MK Tamar Zandberg, Netanyahu’s Challenge [ssba]

MK Tamar Zandberg, Netanyahu’s Challenge

Nothing scares Netanyahu more than an opportunity for peace. Not Iran or Israel’s housing crisis. Last week, President Trump hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and promised to do whatever it takes to reach a peace accord. Abbas said it was time to reach a two-state solution and end the Occupation.

And Netanyahu? He rushed come up with excuses. This time, he accused Abbas of lying when he said that the Palestinians were raising their children to pursue peace. Every time there’s the faintest sign that maybe – just maybe – there might be an opportunity to extricate us from a fate of violence and despair, the prime minister immediately shuts it down. Last time he demanded that the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state. On another occasion, he claimed that they fund terrorists. This time it’s about how they educate their children. Maybe next time he’ll demand that Abbas light Sabbath candles.

Every Israeli must ask themselves, how did the State of Israel turn from being an active initiator of peace into a state led by a cowardly and frightened leadership refusing the possibility that something might change for the better?

There is a large segment of the Israeli public seeking solutions, not excuses, and unwilling to follow blindly into the next war. We’re here to make it clear that another way is possible.

Translation: Maya Haber

Tammy Zandberg, We cannot distinguish between the Shameful Economic Policy and the Perpetuation of the Occupation [ssba]

Tammy Zandberg, We cannot distinguish between the Shameful Economic Policy and the Perpetuation of the Occupation

The Israeli welfare state continues to expand. If you are not feeling it, you are probably not living in a settlement.

While the vast majority of citizens living within the legal territory of Israel face anti-social policies, cutbacks in state services and privatizations, the settlers received today yet another tax benefit.
Only settlers have subsidized public transport. Only settlers deserve discounted housing. Now they also get tax benefits regardless of the socio-economic condition of their community and its residents.

While Yeruham, Ofakim, Kiryat Shmona and many other communities will continue to be crashed under deliberate governmental anti-social policies, Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home Knesset Members) and his partners get yet another fat bonus for their settler friends.

We cannot distinguish between the shameful economic policy and the perpetuation of the occupation. The goal of Israel’s Messianic Right is continuing to reinforce settlements in order to prevent a future peace agreement and deepen the state’s control over Greater Israel. This messianic vision drags us into an endless cycle of bloodshed, brings international isolation and leads to delusional allocation of economic resources to one sector.

This messianic vision has many fathers, Smotrich is only one of them. It is his right. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, however, should be the one answering us. Kahlon promised to be a social minister, but instead he prefers Smotrich and Bennet’s friendship and helps implement their vision.

The original Hebrew Text

Translation: Maya Haber

Netanyahu’s objective is ridding the Knesset of Arab MKs [ssba]

Netanyahu’s objective is ridding the Knesset of Arab MKs

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday that he will promote a law barring lawmakers who visit terrorists’ families from serving in the Knesset. The remarks came in response to three Balad MKs visiting the families of Jerusalem terrorists who were killed while carrying out attacks.

Several Meretz MKs responded by arguing that Netanyahu is denying Israel’s Palestinian minority parliamentary representation. Tamar Zandberg wrote: “Netanyahu’s objective is not defending Israel from terrorism, but ridding the Knesset of Arab MKs… This is nothing more than the cynical exploitation of the public’s distaste for [Balad] MKs meeting [with families of terrorists] to do what the extreme right has been planning for a while.” Read More »

We Can Stop the Next Gaza War Now! [ssba]

We Can Stop the Next Gaza War Now!

The next war with Hamas in Gaza is around the corner. Reuters reports that Israelis near Gaza fear Hamas is tunneling beneath them. And Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza on Sunday that his country will retaliate with “greater force” than deployed in the 2014 Gaza war if cross-border tunnels are used to attack Israel.

MK Tamar Zandberg posted this on Facebook in response:

In the last few days, it seems like the next Gaza war is around the corner. Like a foretold accident that no one is trying to prevent.

It starts with a “trickle” that has fallen (a euphemism for missiles). The Gaza envelope residents are complaining about the noise of tunnel construction under their homes. Netanyahu is threatening to bomb ‘More than in Operation Protective Edge.” And Buji Herzog, proving he is on Netanyahu’s right, suggesting to bomb earlier and more powerfully.

On the other side there is Gaza. Gaza is experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis, shortage of water and electricity, its sewage spills into the Mediterranean and tens of thousands of families are homeless. But simultaneously Hamas continues investing resources in preparing an attack on Israel. Read More »

Bibi is the Reason We Are Not Secure [ssba]

Bibi is the Reason We Are Not Secure

If the Palestinian Authority collapses, we are likely to get into a violent tailspin that will increase and exacerbate the current situation.

For over one hundred days, the citizens of Israel have been suffering from terrorism and attacks on a daily basis. One hundred days in which senior defense officials repeatedly claim – in any forum – that only progress in the political forum will succeed in suppressing the violence.
And yet we see the government is doing exactly the opposite: waving belligerent statements on settlement construction, limiting the operations of the Security Authority, opening a front against Hezbollah threats and blackmailing all of Israel’s Arab citizens, who are already discriminated against and deprived anyway. Read More »

It’s the policy of occupation [ssba]

It’s the policy of occupation

It’s not a mistake. It’s policy. The policy of occupation

Breaking the Silence’s testimonies land on the desks of the Military Police investigators. They should find their way to the desks of the IDF Chief of Staff, government ministers and every Knesset Member.

The silence the testimonies are breaking do not concern the immoral acts of individual soldiers. It is the political silence that fuels the idea that we can continue military rule over civilian populations and still maintain the IDF and our society’s ethical code of conduct.

This is the mirror Breaking the Silence shows Israeli society. This is what the occupation looks like. We’ve sent generations of soldiers and officers to fulfill an impossible task and that’s what they tell us. These aren’t pacifist-anarchists. They’re combat soldiers with a conscience who look reality in the eye and have the courage to speak out.

This is perhaps the reason Breaking the Silence’s evidence so troublesome, so unbearable.

And accordingly, those who try to silence ‘Breaking the Silence’ and thus erase the occupation are not the IDF or its officers, but right-wing and centrist politicians and some on the left. They will not be successful.

Shabbat Shalom.

The original text by Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg was posted here. The translation is by Maya Haber.

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