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michael ben-ari

  • Far-right party's campaign ad banned for racism: Just the tip of the iceberg

    If a campaign ad inciting against Arab citizens of Israel is deemed illegitimate, then why not the party responsible for it, or any of the myriad Knesset members who have also engaged in similar forms of incitement as well, whether against Africans, Palestinians, the LGBT community or Israeli leftists? Israel's Central Election Committee disqualified an ad campaign last week by a new party called Otzma Leyisrael (Strength to Israel), citing that it singles out and incites against the Arab sector in Israel and is therefore racist. The campaign ads, posted on buses and billboards across Israel, included the word "loyalty" in Arabic,…

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  • Polls: Netanyahu is heading toward an easy victory

    Four polls have the right-Orthodox bloc winning between 63 and 65 Knesset seats, making it impossible for any candidate to prevent Netanyahu from securing another term in office.  Four new election polls were released in the last couple of days. (Five if you count Haaretz, but I don't.) They all tell the same story. In fact, it's incredible how consistent the polls are, and how stable they seem. No political maneuvering, nor the recent escalation in the south, has affected the overall picture: Netanyahu's bloc – consisting of ultra-Orthodox parties and the right, has a solid Knesset majority. Bibi will…

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  • Israeli MK incites violence against leftists, Palestinians

    It is reassuring to know that in Israel everyone can have their voice heard. Thus, an Israeli anti-war demonstration held last Thursday was countered by a rally supporting the military operation in Gaza by Israeli forces. But there should be a limit on free speech, especially when some of those voices are calling for violence against others. In developed societies, incitement to violence is a punishable offense. Israel's standards should be no different. During Thursday's rally, right-wing Israeli member of Knesset Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) is seen encouraging the chanting crowd with phrases like, "leftist traitors," and "leftists out." He then…

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  • Right-wing MK: 'Shoot border infiltrators in the head'

    MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), who recently chose Col. Shalom "Rifle-butting" Eisner as his man of the year, is now inciting to violence. After the attack by militants that killed an IDF soldier near the Egyptian border on Saturday, he suggested killing the "infiltrators" with a bullet to the head. This, according to Ben-Ari, because the terrorists waited for the soldiers to give the refugees water. The IDF denies [Hebrew] Ben-Ari's claim, saying the incident has nothing to do with refugees. Despite the military's refuting Ben-Ari's claim, the Foreign Ministry is still holding fast to the false water story. Here's what Ben-Ari wrote…

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  • MK Ben-Ari: My Man of the Year is 'rifle butting' Col. Shalom Eisner

    Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), the extreme right wing MK who makes Jean-Marie Le Pen look like a baguette with no joie de vivre, waited for the Sabbath to end and finally get onto his Facebook page to post this gem of a status. Just a day before Rosh Hashana, he chooses his Man of the Year and decides to hand his award to Col. Shalom Eisner. Come on, you remember Col. Eisner, don't ya? Some people can't get him out of their heads...

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  • Knesset circus gets uglier: MK Ahmad Tibi photoshopped as a pig

    First MK Michael Ben-Ari tore the New Testament to pieces in his chambers. (See photo here) Then, MK Ahmad Tibi tore a photograph of Ben-Ari's mentor, the late and racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, over the Knesset podium. (Watch here) And now, another disciple of Kahane, Baruch Marzel, posted the photo below of Tibi as a pig. Ben-Ari posted it on his Facebook wall, and has about 200 "likes" at this time. Children playing with fire. (If you're on Facebook, please report. I did.) h/t Nir Hoffman

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  • WATCH: MK Tibi tears picture of Meir Kahane over Knesset podium

    Two days ago, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari was photographed in his chambers tearing up a copy of the New Testament. Yeterday, MK Ahmad Tibi responded. I'm quite tired of MK Tibi's gimmicks and theatrics and what seems to be a constant need to get a headline. I agree with Speaker Reuven Rivlin who claims it just lowers the Knesset's "esteem" (what esteem exactly, I don't know... but still). Yet, I can't shake the feeling that if I had a picture of a man who for me epitomizes so much of the evil that has cursed this world through generations…

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  • MK Michael Ben-Ari rips up New Testament, throws it in trash

    According to the Israeli website NRG, MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) tore the New Testament to pieces and then threw it in the trash after the Bible was sent to all 120 members of Knesset by a man named Victor Kalish, who according to NRG specializes in publishing Christian religious texts. In the article, Ben Ari is quoted as saying, "This abhorrent book promoted the murders of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and the autos da fé... this is an ugly missionary provocation by the Church, there's no doubt that the book and its senders belong in the trash…

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  • WATCH: Nakba discourse inflames passions on all sides

    Israel has gone to great lengths to remove mention of the Nakba - the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 - from textbooks, public discourse, and the public space. But as state efforts to ban Nakba commemorations increase, so does interest in the issue, with more and more Israelis believing that dealing with the matter is a prerequisite to ending the conflict. This short clip surveys this year's particularly dramatic Nakba Day events. This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.

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  • A plea for protection, as Israel moves to deport South Sudanese

    International organizations warn of a humanitarian disaster and pending war in South Sudan. Israel, however, has seized the new state's independence as an opportunity to deport South Sudanese nationals, who formerly enjoyed the temporary protection Israel extends to Sudanese citizens. Authorities on Sunday began arresting South Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel ahead of their deportation. This is one asylum seeker's plea for just treatment. By Joseph Monyde Malieny This is a genuine, heartfelt letter to the great Israeli society, and an expression of the pain in my soul to Israeli authorities, due to their unethical attitude toward African communities in Israel. We, the…

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  • Stop excusing the 'have-nots' for racism and violence

    The riots in South Tel Aviv are further evidence of the violent racism among Israel's Sephardi underclass. It's part of a worldwide, historic phenomenon among poor people that the left doesn't want to face up to.   As a matter of principle, I think Israel has to relocate the great majority of African refugees from South Tel Aviv's poor Jewish neighborhoods. It isn't fair to the Hatikva and Shapira quarters to have to absorb such a large, alien, troubled and in some ways troubling population when middle-class and upper-class Israel don't have to absorb any refugees at all.  I believe that if left to its own devices, society will turn…

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  • Kadima MK: Send leftists to camps; MKs attack African refugees

    UPDATE: At the end of the Knesset hearing Tuesday, MK (Kadima) Yulia Shamalov Berkovtich said that "All human rights activists should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building," referring to a facility now being constructed in the south to hold African refugees.  She referred to those aiding refugees as "hypocrites" that incite against Jews.   After the controversy in which Likud MK Miri Regev denied (documented) footage of her calling Sudanese a "cancer," National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari defends use of the term at Knesset special hearing. On Tuesday morning, the Knesset Committee on Internal Affairs and the Environment…

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  • UN refugee official: Deportation of Africans unlikely

    An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…

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