The Commemorative Rally for Yitzhak Rabin Played Directly into the Hands of the Right Wing

The commemorative rally for Yitzhak Rabin united Left and Right under a canopy of empty slogans promoting peace and non-violence, and, for all intents and purposes, reinforced the status quo of Peace with Occupation, without raising even one difficult question

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Israel’s ultimatum to refugees: Indefinite detention or danger

An Israeli court upholds the government’s policy of indefinitely imprisoning African asylum if they don’t agree to ‘voluntary deportation’ to third countries with no legal status. The xenophobia driving Israel’s policy is top-down, but there is another way. By Anat Ovadia-Rosner (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) The Be’er Sheva District Court rejected a petition filed by […]

Netanyahu’s transfer plan is met with silent complicity

Netanyahu’s proposal of revoking the status of 100,000 residents of East Jerusalem who live beyond the separation barrier joins a sequence of verbal expressions welded onto a single line of thought and that are aimed also at the Arabs within the Green Line: you are all here by good graces and conditionally. And the silence of the “democratic” political camp reverberates in the background

How Jewish and Palestinian cultural artifacts became Israeli property

A new book looks at the ways in which ancient religious manuscripts belonging to Yemenite Jews, as well as thousands of books owned by Palestinians and Holocaust survivors became part of Israel’s National Library in Jerusalem.

Beyond Netanyahu: On the collapse of the so-called Left

Many in the Israeli Left saw the recent election defeat as a danger to democracy. But if the Left wants to win elections, it needs to let go of its anti-Mizrahi fear-mongering and racism.

A Mizrahi 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

Israeli Black Panther: Mizrahim must boycott the elections

Since the establishment of ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ and until today, not a single election has fundamentally changed the status of Mizrahim. Now we must use the only tool we have left at our disposal and refuse to participate in the game altogether.

What Mizrahi activists really want: A ten-point program

Mizrahi activists have tried explaining their positions for years. Now, in the run-up to the elections, they lay out their political vision for education, land reform, health care and representation in a ‘ten-point program.’

Can a feminist Mizrahi woman find her political home in Shas?

By Efrat Shani-Shitrit Although it is run by ultra-Orthodox men and its path for social mobility is anchored in religion, Shas remains the only truly socially minded political party and is certainly the only Mizrahi party. One voter’s search for answers. A few weeks ago, flyers targeting the women of north Tel Aviv were posted around […]

France must not push Muslims into the arms of extremists

By Yossi Dahan The terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket were well-trained, spoke French and knew their actions would play into the hands of France’s Islamophobic right. Let’s not give them what they’re after. As Israel’s news outlets covered the terrorist attacks in Paris, we watched how our analysts and correspondence suddenly […]

Nonviolence is growing in Palestine – an Interview with Mubarak Awad

By Meir Amor At the end of 2000, as the Second Intifada was just beginning to grip the streets of the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli Professor Meir Amor sat down to speak with Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian expert on nonviolent resistance. Fifteen years later, the two met once again to talk about nonviolence, growing […]

The trauma and tragedy of Israel’s vocational education system

By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Alan Horowitz) Across the board, the achievements of vocational school graduates are significantly lower than those of non-vocational high school graduates. What is needed is equality. Nothing more, nothing less Before surrendering to the vision of Stef Wertheimer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Shay Piron and the vocational […]

Why religious Jews are divided over the Temple Mount

By Nissim Leon As tensions between Jews and Muslims come to a head in Jerusalem, it is worth remembering that one of Israel’s most prominent rabbis strictly forbade Jews from visiting Judaism’s holiest site in the wake of the Six-Day War   Recent news reflects a surge in conflict between Muslims and Jews in Israel […]

Israel’s ‘backyards’: First south Tel Aviv, then Holot

By Shula Keshet (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) So long as the fight for asylum seekers’ rights — which I have taken part in — remains blind to the fact that Mizrahi slums are the only places carrying the burden of supporting and integrating asylum seekers, any celebration of the High Court to […]

Down but not out: Can the Arab Spring (up)rise again?

