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michael ben-ari

  • Why Benny Gantz is more dangerous than the Kahanists

    Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. By Tom Mehager The partnership between the ruling Likud party and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party is a prime example of how racism has been legitimized in Israeli public discourse in recent years. If in the past Likud had openly condemned Meir Kahane and his descendants, today those red lines no longer exist. [tmwinpost] Even Shas leader Aryeh Deri showed signs of partnering with Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, something that…

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  • What does the future hold for non-Jews in the Jewish state?

    A new book about Israel's crusade against asylum seekers and undocumented workers strikes at an essential truth about the precarious status of non-Jews in a self-defined Jewish state. "The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel's New Others," Mya Guarnieri Jaradat, Pluto Press, 2017. In a small apartment in south Tel Aviv, a Filipina woman hides her Christmas tree in the hallway, away from the windows, fearing that were someone to spot it from outside she might be found out and wind up being deported. On the outskirts of a park in the same city, prospective employers size up a row of…

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  • WATCH: Soldiers taunt, set dogs on Palestinian teen

    Israeli army decries video showing soldiers taunting and setting dogs on Palestinian, despite it being IDF policy. A leaked video showing a 16-year old Palestinian being attacked by two canines, while being held by two IDF soldiers, was posted on Facebook on Monday by former Knesset member and far-rightist Michael Ben-Ari (who later removed it). It quickly spread around the web and made headlines in Israel. WARNING: Footage may be disturbing to some The incident itself took place last December 23 in between the Karmei Tzur settlement and Beit Ummar, a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank. The video…

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  • A Month in Photos: Police violence, elections and the holy selfie

    Editors' picks of the top photos from Palestine, Israel and beyond for the month of January. This month, terror attacks in France and Tel Aviv, Bedouin citizens of Israel protest against police violence, Israel's election campaign gets into full swing, Hezbollah attacks the Israeli army on the Lebanese border and snow falls on the West Bank. Photos: Oren Ziv, Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Ahmad al-Bazz, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Tess Schaflan / Edit: Anka Mirkin, Shiraz Grinbaum /

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  • Wedding crashers: Do anti-miscegenation protesters hate or love Judaism?

    With chants of “Death to Arabs” and “Mohammed is dead” in the background, the 30-something couple spoke earnestly, their faces worried. “As far as I’m concerned,” said the woman, an economist who didn’t want to be named, “I came to a funeral. The father is in mourning. I’m here to support the family in their pain with our presence.” They have come to a grimy parking lot outside a tacky mall in Rishon LeZion, deep in the center of Israel, to protest the wedding of an Arab Muslim Israeli and an Israeli woman born Jewish, who converted to Islam. The…

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  • Photos of the week: Border Police bloopers

    This week: Border Police bloopers in Bil'in, asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, Palestinian activists launch campaign in the Jordan Valley, anti-Arab graffiti in Silwan, ultra-orthodox Jews against the draft in Jerusalem, a far-right politician hands out award for McCarthyism in Israeli schools, and solidarity outside Holot 'open' detention center.                        

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  • PHOTOS: Rightists award student who persecuted 'left-wing' teacher

    Far-right former MK Michael Ben-Ari and notorious Hebron settler Baruch Marzel hold an award ceremony for a high school student who tried to have her teacher fired for expressing "left-wing" views. A very strange ceremony took place in the small town of Kiryat Tivon, in northern Israel on Sunday. Former Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari gave momentarily famous high-school student Sapir Sabah the “Jewish State Award” at an event attended by a variegated mix of hardline settlement leaders, followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and anti-African refugee activists from south Tel Aviv. Outside, a group of local residents protested the…

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  • 'There is peace here': Notes from a journey to settler backcountry

    After deciding to visit a few wildcat Jewish settlements in the West Bank, I felt anxious. Will they recognize us for the Tel Aviv leftists that we are? Will they become enraged at our questions? Might we face violence? Arriving at the settlement gate, however, I am struck by just how much the place resembles the kibbutz I lived on just a few years ago. But by the end of our journey, it becomes clear that we are not welcome. By Edo Konrad The first and only time I had ever spoken to an ideological settler was during the summer…

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  • The ethnic vote and the 'white coalition': 7 takeaways from Israel's elections

    Netanyahu is most likely to form his next government around the religious and the secular middle class, represented by election victors Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. The coalition will concentrate on domestic reform and will only strengthen the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Also: Did Israelis really move left? Seven takeaways from the elections. 1. The future government At the time of writing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s base of Orthodox and right-wing parties has 60 Knesset seats – the same as the potential opposition. Estimates are that the Jewish Home party will finish with another seat at the expense…

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  • Final Israeli elections poll: Netanyahu’s bloc with a clear majority

    The last polls ahead of Tuesday’s election have been published. Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu joint ticket could lose as many as eight seats, but the right-wing coalition he is projected to lead is still strong. Meretz is trending up, while Livni is losing support. We have updated out Poll Tracker with the surveys published over the weekend. Election laws forbid publishing polls in the days immediately prior to the vote, so this is likely the last round of numbers we will see from the various polling firms, at least publicly (the parties continue to conduct internal polls sometimes). This pie represents the…

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  • WATCH: Ultra-right Israeli MKs mock Arabs in Arabic campaign video

    This has got to be one of the more disgusting videos I’ve seen. The Otzma LeYisrael party, headed by ultra-right wing MKs Aryeh Eldad and Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari have posted their first campaign video to be shown on Israeli TV on YouTube (according to Ben-Ari’s Facebook page). The televised election campaigns kick off Tuesday night, when Israelis can watch the official pitches from the political parties running for Knesset, every evening until the elections. The first part of the video is text in Hebrew, blaming Arabs for not paying taxes such as income tax and Arnona (a municipal property…

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  • PHOTOS: Migrants celebrate new year amidst rightist march

    Despite a demonstration led by MK Michael Ben-Ari calling for mass deportations, and alongside a heavy police presence, south Tel Aviv's immigrants celebrated the new year. As 2012 came to an end, the situation of the thousands of migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel remains as uncertain as ever. As a grim reminder of the past year and an omen for what is yet to come, MK Michael Ben-Ari and his extreme-right supporters held another protest calling for the immediate expulsion of all "infiltrators" as a supposed solution to all of South Tel Aviv's problems, leading to the deployment…

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  • The rise of the extreme right is the story of the Israeli elections

    There are two new elections polls out, both following the trends of the last few weeks. First, Netanyahu's right-Orthodox bloc is pulling ahead, now polling 67.5 seats in our average (out of the Knesset's 120). As I argued when the elections were called, it's clear that no candidate but Netanyahu will be able to form the next government. But another story is unfolding before our eyes, and that's the rise of the extreme right. The National Religious Party – traditionally the political home of the settlers – is now polling at around 13 seats. The more extreme Otzma LeYisrael, led…

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