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  • No, Arab MKs don't 'care too much' about the occupation

    Israel's Arab politicians are often attacked for 'dealing too much' with the Palestinian issue. But if they don't speak up for a people who lack even the most basic civil rights, who will? One of the most-repeated criticism of Israel's Palestinian members of Knesset, which always come up around election time, is that they "deal too much" with issues relating to Palestinians in the occupied territories, yet they neglect their voters — the Arab public in Israel. This criticism was raised, yet again, in Haaretz's poll [Hebrew] published last week, which raised both these issues, as if they contradict each other.…

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  • Herzog must support the Joint List — and vice versa

    Before the 1992 election, Rabin apologized for the discrimination against Palestinian citizens, thus paving the way for a 'golden age' in relations between the Arabs and the state. Twenty years later, the 'Zionist Camp' and the Joint List can stand to learn a thing or two. By Ron Gerlitz and Nidal Othman (translated by Richard Flantz) The Labor Party’s recommendation to disqualify the candidacy of Haneen Zoabi MK was cynical and illegitimate from a democratic perspective, and awful from a political perspective. This move was joined by the militaristic video released by Labor last week. The last thing Herzog needed…

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  • A different look at democracy: Impressions from a 'Haaretz' conference

    What does it feel like to be thought of as someone who endangers democracy? Sometimes, all it takes is having dark skin, curls and a kippa. Thoughts on Mizrahi identity from Haaretz's Conference on Democracy. By Eli Bareket Several weeks ago I attended the Israel Conference on Democracy sponsored by the liberal Haaretz daily. It was truly impressive. Around 1,000 polite and friendly people attended — those for whom Israeli democracy matters and who could set aside a day. Eva Illouz was also in attendance, and even said a lot of wise things such as, "democracy is a regime in which…

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  • 'The media makes Israeli Jews ignorant of Arab society'

    How much do this country's Jews really know about Arab society, especially around election time? The head of the Mossawa Center, Jafar Farah, says Israelis have only their media to blame for their ignorance. By Oren Persico The last attempt by the Mossawa Center to ensure fair representation for the Arab population in Israel's news coverage during the election season seems to have failed. Much like all its previous attempt. Two months ago, the center, which works to protect the rights of Israel's Arab citizens, sent a letter to the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, as well as dozens…

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  • WATCH: From Ofer prison to the Knesset?

    Attorney Gaby Lasky spends her days fighting the occupation in Israel's military courts. Now she is fighting to make it into the next Knesset with the left-wing Meretz party. An elections special. Video by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org For Palestinians in the West Bank, Ofer Military Court has come to be known as a symbol of the banality and injustice that lies at the heart of Israel's occupation of the West Bank. For Attorney Gaby Lasky, however, Ofer is where much of her day-to-day work takes place. Lasky — a human rights attorney who previously served as the General Director of Peace…

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  • 'A consciousness free of occupation': Bil'in marks 10 years of popular struggle

    The village that managed to unite the world behind the spirit of nonviolent Palestinian protest marks not only a decade of tear gas, night raids and tragedy, but also of co-resistance and victories in its struggle against settlements, the separation barrier and the occupation. Anyone who has visited the West Bank village of Bil’in on a recent Friday might think, just for a second, that they were back in 2005. At first glance, it seems like nothing has changed since the days of the first protests, which began 10 years ago this month. Now, as then, the protesters — mostly…

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  • Stop giving Netanyahu publicity

    The best way to object to Netanyahu, his Congress speech and his policies, is to ignore him. Since the Netanyahu Congress speech episode began last month, the press, and specifically foreign press, has been flooded with items on the Israeli prime minister. Not a day has gone by without a headline about Netanyahu's lavish spending, incompetence regarding the housing crisis, his assault on media and academics, and of course his incitement against centrist political rivals. Netanyahu has redefined the phrase, "bad publicity is good publicity," since none of this appears to be hurting Netanyahu in the least at home. As Gershom…

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  • Palestinian activist explains the Israeli elections

    Bil'in protest leader Abdullah Abu-Rahme: If Israelis must decide between Labor and Likud, they might as well just vote for Liberman instead. The residents of the West Bank village Bil'in are in close contact with the Israeli state. For the past ten years, they have been waging a popular struggle against the separation barrier that has cut them off from most of their land, while withstanding heavy oppression from the army, including arrests, tear gas, raids on the village, and more. As non-Jewish subjects of military rule in the occupied territories, the residents of Bil'in have no right to vote…

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  • Netanyahu speech: A dilemma for U.S. Jews — not for Israelis

    For the first time, American Jews are getting the feeling that they might have to choose between Israel, and their loyalty to the country in which they were born and have become successful to a degree almost unprecedented in the history of the Jewish people. In remarks that shook American Jewish leaders with their bluntness, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to address Congress on March 3 was "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between the United States and Israel. Rice was speaking to Charlie Rose on his PBS news magazine show Tuesday…

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  • The three bullets that killed Israel's left-wing bloc

    Without the Arab citizens there is no 'left-wing bloc' in Israeli politics. The only problem? The inclusion of Arabs was what led the Right to violently bring down the Left in the first place. By Lev Grinberg Since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, there have been no political blocs in Israel. No Left and no Right — only survival combinations. Therefore, all the talk of the “size of blocs” only distorts the depressing reality in Israeli politics, wherein the real issues are barely discussed. The reason there have been no blocs since 1995 is simple: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was…

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