The debate over the state of Israeli democracy (or the rise of fascism) is code designed for lefty Zionists. Others don't get it, and it may even do more harm than good. Some thoughts following Haaretz's interview with Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell. There has been growing discussion over the last few weeks regarding the risk of fascism in Israel and the dangers to Israeli democracy, most recently in an extensive interview by Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in Haaretz. I hold Sternhell in high regard, and his book, The Birth of Fascist Ideology, is among the few required readings in my undergraduate degree I actually remember in some…

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  • What a Jewish terrorist might look like

    This picture was posted, along with several others, on the right-leaning citizen journalism site Rotter.net. It was taken at a memorial evening for Rabbi Meir Kahane, held openly in Jerusalem and attended by well over 1,000 people. The slogan on the back of the shirt reads "Price Tag." Below is the context of the pic: The military issue M-16 would most likely mean that the man in the picture is either a conscript or a reserves soldier. It's unclear if the man is an actual Price Tag member/activist or simply signals his support. But the picture still aptly illustrates that…

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