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  • Israelis don't get to hold a referendum on Palestine

    A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…

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  • Referendum on peace agreement just might pass

    The first reaction of the Israeli Right to the possible revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations has been to rush legislation ensuring a referendum on a future agreement. The idea is to supplement Israel’s 2010 law with provisions that tailor it to apply to any kind of agreement (the existing law passed in 2010 is somewhat more limited), and to make it harder to overturn such a law. A recent poll I conducted for Open Zion at The Daily Beast among Jewish Israelis showed that a clear majority of respondents – 53 percent to 34 percent – prefer to hold a…

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  • Time for a referendum on annexing the West Bank and Gaza

    By David Lehrer With Israeli elections on the horizon, one would expect progressive parties to recognize how dangerously close the Jewish state is to a complete democratic meltdown, and to put forward initiatives that have a realistic chance of stabilizing Israeli democracy.  An independent Jewish state and an independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace may no longer be a realistic solution. It is time for the Israeli public to ask itself what kind of a future it wants for its children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For this reason, I propose that political parties that champion a democratic Jewish state…

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  • At one Cairo polling station, voting 'because it has meaning'

    On 19 March Egyptians voted on a package of constitutional amendments. There was a sense of exuberance on the streets, with total strangers smiling and asking each other how they had voted - 'yes' or 'no.' For many, it was their first experience in participatory democracy; for others, it was the first time they bothered to vote in decades. CAIRO -- In an elementary school classroom decorated with colorful children's drawings and guarded by two soldiers wearing camouflage and helmets, a gray-mustached Egyptian man wearing a galabiyeh and embroidered prayer cap voted for the first time in 30 years. "Because…

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  • Cairo, day 1: Referendum on constitutional amendments

    Today, my first day in Cairo, is an historic one: Egyptians are voting on whether or not they want their constitution - which was suspended during the revolution - to be amended. People are lining up to vote in endless queues at polling stations all over Cairo, and Egyptians I follow on Twitter are updating constantly about the voting process. They are expressing concern over possible irregularities, as well as exuberance at participating in the democratic process. Aljazeera's website has a cogent breakdown and analysis of the amendments; and this article on AJ's website explains why Egyptians are deeply divided…

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  • Israel's referendum law: Who gets asked?

    The concept of a referendum – a direct vote by the qualified voters of a state – is customary in some countries, as part of a nation’s right to determine its future. It is only in Israel that we see the perplexing notion of asking citizens of the occupying power – rather than the occupied population – to determine the political fate of the occupied people By Aeyal Gross | Translation: Dana Shunra The new legislation enacted by the Knesset, requiring a referendum to be held in Israel to approve any relinquishment of any territory to which Israeli law has…

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  • Referendum law: don’t give the Knesset so much credit

    Let’s calm down, shall we? Saying that Knesset legislation has given a coup de grâce to the two state solution (TSS) is a gross misunderstanding of the Israeli political system. It’s almost like a kid telling his father he won’t be able to do his homework tonight because he lost his pencil. Yeah, Daddy’s gonna find you another pencil kiddo, don’t worry about it. If anything kills the withering TSS, which could indeed happen very soon, it will be much greater forces than puny legislation passed by the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. And it would be simple naiveté to even think…

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