Tamar Zandberg, Six Year Later and Iran still does not have a Bomb [ssba]

Tamar Zandberg, Six Year Later and Iran still does not have a Bomb

Tamar Zandberg posted on Facebook a response to Raviv Drucker’s Haartetz article asking “What Happened to the Iranian Bomb?” In the article Drucker argues that the entire political establishment adopted Netanyahu’s nightmare scenarios regarding Iran. But In Israel, when the doomsday prophecies fail to predict the future, nobody ever pays a price. “The doomsdayers,” as he calls them, “believe that there’s always some “long term” in which their prophecy will come true.” Read More »

Zehava Galon: Israel is Turning into a Facsimile of Worldwide Antisemitism [ssba]

Zehava Galon: Israel is Turning into a Facsimile of Worldwide Antisemitism

Today Zehava Galon wrote a Facebook post against racism:

Three stories in the news today:

A Jewish guy calls a gym asking to join. They respond, “We’d love to have you. Come join.” An Arab guy calls ten minutes later and they tell him, “We’re booked throughout February.”

A factory in Jerusalem seeks a Jewish forklift driver to replace its Arab workers. The factory representative told a Ynet reporter who uncovered the story, “We have Arab [employees], but we want to hire our guys. We understand there’s a catch – Arab labor costs half as much.” It seems there’s another catch. The fact that this sickening discrimination is against the law doesn’t bother them that much.

Meretz MK Issawi Freij opened Yediot Ahronot this morning and found his picture in the place of MK Basel Ghattas alongside a story about Balad MKs [who met relatives of Palestinian terrorists]. Because what’s the difference between one Arab and another?

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Issawi Frej’s picture this morning in Yediot Ahronot in place of MK Basel Ghattas 

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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 »

Gaby Lasky: “The gloves have fully come off from the Prime Minister on down.” [ssba]

Gaby Lasky: “The gloves have fully come off from the Prime Minister on down.”

Gaby Lasky is a personal hero of mine. The first time I met her, she was wet out of law school and defended my ex-husband who was arrested in a student demonstration. I have been following her ever since. And Partners had a Conversation with her in May about the anti-boycott law. It is no surprise then that when I saw her interview with Einat Fishbein in the Hottest Place in Hell I stopped everything I was doing and sat down to read it. The interview grabbed me by the throat. At times, I couldn’t breathe. I had to translate it. I had no choice.

If you follow Israeli politics as closely as I do, you know things have changed radically in the last few months. In this interview Gaby Lasky convinced me that these changes are the result of an orchestrated attack on Israel’s Left. This is not another move in the continuous dance since 1977– sometimes the Right is on top, sometimes the Left. The Right has changed the rules of the game, she says. Their delegitimizing campaign is making it impossible for the Left to voice their opinion. She met Likud members who told her that they think Meretz should be banned. As simple as that.

And she is afraid. She is convinced there will be casualties in the attack on the Left. She locks the doors behind her. She is worried about her friends.

She continues believing in the system and fighting. I am not sure why she still believes – the story of the defense of Nasser Nawaja certainly did not leave me confident that the system works. But she does. If she didn’t she would have left the country a long time ago. Gaby Lasky is still hopeful. Read More »

Ready to Fight for the Future of our Kid’s Education [ssba]

Ready to Fight for the Future of our Kid’s Education

The following is Dana Mills’ translation of Zehava Galon’s Facebook post:

This morning the Ministry for Education froze the Ministry’s support for pluralist Jewish education. In the last budget only 16.5 million NIS out of 290 Million NIS were allocated for organizations which offer a pluralistic alternative. The rest went mostly to Orthodox organizations. Today Naftali Bennett killed this orphaned lamb, too. Read More »

Impoverished Thinking, Impoverished Lives [ssba]

Impoverished Thinking, Impoverished Lives

Israel woke up the other day, 14 January, to the news that it is now the leader in poverty rates among the OECD countries. According to the report, about 21 percent of Israelis within the Green Line are living under the poverty line – more than in countries such as Mexico, Turkey, and Chile. In the mid-1990s, Israel’s poverty rate stood at just 14 percent. Further, Israel has the third highest gap between the rich and the poor in the world.  A country once founded out of a socialist ethos is now becoming even the most committed liberal’s nightmare. Indeed, the entire world is facing a steady and frightening rise in inequality, but even in this context Israel seems to triumph in this questionable race towards poverty and impoverishment.

