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Uri Ariel

  • Israeli minister weighs population transfer — of kittens

    Arguing that spaying and neutering violates Jewish law, Israel's agriculture minister proposes a crime against humanity — against cats. We knew it would happen sooner or later. The occupation has finally come home to roost. The darkest of Israel’s injustices, mass displacement and population transfer, is now threatening the Tel Aviv left-wing establishment’s holiest of holies — cute, little kittens. Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is proposing a full-fledged population transfer of Israel’s stray feline population, or rather all of its males, or females. No, seriously. We're not making this up. The transfer plan was revealed in a letter from the…

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  • The Israeli government's election gift to West Bank settlers

    Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…

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  • Three kidnapped Israeli teens found dead in the West Bank

    Kidnappings led to the largest military operation in the West Bank since the Second Intifada. Israeli military forces on Monday located the bodies of three teenage yeshiva students who have been missing and assumed kidnapped for over two weeks. The bodies of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel were found buried in a field near Halhoul, in the Hebron area. The three, two of whom are 16 years old and the third 19, were hitchhiking home from their yeshiva in a West Bank settlement when they were believed to have been kidnapped. The Israeli army had surrounded the homes of two of…

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  • Settlers fear prisoner release deal, extension of talks

    Netanyahu has probably spent his Passover vacation trying to reach a deal that would enable the settlers to save face and stay in the government while peace talks continue. The Right is launching campaigns to convince right-wing politicians to vote 'no.' With a little more than a week left until the formal deadline for the Israeli-American-Palestinian talks, efforts to extend the negotiations still haven't produced a breakthrough. Nevertheless, a last-minute deal shouldn't be ruled out either; often times, the most productive political maneuvering takes place when no news is reported. On the Israeli side, the best indicators – as always – come from…

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  • Housing Ministry publishes massive settlement plan, Netanyahu orders review

    *POST UPDATED BELOW* Israel's Ministry of Housing and Construction (run by Jewish Home MK Uri Ariel, who lives in a West Bank settlement) published tenders last week for 20,000 new settlements units, including a tender to build 1,200 units in the southern part of the highly controversial E-1 area, Haaretz (Hebrew) reported Tuesday. According to Haaretz's Chaim Levinson, the tenders call for construction in 23 settlements, the largest scope in the last decade, at a cost of NIS 50 million. Just minutes after the report came out, Haaretz followed up with the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the housing…

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  • In the West Bank, a new settlement is born

    Settlers are celebrating 'the first official settlement in 20 years.' Housing Minister: 'There are no two states, and there won't be two states.' The regional council for Jewish settlements in the northern part of the West Bank (Samaria) celebrated on Sunday the construction of a new settlement called Leshem, located in the western part of the occupied Palestinian territories. According to a report in Maariv, 72 families have moved into their homes in Leshem, and 70 more are expected to do so in the coming year. The plan is to build around 400 more housing units. Israel has committed –…

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  • The day Europe got Israel’s attention

    Responding to the EU's decision to limit all joint projects at the Green Line, Prime Minister Netanyahu displayed a confrontational attitude, vowing not to let anyone 'harm' the settlers.   UPDATE: This post has been updated with clarifications from an EU source regarding the nature of the new guidelines. Read the full guidelines here.  The European Union’s decision to limit all joint projects with Israel beyond the pre-1967 borders accomplished what all of President Obama’s speeches and Secretary of State Kerry’s diplomatic missions have failed to – it put the occupation back as the top story on the Israeli agenda. The new…

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  • Israel’s new government: Very male, very white, very capitalist

    Oh, and the settlements are in very, very good hands. One of Israel’s leading sociologists, the late Baruch Kimmerling, is responsible for coining the term “Ahusalim (אחוס”לים),” to describe those who ruled Israel for decades. It is an acronym in Hebrew for “Ashkenazi, secular, old guard, socialists, and nationalists.” ASOSNs, for us English speakers. I guess Kimmerling was trying to find something similar to WASP, and although he came up with a term that became widely used, let’s face it - phonetically it’s a flop. As I write these lines, the coalition agreements between the Likud, Jewish Home and Yesh…

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  • WATCH: MK claims gays interfere with army’s ability to fight

    After Yisrael Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli’s rant a few days ago against homosexuals (which will apparently continue in a lengthy interview later this week in Maariv) it was MK Uri Ariel's (National Union) turn to do some gay-bashing. On June 18 he was interviewed on the Knesset channel and said that gays should not be drafted into the IDF.   There’s a lot of buzz on the social networks, saying that Ariel and Michaeli’s statements are just an attempt to divert attention from the coalition’s bigger problems and crimes (the Ulpana neighborhood, Finance Minister Steinitz giving billions to the corporations,…

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  • Settler MK Uri Ariel calls for one state

    Knesset member joins other rightwing leaders in call for annexing West Bank, one state solution. One of the well known figures in the settler movement, Knesset Member Uri Ariel from the radical rightwing National Union Party, is publicly calling for a one-state solution as an alternative to the construction of a Palestinian state, the independent news site Srugim reported. Ariel is calling on Israel to annex the West Bank immediately and give all Palestinians living there the status of residents in Israel, similar to those of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which was annexed to Israel in 1967. According to the…

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  • A new bill threatens Reform, Conservative movements

    Knesset pushes two more legislative pieces that would drive Israel further from democracy Last week, the Ministerial Legislative Committee – which is responsible for deciding whether a bill will receive government sponsorship, which will allow it to be speedily debated and almost assure its becoming a law – debated a bill, tabled by MK Uri Ariel (Ha’Ichud Ha’Leumi). The Committee decided to delay its decision regarding the bill, named “Bill for Defending the Values of the State of Israel” until next month. The bill – an Hebrew version of it can be read here (document) – is worrisome, as its…

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