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the left

  • Ending the occupation is in the interest of Israelis, too

    The occupation is disastrous first and foremost for Palestinians, but it is also disastrous for the Jewish people in Israel. Left-wing politics cannot be based solely on solidarity with the Other. By Uri Weltmann There are left-wing voices in Israel who believe that the very foundation of Israeliness has become inextricably intertwined with the country’s occupation of the Palestinians. One such view, expressed by Inna Michaeli in an oped in these pages, goes so far as to argue that “the end of the occupation will bring about the end of Israel.” Such voices are effectively abandoning the worldview according to which the…

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  • The crisis of Israel's anti-occupation Left

    Israelis emigrating — or considering emigration — for political reasons are inadvertently adopting the spirit of the boycott movement in the sense that they, too, have given up on the idea of change coming from within. Everywhere I turn these days, many of my peers have left Israel, are leaving Israel, are planning to leave, or are talking about leaving Israel. My family and I included. The reasons for leaving are always personal, and it’s hard to point to a specific political trend. But the discourse around leaving is indicative of a real crisis in the Israeli Left regarding the inability to…

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  • We need a center-left political alternative in Israel

    This is not a time for ideological purity. There is an overriding goal and that is ending the Occupation. By Jeremiah Haber Since the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister in 1999, if not earlier, there has been no center-left in Israel. Of course, there has been something referred to as “center-left” but that was only relative to the so-called Right of the Likud, Kadima, Shinui, Yesh Atid, and defunct parties whose names I forget. Former prime minister Ehud Barak managed almost single-handedly to destroy the center-left, which had supported recognition of the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination,…

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  • The Israeli Left's challenge: Defeating ideology with facts

    Left-wing and anti-occupation groups in Israel are finally hitting back, but the task seems Sisyphean: how do you win over people who don't even acknowledge the same sets of facts. Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem published a cynical ad in Haaretz Tuesday, in which the veteran watchdog group invited right-wingers on a tour of the West Bank's South Hebron Hills. Right-wing groups have published a number of hidden-camera reports in recent weeks in which their "moles" infiltrate left-wing groups in hopes of catching left-wingers saying and doing embarrassing ,and possibly illegal, things. Thus far, the undercover "sting operations" appear to have netted…

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  • Why Palestinians aren't standing up for Israeli leftists

    The Israeli Left with which most Palestinians are familiar speaks the same language as the Right — of segregation and safeguarding a racist regime. The 'other Left' needs to develop a new discourse, and we should all hope it succeeds. The Left in Israel has been subject to what appears to be a serious and concerted attack in recent weeks, directed primarily at anti-occupation NGOs and activists. And while the Israeli media has done a decent amount of reporting on the matter, and as members of the Left talk about a dangerous political turning point, the Palestinian Left hasn’t expressed…

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  • I, too, was undercover when I met Ezra Nawi. Here's what I saw

    I have plenty of criticism for Ezra Nawi. I also have lots of love for him. Part of being a leftist is using language that transcends black and white. By Mijal Simonet Corech The radio is on; it’s always on. We’re cooking. Suddenly, I hear the words, “a left-wing activist was arrested at the airport.” My eyes tear up. I’m holding my son, Meor. With all of his 10-and-a-half months of wisdom, he moves the hair from my eyes to console me and brings his face closer to mine. He understands something has happened. I hug him and promise him it’s…

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  • How respectable journalists are joining attacks on Israel's Left

    The country's top investigative news program airs a hidden-camera sting operation carried out by a shady right-wing organization, and fails to ask the tough questions and give the necessary context. Uvda, Israel’s most prominent investigative television news program, dedicated its 600th episode on Thursday to joining the massive-and-growing campaign against the Israeli Left and human rights NGOs in the country. The show’s host, Channel 2’s Ilana Dayan, known as a courageous and decent reporter who recently won the prestigious Sokolov Award for outstanding journalism, failed miserably and demonstrated poor journalistic judgment. [tmwinpost] The entire episode was based on a story handed to…

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  • The silent majority of complacency: Israel's right-wing voters

    The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static. Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the…

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  • Why is the Western left so obsessed with Israel?

    It ain't anti-Semitism.  There's no question - the evil perpetrated by Bashar Assad on the Syrians for the last year and a half makes the evils of the occupation during this time seem mild. So why does the Western left still seem so much more preoccupied with Israel, not to say obsessed, than it is with Syria? Or with Congo, or with Sudan, or with Afghanistan, or with any other place where man's inhumanity to man is causing far greater agony and bloodshed than it is in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza? The Israeli answer, of course, is anti-Semitism. The left naturally disagrees - but it has had a hard time defending its obsession…

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  • Hitchens was unfairly castigated by the Left for supporting Iraq war

    His heart was in the right place; too bad he didn't see that the Bush administration's wasn't. And too bad the Left couldn't tell the difference. I think Christopher Hitchens was wrong to support the U.S. war in Iraq (interesting that his life ended a day after the war did), but his reasons for supporting it were all good, and it would be nice if the anti-war camp kept that in mind. Saddam Hussein was a rare breed of monster, and Iraq's Kurds and Shi'ites and anti-Saddam Sunnis deserved deliverance from his regime. But even that worthy goal didn't justify the war the Bush administration started - one whose goals were very different from Hitchens', a reckless,…

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  • Tel Aviv sees largest leftwing demonstration in years

    Thousands march to protest Knesset's decision to probe human rights organizations Tel Aviv - More than 10,000 people marched this evening in protest of recent anti-democratic and racist initiatives by the Israeli government. The march, which started in front of the Likud HQ in King George Street and ended at the Tel Aviv Museum Square, was one of the largest leftwing demonstrations in Israel in years. Despite the cold weather, attendance exceeded expectations, and many protesters were unable to enter the Museum Square itself. According to the demonstration's organizers, a last-minute effort was made to arrange additional buses for protesters…

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