By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez)   Three years after the Arab Spring, the youth of the revolution sound worried, fearful and fatigued. Yizhar Be’er reports from a regional gathering in Amman In December 2011, as the Arab Spring aroused sky-high expectations, I published my impressions of a conference organized by Mediterranean […]

Truth is the first casualty when war is declared

By Shaked Spier The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn’t want war, […]

Inequality in Central Government Transfers to Municipalities

By Shlomo Swirski and Etty Konor-Attias While it is of no surprise that the government financial support for the Jewish settlements in the OPT, and especially for the non Haredi settlements, is generous than ever before, the budget allocated for peripheral development towns has shrunk during the years 1991-2012, while the budget for Arab localities […]

Kitsch, death and god at Israel’s Education Ministry

By Avner Ben-Amos (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) The Israeli education minister’s letter to the graduating class of 2014 is evidence of the fact that Israeli education is little more than an ongoing IDF preparatory course A letter to the high school class of 2014 published by Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron in the […]

Fight Israeli poverty, not poverty statistics

By Shlomo Swirski and Noga Dagan-Buzaglo (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishei)  Poverty in Israel is not the result of low social security transfers, it’s the result of low income. And the truth of the matter is that the issue of poverty is not high on the Israeli government’s list of priorities The Alaluf Committee […]

What to expect from the Israeli Right after Protective Edge?

By Mati Shemoelof (Translated by from Hebrew by Rotem Nir) Progressive forces in Israel need to be prepared: The Israeli Right has yet to exhaust all of its options for dealing with the Palestinians. The alternatives to Netanyahu’s status quo involve moves toward a Greater Israel and full segregation based on extreme nationalism and hatred. If there is […]

Kurds Have No Friends But The Mountains

By Idan Pink-Avidani The Kurds are presented in the media as props in a play called “The militant Islamic violence and its horrors in the Middle East”, But the story of the Kurdish people is much more than part of a scenery or cannon fodder in ISIS’s exhibit of horror, and much more relevant to […]

Every war, I lose more and more friends

Sometimes I fantasize about what would happen if I were to be declared a traitor by the authorities. How would those women with whom I’ve worked for so long react. Now I’m beginning to understand. By Ruti Lavie (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) This week I unfriended another friend who reacted to my posts […]

After Abu Khdeir murder, an ugly collision of homophobia and racism

By Shaked Spier (Translated from Hebrew by Yossefa Mekyton and Shaked Spier) After Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death, many Israeli Jews insisted he died at the hands of Palestinians. They seized on unfounded rumors of his alleged homosexuality rather than facing the truth of the horrible act. Alongside the pain, belligerence and anger, […]

 An open condolences letter to the family of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the Palestinian people

Haokets (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammad Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed […]

At Hebrew University, Arabic textbooks reflect a Zionist reality

Fadi Asleh (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) At Hebrew University, the narratives in Arabic and Hebrew language textbooks glorify Zionism and blur out any sign of the occupation. The next step? Using force against Palestinian students who dare to protest that very narrative. Israeli Independence Day is also Palestinian Nakba Day. This is one […]

The language of death in Bat Yam’s Monument Square

By Eyal Sagi Bizjawi The nationalist machine tries to ‘sell’ city residents a story about honoring ‘defenders.’ But the latter respond: they are not defending anything anymore. They died and all that was left is a monument. The central square in Bat-Yam, my hometown, is known as “the matseva” (“the headstone” or “monument”). As a child […]

Memorial Day: An open letter to Israel’s defense minister from a bereaved brother

By Lior Ben Eliahu (Translated from Hebrew by Edo Eliezer Konrad) Every year, the defense minister sends a letter to bereaved families, reminding them that the death of their loved ones did not happen in vain. Today, as Israel marks Memorial Day, the brother of Tamar Ben Eliahu, who was killed in a Jerusalem bus bombing […]

