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  • PODCAST: Could Mizrahim find their most natural allies in Palestinians?

    Jewish Israelis with roots in Arab and Muslim countries have faced systemic discrimination for decades. As Jewish political parties court their votes, +972 writer and Local Call editor Orly Noy has a different idea. Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify It is no secret that for decades, the Zionist left discriminated against Mizrahim, or Jews with roots in Arab and Muslim countries, treating them as second-class citizens and pushing them to the economic, political, and cultural margins of Israeli society. Mizrahim took matters into their own hands, forming political movements and parties of their own. Their resentment against the left pushed many…

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  • Netanyahu's Putin campaign alienates Israel's Russian-speaking voters

    A new election poster of Netanyahu gloating about his relationship with the Russian authoritarian leader may have entirely missed the mark with younger Russian-speaking voters, revealing deep generational divides. By Lily Galili Over the past few years, Israel has seen a small stream of new immigrants from Russia. Tens of thousands of liberal, educated Jews from a fairly high socio-economic status are fleeing the country they had once thought they were going to spend their entire lives in, disgusted by the violent deterioration in democracy there. They are labeled the “Putin Aliyah,” in honor of the man who prompted their departure from Russia. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Israeli elections c'tee hasn't taken any steps to stop Arab voter intimidation

    Four months after the ruling Likud party led a voter intimidation campaign against Palestinian voters, the government body responsible for ensuring free and fair elections says it hasn't made any changes to its process. With just a few weeks before Israeli citizens head back to the polls for the second time this year, the government body responsible for supervising and regulating elections in Israel said it has not drawn any lessons and has not implemented any changes to prevent the repeat of a voter intimidation campaign that targeted Arab Palestinian voters in early 2019. [tmwinpost] On April 9, 2019, Election Day, a settler-aligned…

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  • Likud attempts to intimidate Palestinian voters with hidden ballot cams

    Poll workers from the Likud party are using hidden cameras to record Palestinian voters as they head to the polls on Election Day. The goal? To intimidate Arab citizens and make sure they stay home.  Members of the ruling Likud party placed at least 1,200 hidden cameras on poll workers across Palestinian towns and villages in Israel on Election Day Tuesday. Likud members said the goal was to prevent electoral fraud. [tmwinpost] Israeli police immediately detained a number of poll workers, taking them in for interrogation, while the Central Elections Committee released a statement clarifying that poll workers cannot photograph or record…

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  • There is no good vote in a paralyzed society

    For years, Israelis have allowed values of equality, justice, and peace, to go by the wayside. Tuesday's vote reflects not only the impotence and absence of a left, but just how paralyzed Israeli society is. In some ways, Tuesday's election is predictable. Netanyahu and his right-wing camp are expected, according to most polls, to secure the 61-seat majority needed to form a governing coalition. And yet the results remain impossible to predict, especially because the smaller parties hovering around the election threshold could determine the outcome. [tmwinpost] While polls may give us a sense of where the wind is blowing, people are still undecided and,…

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  • Why these Israeli elections actually matter

    Netanyahu looms so large that he has become a symbol of everything that’s right and wrong with Israel. But behind the symbol stand two very substantive visions of where Israel is headed. Like most weeks over the last decade, this was a week of Netanyahu. It began on Saturday evening when the prime minister gave a rare, surprise live television interview on Channel 2. The interview was his first to a mainstream Israeli media outlet in four years, guaranteed to make news for that reason alone. From there he flew to Washington to receive a prize from President Trump: American…

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  • What Israelis aren't, but should be talking about in these elections

    Could these elections bring about the end of Netanyahu's rule? Why isn't anyone talking about half a century of occupation? And do these elections even matter, anyway? +972 and Local Call writers open up on what's at stake this time around. Reading much of the Israeli and international press, one might get the impression that the upcoming Israeli elections are solely a referendum on the last 10 years of Netanyahu’s rule. That might be partially true, but there are no few number of issues that aren’t being talked about, and there are stakes — and stakeholders — not being accounted…

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  • Don't believe the hype: The Israeli right is weaker than it seems

    The right had a decade to annex the West Bank, quash Palestinian aspirations, and thwart Hamas in Gaza. Yet today, more than ever, its invincibility is anything but certain. By Meron Rapoport The past decade belonged to the Israeli right. Since 2009, the right-wing bloc easily defeated its opponents and won elections, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became its undisputed leader and the most important political figure in Israel. In the past six years, the Jewish Home party — the rightmost mainstream political party — has held key posts in the government. [tmwinpost] Political commentators are in near-total agreement that a…

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  • Netanyahu will do all he can to destroy Jewish-Arab alliances

    The alliance between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish left has historically been viewed as a threat to the rule of the right. That's why Netanyahu is doing everything he can to undermine it. By Eli Bitan The Israeli right knows exactly how to harm the left: by making its alliance with Palestinian citizens not only impossible but illegitimate, thus drawing away its power. The Jewish left, for its part, has historically done enough to undermine this alliance. But recent events have created new possibilities — and that's why the right is coming out with guns blazing. [tmwinpost] This dynamic is…

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  • Netanyahu is stuck with Hamas, and he likes it that way

    Netanyahu understands that keeping Hamas in power comes at a heavy political price. But as long as it thwarts the possibility of a Palestinian state, it’s worth it for him. By Meron Rapoport Weak. Giving into to terror. Those were the words Avigdor Liberman used to describe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his press conference on Wednesday announcing his resignation as defense minister. The severe remarks came a day after Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas, following the most violent flare-up on the Gaza border since the 2014 Gaza war. [tmwinpost] Liberman’s resignation, first and foremost, stems from political…

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  • What will Israeli politics after Netanyahu hold for the Palestinians?

    Disrupting Israel's insular political discourse will require fully activating the Palestinian leadership in Israel, grassroots and civil society organizations, and foreign governments and institutions. In August 2017, three thousand Israelis greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a rally in Tel Aviv organized by the Likud party. A few days earlier, media outlets reported that the Israeli police were close to recommending criminal indictments against Netanyahu regarding various corruption scandals after several of his close aides agreed to plea bargains in exchange for their cooperation with the authorities. [tmwinpost] Speaking to the crowd, Netanyahu accused the media and the political left…

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  • Take a look around. This is what annexation looks like

    The annexation of Palestine will not come one day, it is happening every day, and this is what it looks like: legislating mundane changes about higher education councils. There will be no definitive moment, event or a point in history, when we can say that annexation happened. Israel’s annexation is a process — a deliberate process — which has been carefully planned, began a long time ago, and which will continue for years to come. [tmwinpost] It is hard to get too excited over small steps toward annexation, such as a law that moves a university from the jurisdiction of one…

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  • There is no status quo, only Greater Israel

    Netanyahu's party and government are finally making explicit what has long been implied: rejecting the premise that the Palestinians will ever have a state of their own. Over the past few years, analysts have been using the term “creeping annexation” to describe Israel’s land grabbing, segregationist policies in the West Bank. But over the past few days, the country’s leaders have been openly signaling that annexation need no longer creep. It is the new game in town. [tmwinpost] On Sunday night, Likud’s Central Committee, the body responsible for updating the party’s constitution, unanimously passed a resolution to extend Israeli sovereignty…

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