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law of return

  • Israel passes 'dissenter ban' barring entry to boycott advocates

    It's impossible to predict how and against whom the new law will be applied, but the message it sends is clear: if your politics don't toe the Israeli government line, you won't be allowed in. Even if your opposition is entirely non-violent. As Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban against nationals of six Muslim countries and many refugees, Israel's Knesset passed a law that bars giving temporary visas or residency to any non-Israeli citizen who has publicly called for or pledged to participate in a boycott of Israel. [tmwinpost] The way the law is worded makes its possible application very…

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  • Trump is no more racist than mainstream Israeli policy

    Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump's anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration? Just days after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump announced that he will be visiting Israel by the end of December, the billionaire populist called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Everyone is aghast, including several Israeli politicians, figures and organizations, who began expressing their disgust and indignation Wednesday morning. Some went as far as demanding that Trump be blocked from entering Israel's parliament, the Knesset, or to bar him from entering the country entirely.…

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  • When will Israel stop seeing Palestinians as a 'demographic threat?'

    Israel’s political and social outlook, rooted in its desire to be a 'Jewish state,' makes it impossible to view the Palestinians as anything but an existential problem, even those it accepts as citizens. By Amjad Iraqi Last week, Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet reported about the auctioning of a letter written by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, to then-Haifa Mayor Abba Hushi. In the letter Ben-Gurion rejected attempts to allow Palestinian Arabs to return to Haifa after fleeing during the 1948 war, stating that “until the war is over, we don’t want a return of the enemy.”  While the letter does…

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  • The origins and politics of Israel's refugee debate

    An in-depth look at the historical and political developments that shaped Israel’s current African asylum-seeker crisis — and one way to resolve it that meets Israel’s own needs while doing right by those who most need its protection. African asylum seekers in Israel have brought their struggle into the limelight in recent weeks. Through acts of civil disobedience, public protests and a mass labor strike, the mostly Eritrean and Sudanese nationals are attempting to shift the public discourse surrounding their presence in the country, gain access to a credible process in which they can seek asylum, and challenge a new…

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  • Countering single-narrative academic tours of Israel

    A number of programs bring international professors to Israel, shaping the way they teach their students about the country and conflict. What's missing is a Palestinian narrative. But can any alternative program match the all-expenses-paid tours and luxurious accommodations offered by the hasbara-centric Israel programs? By Olga Gershenson In the last few years, a new discipline by the name of Israel Studies has emerged on the academy scene. The field, which includes politics, society, and culture of the State of Israel, is a rather new development which has resulted in an effort to train faculty in the field and to encourage…

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  • Well-timed absentee voting bill - a blow to Israeli democracy

    By Issa Edward Boursheh In late March, before elections were announced, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser revived an earlier effort to grant Israeli citizens abroad the right to vote. The argument in support of such a bill is that it could increase the level of overall voter participation. But there is every reason to believe that this is not the true concern of the current government and its leaders. The new proposal under consideration, Haaretz reported, was commissioned by Hauser from the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), and will enable Israelis to vote in the next Knesset election within four years…

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  • Can one be a liberal and a Zionist without being a liberal Zionist?

    An alternative understanding of Zionism sees no contradiction between liberalism and Zionism, and makes possible various political arrangements, which do not place the national aspirations of Jews ahead of those of Palestinians. By Jerry Haber Can one be a liberal (or: progressive) and a Zionist? The debate has been going on for some time now, and recent entries in the debate on +972 by Joseph Dana, Larry Derfner, and Abir Kopty, are worth reading. What’s interesting is that both the advocates and detractors of liberal Zionism agree that there is an inherent contradiction between being liberal and being Zionist. Derfner considers…

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  • Streisand's cousin can't make 'aliyah' due to Facebook postings

    What would Yentl have done? Dale Streisand, the cousin of you-know-who, wants to make aliyah - but can’t. Even Bashevis Singer couldn’t have thought this one up (mostly because he died long before Facebook was invented). Haaretz reports today on its front page that Barbra Streisand’s cousin, Dale, will not be allowed to make aliyah. Why? Well, apparently the Interior Ministry and the Jewish Agency weren’t happy with him linking to a Christian missionary website on his Facebook profile. Dale is married to a Filipina who is now pregnant. According to Haaretz, they want the baby to be born in…

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  • Has Aliyah from North American peaked- or is it stalling? (Jerry Haber)

    The following was originally posted on The Magnes Zionist. Here's something that caught my eye. In today's Haaretz there was an article about the "sharp rise" in aliyah since last calendar year (the calendar in question is the Jewish one), in fact, 18%. This is the second year in a row that there was such a rise. Jewish Agency's Natan Sharansky put the good news succinctly: "After 10 years during which we saw less and less immigrants, now we see an increase," said Sharansky yesterday at a press conference at the Jewish Agency's Jerusalem headquarters. "This year there were more immigrants from…

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