Conversations with Israel and Palestine

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Tammy Zandberg, The Israeli Progressive Camp Needs Your Support

Knesset member Tammy Zandberg (Meretz) told us how Conservative American Jews influence Israeli politics by investing in think tanks and social media campaigns. She explained how the NGO transparency law allows the conservative camp to continue influencing Israeli politics without interruption – while targeting money going to progressive organizations.

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Avi Dabush, Building Rainbow Coalitions

We had a wonderful conversation with Avi Dabush yesterday. Avi is a dynamic community organizer. He has lead a variety of social and political struggles in Israel. In the last elections, he ran for Knesset as part of Meretz. Throughout the campaign Avi was a leading voice on issues of Mizrahi identity and social justice.

Until recently he was the program director at SHATIL, the New Israel Fund’s initiative for social change. Avi left in January to devote his time to building what he calls “Rainbow coalitions.” …

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Rami Hod, Building Constituencies for the Israeli Left

Rami Hod is the Executive Director of the Social Economic Academy (SEA). He is one of the most strategic thinking people I’ve ever met. He speaks of opportunities, building constituencies, and hope. He believes the future of the Israeli Left is in building support around social and economic interests.

Rami told us about the “quiet revolution” building strength in Israel in recent years. Israelis are becoming more progressive on economic issues. Since 2011 Israelis are organizing in their communities, joining labor unions in vast numbers and demonstrating for …

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Merav Michaeli, Hope is a Decision

We spoke today to MK Merav Michaeli about the achievements of the opposition in the Knesset and the challenges the Israeli Left is facing.

She spoke about the incitement against the Left and how despite the hostile political and media environment the Opposition in the Knesset succeeded in voting down eight bills since the beginning of the year.

“Hope,” she said, “is a decision. The place and the time we need hope the most is when it looks like the situation is hopeless. That is the time …

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Dany Gutwein on the Transformation of the Israeli Left

We spoke today with Professor Danny Gutwein. Gutwein is one of the most prominent public intellectuals of the Israeli Left today. He teaches Jewish History at Haifa University, but spends much of his time inspiring, building and supporting a grassroots movement which offers an alternative political vision and action.

Gutwein has a large following. He participated in the television Social and Economic Policy documentary series the Silver Platter (Magash Hakesef). The series had over two million viewers (read more here). It was so popular that Channel 8 was pressured …

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A Forgotten Minority, MLK Day Conversation with MK Dr. Yousuf Jabareen

Partners for Progressive Israel commemorated Martin Luther King Day with a conversation with MK Dr. Yousuf Jabareen.

Dr. Jabareen, a Knesset member representing the Joint List, is a human rights scholar, lawyer, and community activist. He completed his doctoral dissertation at Georgetown University conducting comparative research on the legal status of African-Americans in the United States in the 1950s and 60s, and that of Israeli Arabs.

Dr. Jabareen argued that the Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel are a forgotten indigenous minority. He reminded us that 18% of Israeli citizens, some 1.6 million …

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A Conversation with MK Benny Begin: When There Are No Solutions

In a Conversation with Israel and Palestine, MK Benny Begin (Likud) stated that we recognize that no deal with the Palestinian Authority is possible.

Departing from Naomi Chazan’s optimism of  and the Avrum Burg’s idealism, Begin argued not only that no peace agreement is on the horizon, but furthermore, Begin fundamentally believes that a peace agreement is impossible to achieve. To support his argument, he quoted MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) who said that “The maximum proposed by Olmert did not approach the minimum that Abu Mazen needed in …

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Imagining the Future: Is a Single State Possible?

“One hundred years ago, could you imagine Protestants and Catholics marrying each other, or Jews and Christians could marry each other? Seventy years ago could you imagine Germany and France leading Europe together – with an open border? No, but look at it now!”

Thus Avrum Burg entreated his audience to consider the possibility of a confederation-style state as the most likely possible outcome for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather than the …

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Conversation with Israel and Palestine: Naomi Chazan on the future of the two-state solution

Today was our first of a three part series on the future of the state of Israel and the two-state solution.

Listen to our conversation with Prof. Chazan.

Naomi Chazan kicked off the conversation speaking frankly about the untenable and immoral nature of the occupation, and how it severely harms both Palestinians and the Israeli state.

Chazan argued that two peoples occupy the land in parity. The number of Palestinian nearly equals the …

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Conversations with Israel and Palestine: Gershon Baskin

Dr. Gershon Baskin should be a household name at this point. Though he is best known as the person responsible for the secret back-channel talks between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, he is also one of the most well-informed commentators on Gaza and Hamas.

In this recorded conversation, Gershon clues us in on the changes in Gaza since the 2005 disengagement.

Dr. Baskin was the Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) – a joint Israeli-Palestinian …

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