Although Israelis have historically voted for strong political frontmen, it seems that dazzling personalities are no longer sufficient to winning elections. It turns out that voters are looking at the values, worldview, and policies. Last October, Lior Shlein, Israel’s top satirist, made a convincing case that Yair Lapid is a cult leader. Lapid was a TV celeb who entered politics in 2013 trading on his teeny-bop looks and name recognition. He had no discernible ideology other than a vague promise to represent the mostly middle classes behind the social protest of 2011. Yet despite his own tony demographic, his Yesh Atid party…Read More...
The American president's decision to defund the Palestinian refugee agency is an attempt to accomplish something Israeli leaders have been trying for the better part of a century. By James Zogby First, the Trump Administration "took Jerusalem off the table." Now, in an especially dangerous display of recklessness, it has announced its intention to do the same for the Palestinian "right of return." [tmwinpost] The first indication that this was in the works came with the administration's announcement that it would be suspending all U.S. assistance to UNWRA, the UN agency created to address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians…Read More... | 5 Comments
Endless threats and the inclination toward a preventative strike are likely to push Israel into an arms race and a much wider and unnecessary war of attrition with Iran. By Shemuel Meir Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are striving together to cancel the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran. Even Netanyahu’s new mantra, that he only wants to “fix” the deal, is actually mean to bring about its cancelation in a slightly more roundabout way. Subjecting Iran to new conditions would lead it to abandon the deal, thereby causing its collapse. [tmwinpost] Alongside the attempts to kill the agreement, however, an…Read More... | 4 Comments
On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel's military rule over the Palestinians. By Alon Mizrahi Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while…Read More... | 16 Comments
Netanyahu's silence in the face of the White House's anti-Semitism should surprise no one. From Argentina to Rwanda, Israel has a sordid history of providing weapons and support to murderous dictatorships. By Eitay Mack (translated by Ofer Neiman) The Netanyahu government was silent in January when the Trump Administration omitted any reference to Jewish victims from its official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Netanyahu government was silent in July when Trump chose to be the first U.S. president since the fall of the Communist regime in Poland, to forgo a visit to the monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In…Read More... | 16 Comments
Netanyahu knows that even in 2016, Mizrahim have the ability to kick him out of power. Benjamin Netanyahu has seen better weeks. Between being strong-armed by members of his cabinet over the confirmation of Avigdor Liberman as defense minister, and the fact that his wife, Sara, may soon be indicted over her unscrupulous handling of the prime minister's households, the past few days have been rough. But amid the turbulence, Bibi was able to find a golden calf and, true to form, milk it for all its worth. [tmwinpost] On paper the story seems both simple and innocuous: early last…Read More... | 4 Comments
My dear leftists, there's really no reason to ask the last person to leave Israel to turn out the lights, as many of you have done over the last 48 hours. Most chances are that things will remain just as bad as they are – which is, in itself, hardly a reason to rejoice. By Gilad Halpern The pioneering 1970s rock band Kaveret (Hebrew for beehive) was groundbreaking in many respects. Other than their huge musical contribution, the band's repertoire included comical, sometimes nonsensical songs that stood in stark contrast to the earnest, stuffy folk songs that had hitherto characterized…Read More...
Two intifadas increased Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals. Wars in Lebanon and Egypt led Israel to withdrawals from those territories. Despite all that, the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain quiet and security for Israelis but receives nothing in return. If I were Palestinian I might come to a disturbing conclusion. One axiom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Palestinian violence pushes the Jewish public rightward. Due to violence, common wisdom goes, the willingness of Israeli Jews to make concessions or compromise decreases, and Palestinian independence or equality becomes more of a pipe dream. Only refraining from violence will…Read More... | 4 Comments
From audacious fraud and forgery to military seizures for ‘security needs’ and the ‘public good’ to dusting off antiquated Ottoman laws, the Israeli settlement enterprise has no shortage of tools for taking over Palestinian land in the West Bank. By Dror Etkes On February 9, 2004, Abdelatif Hassan Samarin, a resident of the West Bank village of Burqa, just a few miles east of Ramallah, woke up before dawn. After his morning prayers, Samarin drank two cups of sweet tea with mint, meant to combat the morning chill of winter, packed some clothing into a suitcase that his son —…Read More... | 2 Comments
Using the Emergency Regulations to outlaw Palestinian political movements is a preview of what's coming. In June 1951, member of Knesset and future prime minister Menachem Begin participated in a meeting of the Knesset’s Constitutional, Law, and Justice Committee on whether Israel should adopt administrative detentions as a legitimate security practice. During the discussions, Begin gave a scathing criticism of the Emergency Regulations of 1945, the British law that permitted detentions without charges or trial during its colonial administration of Mandate Palestine: If we accept the Committee members’ definition of ‘emergency,’ then in all honesty, we would have to admit…Read More... | 11 Comments
For 20 years the Israeli Left has utilized selective memory to reinvent the late prime minister. In reality, Rabin only wanted to grant the Palestinians limited autonomy, a goal he achieved through the Oslo Accords. By Yakir Adelman Ahead of the 1992 elections in Israel there was a televised debate between Yitzhak Rabin and incumbent prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. At the end of the debate Shamir was allowed to ask his opponent a question of his choice: “Do you really want a Palestinian state within the land of Israel?” Rabin answered decisively: “I oppose a Palestinian state between us and the…Read More... | 9 Comments
I’m planning to vote for Meretz, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, I’ll vote for him. I was talking a couple of days ago about the upcoming elections with a friend from work, a middle-class, American-born Ashkenazi immigrant with a Ph. D. in political science. He told me he was voting for the left-wing, largely Arab Hadash party. I asked who he would vote for if, on election day, which is tentatively set for March 17, the “wild card” in the race, ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, had a chance to become the next prime minister.…Read More... | 37 Comments
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…Read More... | 11 Comments
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