As Israel's center-left and centrist parties have dropped the topic of the occupation over the years, Meretz has remained the sole Jewish party to emphasize ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But can it continue to hold out amidst running mate Ehud Barak's talk of annexation? By Meron Rapoport Meretz has seen its fair share of criticism over the years — too white, too left-wing, too Zionist, too Tel Aviv-centric, too occupation-oriented, too elitist. But there is one thing you can’t take from it: Meretz's party platform has always clearly called for an end to the occupation and the establishment of a…Read More... | 39 Comments
As the Zionist left struggles to stay relevant, some members of Meretz are proposing a new way forward. Top members of the Zionist left-wing Meretz party are trying to transform their party into one based on full Jewish-Arab partnership, just a month after it passed the election threshold thanks in large part to increased support from the Arab vote. [tmwinpost] The demand, put forth by an internal Meretz group known as the Forum for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, calls on the party leadership to either formally join with Hadash-Ta’al — a union of the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and Ahmad Tibi’s Ta’al party — or transition into…Read More... | 3 Comments
Stuck in a Zionist paradigm, Israel's mainstream left-wing parties are unable to put forth a vision of equality and inclusion for all in Israel-Palestine. Tuesday’s election results were obvious to anyone paying attention. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White won the same number of Knesset seats, Gantz has already conceded to Netanyahu, acknowledging that he does not have enough partners to form a governing coalition. Netanyahu will form a government with his “natural allies,” among them the far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties. [tmwinpost] One of the most important stories that has been largely overlooked, however, is the…Read More... | 25 Comments
For Israeli left-wing voters, nothing is more important than overthrowing Netanyahu. Yet despite their common cause, the left remains anything but united and it is polling at unprecedented lows. There is one thing shared by nearly every Israeli who does not define her or himself as right-wing: a profound desire to oust Benjamin Netanyahu. And yet, despite all their efforts, none of the left-wing parties today look capable of doing so. Polls show the left-wing Meretz party hovering near the four-seat minimum threshold to enter Knesset. and at least one poll had Labor down to just five seats in recent…Read More... | 11 Comments
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 victories of progressive candidates in U.S. midterms and Israel’s municipal elections prove that it’s possible to overturn national far-right policies. By Bar Gissin and Maya Haber Something remarkable happened in the last few weeks: progressive candidates won elections in Israel and the United States, despite the rise of far-right, anti-democratic politics in both countries. [tmwinpost] This might come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t be. Many Jewish Israelis support ending the occupation, women’s right to pray at the Wailing Wall, and LGBTQ’s right to get married and adopt children. Similarly, most Americans approve of labor unions, support same-sex marriage,…Read More... | 3 Comments
Thursday's event is the first pride event ever to include a speech by an Arab MK. 'We cannot demand respect while disparaging the other. It is impossible to fight for my equality and not for that of others,' MK Issawi Frej told the crowd. Over 150 members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters took part in a joint Jewish-Arab pride event in the mixed city of Lod on Thursday. The event, the first of its kind in Israel, took place outside city hall, and follows a mass protest by LGBTQ Israelis earlier this week for equality and against discrimination. [tmwinpost] “There are those who…Read More...
For the past 11 years, Israeli journalists have been forbidden from entering Gaza. This has affected not only their reporting, but also the way fellow Israelis understand what is happening there. By Oren Ziv / Activestills.org The main obstacle that faces anyone who wants to report on what is happening at Gaza protests from the Israeli side of the border is that one can hear the gunfire, see the smoke, report on the army’s conduct, and estimate the number of protesters — and yet, you cannot get the full story. A journalist from East Jerusalem who often covers the goings on…Read More... | 6 Comments
Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won't be easy, but the Israeli left's first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. The Israeli left is in the midst of an historic crisis. Out of power for over 20 years (with the exception of Ehud Barak’s brief and fractious stint as prime minster), Labor is now headed by a millionaire telecommunications executive who once served as a minister under Netanyahu. Meretz, the dovish, social-democratic party, barely made it into the Knesset in 2015. The peace camp is fractured…Read More... | 6 Comments
By Oren Ziv KAMPALA, Uganda — “Why should Uganda take in the people Israel doesn’t want?” asks Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, a Ugandan member of parliament who joined us in a cafe in central Kampala. “If they’re being sent by the UN, they’ll be treated like all refugees, in a temporary manner because of the problems in their countries,” Nganda continues. He insisted on meeting us, after hearing that a small delegation of Knesset members was visiting his country from Israel. “Uganda will not become a dumping ground that whoever thinks they cannot host people — that you throw them in…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ahead of a mass planned deportation, +972 Magazine joins two members of Knesset on a trip to Rwanda and Uganda to investigate what happens to the asylum seekers Israel is sending there. The one thing that remained most elusive: a future for asylum seekers pushed out of Israel. By Oren Ziv KIGALI, Rwanda — A dark cloud of ambiguity and fear has settled over Rwanda in the past few days. According to workers in international humanitarian organizations, the protests against the deportation of asylum seekers, held outside the country's embassies in Israel and across the world, have put pressure on the…Read More... | 2 Comments
In the face of an onslaught of nationalist, anti-Arab laws, one lawmaker is proposing a simple alternative: transforming Israel into a state for all its citizens. A few years ago, my colleague Noam Sheizaf conducted a fascinating interview with the executive director of Adalah, Hassan Jabareen, in which the former raised the idea that the rise of nationalist and anti-democratic legislation was actually a response to the Palestinian-Israeli public taking its citizenship more seriously — both its rights and the obligations that that citizenship entails. Considering the conduct of the government, as well as that of the Arab public in Israel over…Read More... | 4 Comments
Where was the Israeli Left when the army tore down a joint Palestinian-Jewish protest camp, or when the police broke the arm of a Jewish American activist in Jerusalem? By Amitai Ben-Abba Freedom Camp in Sarura, South Hebron Hills. On May 29, large army and Border Police forces raided the little that was left in Sarura after the previous raid the week before. They confiscated mattresses, a generator cable, a car belonging to Fadel Aamer (one of the landowners), two tents, food, and water bottles. They also detained three Palestinian activists, one of them Aamer's son, confiscated their phones and destroyed their…Read More... | 5 Comments
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