How one Palestinian citizen challenged Israel’s ‘enemy state’ policy

By Salah Mohsen Majd Kayyal’s right to travel and participate in a conference in Beirut is far more important than his right to fulfill his role as a journalist. That right belongs to him as a human being, an Arab and a Palestinian who has absorbed the cultural richness of Lebanon’s capital. The release of […]

A rolling stone of holiness, rage and revenge

By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) On Purim of 1994, Dr. Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Muslim worshipers in the Cave of the Patriarchs – a tragedy that sparked a chain of events that has, more than any other act, shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the last 20 years. But we could […]

Two journeys back in time to places called home

By Assia Ladizhinskaya We went for a visit in the empty Palestinian village in which Waffa has never been, and it was the happiest day of his life. I flew for a visit to Moscow, the home I had left, and didn’t like a thing. Both of us are back to live in the present […]

Fantsy of Superiority: How the Israeli media pits Mizrahi Jews against asylum seekers

By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Benno Karkabe, Shoshana Gabay and Dana Hadadi) Israeli journalists are doing nobody any favors by blaming the long-time Mizrahi residents for the plight of African asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv. So one must ask: why aren’t journalists actually holding the government accountable? May Golan is a young […]

For the sake of peace, it is time to put an end to peace negotiations

By Rona Moran and Hana Amouri (Translated from Hebrew by Itamar Haritan) After 20 years of a failed and fictitious peace process, there is no more room for ‘processes’ that serve as substitutes for peace. There is nothing left to clarify between the two sides. The only possible compromise for a peace agreement is well […]

What would Hillel the elder say?

By Lior Sternfeld In hundreds of campuses around the United States, Hillels actually function as propaganda branches of the Israeli right wing. I find it hard to believe that this was the intention of Hillel the Elder. Perhaps Shammai’s. Recently, some have rebelled and dared demand transparent, free and critical discussion.   If you ever […]

Palestinian incitement: Genuine problem or right-wing dream?

на русском By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) It’s not uncommon to hear Israeli leaders accuse the Palestinian Authority and its media outlets of inciting to violence against Israelis and Jews. But is it actually true? A closer examination of the evidence reveals that the habitual blaming of the Palestinian Authority is […]

Ignoring the Most Promising Option

By Yuval Eylon What is the best response to the Iranian nuclear threat, and what is the connection to regional disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and Israel’s refusal to end the occupation? Yuval Eylon on reasonability and rationality The following essay was originally published in Hebrew in August 2012.[1] It recently was selected given an […]

Eritrean asylum seekers: Caught between jail and death

By Philmon Razena This is the story of Philmon Razena, a 25-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker. Like the other tens of thousands of others, Philmon lives under constant threat of being jailed or deported by the Israeli authorities, while also being closely monitored by the Eritrean government, which terrifies Eritreans whether they are in Israel or elsewhere. Over […]

Dusting the sand out of the desert

By Hilla Dayan The Prawer-Begin Plan was shelved. But the idea that you can forcefully transfer an indigenous population and determine where it can legally reside – looks and smells like a plan pulled from the dusty drawer of Hendrik Verwoerd, architect of Apartheid South Africa. And that didn’t work out so well. Sadly, it was […]

The military face behind the Prawer Plan’s civilian mask

By Avner Ben-Amos (Translated from Hebrew by Mairav Zonszein) ‘The Bedouin will not live on his land with his flock, but rather will be part of the urban class that comes  in the afternoon and puts on his slippers,’ Moshe Dayan said in 1963. In the 50 years since, not much has changed regarding Israel’s […]

Why I was transformed from a political dissident to a dangerous terrorist?