On the day this statistic was released, Meretz Chairwoman MK Zehava Galon noted a direct connection between these sad statistics and the general erosion of compassion and retreat from any kind of egalitarianism within the Israeli society. She discussed her proposed bill to allow single mothers to receive child benefits at the same time as they go out to work, noting that if women earn above the ridiculous sum of 641 NIS per months (equivalent of $161) 60% of their child support allowance would be deducted by the government. Galon’s efforts to change this situation were hit by resistance of 51 coalition members who voted against the bill.

There is, of course, great poverty on the West Bank and Gaza. In a press release from last February the Deputy Prime Minister of Palestine, Mohammad Mustafa, and UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, James W. Rawley, outlined a strategic response plan requesting 705 million to address humanitarian needs of 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Dr. Mustafa said: “the past few months have been the grimmest in our history”. Read More »

Zehava Galon remembers Yossi Sarid [ssba]

Zehava Galon remembers Yossi Sarid

The following is a translation of a Facebook post by Zehava Galon, published today:

Last night we commemorate a month to the passing of Yossi Sarid. This is what I said in his memory:

At the end of 1987, when the first intifada began, Dedi Zucker, Avigdor Feldman and I met with Yossi Sarid asking his advice on how to name a new Israeli organization which we established to document human rights violations in the occupied territories. We discussed various names. Then Yossi (scratching his scalp) stood up pulled his much-used Bible, skimmed it and found the verse “And God created man in His image, in the image of God (B’tselem Elohim) He created him” (Gen 1:26–28). This became the name of B’Tselem until today. 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 »

Incitement in the Halls of Knesset, Courtesy of Im Tirzu [ssba]

Incitement in the Halls of Knesset, Courtesy of Im Tirzu

Initiated by MKs backed by “Im Tirzu”, the Knesset Education Committee held a hearing today full of incitement against Breaking the Silence, so much so that it could not have been managed better even by Joseph McCarthy himself. We have no plans to vacate the stage for Knesset members who want to scrape some more political capital off the backs of Breaking the Silence, and no intentions of keeping quiet when we name those same Knesset members as enemies. The soldiers of Breaking the Silence are helping the IDF maintain moral character, and can teach the right-wing MKs who incite what it really means to love your country.

This was first written by MK Zehava Galon here. At this link, you can find a video transcript of MK Zehava Galon in Knesset. Text translated by B. Lana Guggenheim.

Meretz Condemns the Persecution of Breaking the Silence [ssba]

Meretz Condemns the Persecution of Breaking the Silence

McCarthyism, the Ya’alon Version: What have we become? What kind of country do we pretend to be, when the Minister of Defense joins the hunt for the heads of the soldiers of Breaking the Silence? Tonight, we sent an urgent letter to the Minister signed by the Meretz MKs, which call for him to go back back on silencing the testimony of the soldiers and ex-combatants. These soldiers risked their lives for the security of the state, and are worried about its character and image.

In a normal country, you need to allow legitimate criticism. The misconduct reported has been verified, and there to discourage the culture of cover-up that is so often practiced in these parts, especially where the army and soldiers are responsible over human lives. So we wrote:

The media reported yesterday that in your capacity as Defense Minister, there is a ban on the entry of members of Breaking the Silence to hold activities with IDF units. Meretz is shocked by the cynical and dangerous way in which you are exploiting the IDF – an army of the people, and we call on you as the Defense Minister to retract your attempts to silence soldiers and ex-combatants, who are fighting for the future of Israel. Your recent words are a declaration of war not only on Breaking the Silence, but Israeli democracy as a whole, and a despicable attempt to silence positions that are not aligned with the positions of the Likud and the Israeli right. Read More »