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Zehava Gal-On

  • 'Anyone but Bibi' isn't the point: Pre-election postulations

    It is naive for the Israeli peace camp to think that deposing Netanyahu will bring about peace or even get us closer. Now that early elections are almost certainly going to be held on March 17, rumors have begun spreading like wildfire about the myriad possibilities of parties teaming up and the various frontrunners who will be vying to dethrone Prime Minister Netanyahu. There are many pieces in the puzzle, and it is hard to keep up or know how things will actually pan out. But one thing is already clear: the most popular theme of this election is the…

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  • Ex-Israeli ministers, MKs, academics to British MPs: Support Palestinian statehood

    Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On criticizes Israeli Labor party for opposing the motion: 'Labor is conducting itself like another foreign office for Netanyahu's government.' Hundreds of Israeli public figures, academics, former ministers and Israel Prize laureates (the state's official civil decoration) signed a public letter calling British MPs to support Palestinians statehood in a symbolic motion set to face a vote in the UK's parliament on Monday. Among those who added their names to the letter are Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman, former Meretz ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, four former MKs (including Naomi Chazan, the former head of…

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  • Public reading of soldier testimonies to be held in Tel Aviv on anniversary of occupation

     Avner Gvaryahu, spokesperson for the anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence: 'We want as many public figures as possible to assume responsibility, in broad daylight, for the kind of stories every soldier knows to tell.' Breaking the Silence, an organization made up of ex-IDF soldiers that seeks to expose the reality of the occupation, is organizing a public reading of soldier testimonies from the West Bank and Gaza in central Tel Aviv's Habima Square. The event will mark the 10 year anniversary of the organization, which has taken a leading role in documenting Israel's control over the Palestinians in the West Bank…

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  • Knesset approves bill that could push Arab parties out

    After a stormy night session, the coalition was able to pass the necessary amendments and election laws that would make it more difficult to topple a government and eliminate small factions. Left-wing and Palestinian members of Knesset protested the legislation in 'silent speeches.' Ultra-Orthodox MK Eichler spoke to the Arab public in Arabic, saying 'we are with you.' (video below) During the last session of the Knesset before its summer recess, the coalition was able to pass a first reading of the “governance legislation,” - an amendment to Israel's Basic Laws - which would make it more difficult for the…

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  • A rift between Netanyahu and Barak? Not so fast

    Political maneuvering scores headlines in Israel and abroad. The New York Times reported this morning on a "growing rift" between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The disagreements between the two regarding the strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and the government's attitude towards the American administration have found their way into the public sphere, with proxies for both sides attacking each other on every possible issue, from policy to personal character. So, the strongest political alliance Israel has known in years is coming to an end? Don't be so sure. Despite the obvious differences in their political approach…

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  • 'Anonymous decision maker' advocating war with Iran is Ehud Barak

    The top stories in all Israeli dailies this weekend discuss a coming strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Thirty-seven percent of Israelis think President Obama would stop Iran from developing a bomb, while only 29 percent doubt it. The front page headlines in all major daily papers in Israel deal with the increased likelihood of a war with Iran. Yedioth Aharonoth has an important expose: the paper's diplomatic correspondents, Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer, report that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has gathered senior army generals twice (the latest meeting took place at Mossad headquarters) in order to obtain their support for…

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  • Three parties, from center leftwards, now led by women

    The left-wing liberal party Meretz elected MK Zehava Gal-On this week as its new leader, following the retirement of former MK Haim Oron. Gal-On, representing the left flank of the party, won against MK Ilan Gilon. She is expected to place greater emphasis on opposition to the occupation. In her victory speech, Gal-On said: "Under my leadership, Meretz will bring social protest into political power. It will be a true social-democratic party that supports dividing the land (of Israel)." Meretz has only three seats in the current Knesset, and while polls indicate that the party could double its power in the…

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  • Will all of Israel's center-left parties be led by women?

    Front-runners for leading Kadima, Labor and Meretz in the next elections are all women. Could Israel's next government be led by a Livni-Yachimovich-Gal-On trio? Israel is far from being the model for the advancement of women, and discrimination is evident in any field of society. All major media organizations are controlled and run by men; there are only 23 women in the Knesset (and this is an all-times record); and even in Israel's high-tech industry there is a salary gap of 24 percent in favor of men [Hebrew]. Last week, however, brought an unexpected sign of hope: For the first time…

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