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knesset

  • The redundancy of Israel's 'Jewish Nation-State Law'

    The Israeli government is pushing a law that would force judges to prioritize Israel’s Jewish character over democratic principles. But that has always been the case. The “Jewish Nation-State Law,” which is currently making its way through the Knesset as a proposed Basic Law – the closest thing Israel has to a constitutional amendment – would require the High Court to prioritize Israel’s Jewish nature over democratic principles in its rulings, according to Haaretz. [tmwinpost] The bill asserts that the justices of the highest court in the land must interpret Israeli law with the understanding that the right to self-determination in Israel…

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  • WATCH: Ethiopian-Israelis take struggle to the corridors of power

    Two years have passed since Ethiopian-Israelis took the streets to protest police brutality and widespread inequality. Now they are bringing their struggle to the Knesset, which recently marked a 'Day for Equality for Ethiopian Immigrants.' Members of Knesset, government officials, and social activists joined together to discuss discrimination in housing, budget allocation, higher education, and more. But will be enough to bring about the necessary change?

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  • Palestinians play a lead role in the theater of occupation

    For 50 years, Israelis and Palestinians have lived separately-together under one rule. Only one group has been able to reap the fruits of democracy. By Hagai El-Ad When Israelis vote, Palestinians do not. But they do get to participate: they can watch. Like the residents of the Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa in the occupied West Bank, who get to watch as the ballots cast by their Israeli settler neighbors from Beit Horon are shipped to election headquarters – the Knesset that Palestinians do not get to vote for (but whose decisions control their lives) on a highway they cannot use…

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  • In bid to expel Arab MK, Israel manages to break its own record

    MK Basel Ghattas will serve two years for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners. That's a longer sentence than the one handed down to an Elor Azaria, who executed an incapacitated Palestinian.  Congratulations are in order to the attorney general and the Knesset for the latest Arab they managed be put up on the cross. Palestinian MK Basel Ghattas (Balad), who was accused of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners, agreed to sign a plea bargain according to which he will admit to committing an act that could lead either directly or indirectly to acts of terrorism, resign from the Knesset,…

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  • WATCH: What is Israel really doing for LGBTQ rights?

    Much fanfare accompanies the Knesset's annual LGBTQ rights day. But this year, as last year, the event coincided with a raft of LGBTQ rights legislation being shot down. Read more: Why the struggle for LGBT rights in Israel is far from over Why I interrupted a pro-army LGBTQ event in Tel Aviv Increasing homophobia mars Knesset LGBT day

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  • Meet the women shaking up Israel's ultra-Orthodox community

    Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has been experiencing tremendous changes, all led by women, over the past few years. At a recent conference, a group of Haredi women spoke about the personal price they pay, and the chance we could one day see them in the Knesset. By Eli Bitan In mid-November, women from the organization "Nivharot" ("chosen" or "elected" in Hebrew) held a conference in Jerusalem's Mishkenot Sha'ananim quarter. It was attended by activists in the ultra-Orthodox community, both women and men, who are struggling to ensure Haredi women have the right to run in the next elections under the slogan: "Not Elected — Not Voting." Already in the months…

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  • Israeli teens charged for brutally beating asylum seeker to death

    Darfuri asylum seeker Babikir Adham-Uvdo was beaten to death by two teenagers after he was allegedly seen speaking to a group of young women. Why aren't more Israelis talking about it? By John Brown* Emmett Till was an African-American teenager from Mississippi who was lynched on August 14, 1955 during a visit to his relatives. His murderers mutilated him and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River after he reportedly flirted with a 21-year-old white woman by the name of Carolyn Bryant. [tmwinpost] After they were were acquitted, Till's killers admitted to the crime in an interview, claiming that they did not believe…

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  • Now that Peres is gone, it's time the Zionist Left did some soul searching

    Instead of condemning Arab MKs for boycotting Peres' funeral, Zionist Left parties should ask themselves why Palestinian citizens don't trust them. Why are so many Jews in Israel disappointed and angered by the Joint List's decision to not attend Shimon Peres' funeral? What is the source of the endless bitterness and incitement on the Internet? How dare military correspondent Roni Daniel condescendingly reprimand Joint List head Ayman Odeh, accusing him of missing an opportunity "to be a human being," as if he were God's emissary on earth. After all if Odeh and the Joint List had attended the funeral, no one would…

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  • How Israel is turning one Arab party into a security threat

    Balad isn't the first political party in Israel to be suspected of violating campaign finance laws. But it is the first one to have its members arrested in overnight, commando-style raids. There are two possible ways to describe the dramatic, highly-publicized arrest of dozens of activists and senior members of the Balad party earlier this week: "The police opened a wide spreads investigation against Balad over suspicions of fraudulently transferring millions of shekels to the party's coffers during the 2013 elections." [tmwinpost] Or: "In an overnight operation security focus raided the homes of dozens of Palestinians, arresting them for pro-Palestinian…

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  • Israel's national scapegoat

    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.…

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  • Will Israel be in a 'state of emergency' forever?

    The anti-terror law passed through Israel's Knesset last week without one of its scariest pieces, the normalization of administrative detention, which remains dependent on the country's 67-year-old self-declared state of emergency. That could have a bizarre consequence. A new anti-terrorism bill passed by Israel’s Knesset last week may have actually perpetuated the single, looming problem its writers set out to solve — ending Israel’s 67-year state of emergency. The bill is one of many pushed through the Knesset in recent years as part of an effort to eventually revoke the country’s declared state of emergency, initially declared by the British Mandate government in…

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  • Israel's Knesset just voted on a very dangerous law for democracy

    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…

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  • Increasing homophobia mars Knesset LGBT day

    As the Knesset marks first ever 'gay community rights day,' new reports on homophobia in Israel show 80 percent increase in documented homophobic incidents, alarming statistics about levels of violence faced by the LGBT community.  The state of LGBT rights in Israel can effectively be summed up in a series of events surrounding the Knesset's first ever LGBT rights day. As much of an achievement as that was — although with caveats — the day was overshadowed by a number of proposed bills to advance LGBT rights that were shot down before before even getting off the ground. [tmwinpost] A day earlier, a…

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