By Yoav Haifawi When Yoav Haifawi joined radical left organizations in Israel, he had no idea that the airport security services would begin searching him for explosives. A true story about the security services’ modus operandi. The following story is 100% true. It tells us a lot about the modus operandi of the security services, […]

Dr. Karnit Flug’s, New Bank of Israel Governor, Dark Secret

By Assaf Oron The period of Israel’s history that by far saw the largest economic growth, more than any other, was the six years following the Six Day War. And what agricultural, industrial, or hi-tech breakthroughs took place around 1967-1973? None worthy of mention. More than any other single factor, it was the establishment of […]

Have you murdered and also taken possession?

By Avraham H. Muthada (Translated from Hebrew By Iris Barner) First the moderate Judaism of Mizrahi Jews was trampled and some of them were pushed into an extreme orthodox practice that originated in Europe. Then the Mizrahi Jews were blamed for Ashkenazi-originated orthodoxy, and now MK Ruth Calderon reinvents moderate Judaism as if none of […]

‘Religion and politics’ in Israel: The mythology of Jewish nationalism

By Yaacov Yadgar The State of Israel has never attempted to build a national identity that would be ‘liberated ’from Jewish ‘religion.’ Instead, it has focused on the construction of a national identity distinct in one critical respect: it is reserved for Jews only. One of the more controversial legislative bills being currently pushed forward […]

Despite outcry, EU guidelines on settlements will have little effect

Photo: Who Profits?

By Eness Elias, Rona Moran, Yara Saadi (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) Not only do the EU guidelines do very little to affect the occupation economy, they may also bestow legitimization on commercial activities that, despite supposedly taking place within the Green Line, yield huge occupation-born profits. Contrary to confused press reports, the new […]

Ramadan entry permits: The battle for hearts and minds

By Fady Asleh (Translated from Hebrew by Michael Omer-Man) The Palestinian, in whose head is an engraved image of the lands that were torn away from him, now faces an entirely different picture. Haifa of today is not the Haifa of Al-Shrak Cafe or the 1920s and 30s capital of Palestinian culture. An entry permit […]

Is ‘predatory theocracy’ actually threatening Tel Aviv?

By Hagai El-Ad A recent Supreme Court ruling dictated that Tel Aviv must shut down certain business during the Sabbath. The decision was met by an automatic response that framed the decision as a ruling in favor of a ‘predatory theocracy,’ instead of one in support of an ‘enlightened, free, and open’ society. But are these the […]

Profiting off war: A look into the world of Israeli arms dealing

By Eilat Maoz (Translated from Hebrew by Guy Eliav, edited by Ami Asher) War in Israel has become a constant source of profit, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip used as experimental sites for arms dealers backed up by intellectuals. These are the protagonists of ‘The Lab,’ a new film by Yotam Feldman. In […]

Turning Israel’s port workers into public enemy number one

By Yossi Edry (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) In May of this year, Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett devised a plan to replace port workers with IDF soldiers in the case of a strike. Not only did Bennett’s spin make for a dangerous contribution to the ongoing incitement campaign against port workers, it also […]

Thatcher’s Poll Tax Popping in for a Visit

Abraham Doron (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey) According to the new budget proposal, housewives who work only in their household and are raising the next generation of workers, will be required to pay a Poll Tax. Today we were told that this appalling proposal will be removed from next year budget Among the edicts […]

Europe’s leaders speak out on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children

By Galit Saporta (Edited by Ami Asher) While the Israeli public and media failed to take any significant notice of a recent UN report criticizing Israel’s policy on children’s arrests and detention, some European officials and NGOs are speaking out about the abuses. It seems that yet another report, this time from the UN Committee […]

Gas exports: Is the government with us, or against us?

By Ofer Sitbon (translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) The High Court of Justice views petroleum and natural gas as ‘limited, non-renewable, publicly-owned resources.’ So how is it that our own government violates the basic rules of public policy? In a 2011 ruling handed down by the High Court of Justice (Bagatz 3734/11), Justice Miriam […]