Israeli elections: Who to vote for?

Who shall we vote forThe parties have been registered, and the campaigns for the 17 March elections are running full throttle. “Bottlegate”, suspicions of foreign funding, and accusations of attempts at a putsch – these are the dominant issues in the press. The polls change daily, playing havoc with the manic depression of the parties struggling for survival. Yesterday Meretz was hopping with delight to the words “I want Meretz in government”, and today it has turned against the Zionist Camp (Labor with Yizhaq (Buji) Herzog and The Movement of Tzipi Livni) with a huge paid ad, announcing, “This week he acts like Bibi, tomorrow he’ll sit with Bibi in the government.” They’re referring to Herzog, of course, and this solves part of the dilemma – we won’t be voting for the Zionist Camp.

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“Anyone but Bibi” Strengthens the Israeli Right Wing

Herzog and Livni join forces

herzog-livniWe’re headed for elections again. Less than two years have passed since the meteoric ascent of the “brothers” Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, who forced Binyamin Netanyahu into a coalition without the ultra-orthodox parties, and already Netanyahu is dismantling the government to seek a fourth term. His dream is to go back to the “ideal” composition of the previous government, which brought together the ultra-orthodox, Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, and Ehud Barak’s Labor party. But it is not at all clear that Netanyahu will manage to make this dream come true. He now faces a broad alliance of his past victims, including the ultra-orthodox, Lieberman, Lapid, Tzipi Livni, Moshe Kahlon, and Labor head Isaac Herzog – all past ministers in his governments.

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Anthem for the Jewish Nation-State Law

צעדת דגליםGood things come in pairs, and the Jewish Nation-State Law already has an anthem. Music and lyrics: Amir Benayoun. (For a translation of the lyrics, see this page.) Since peace, as everyone knows, is Israel’s most fervent desire, it is fitting that the first words to this anthem are peace – shalom, salaam aleikum – and are spoken apparently by a man named Ahmed. According to the song, Ahmed embodies the Arabs who stick a knife in your back, for whom treason is second nature. This anthem is perfectly suited to the Jewish Nation-State Law, as it expresses the Israeli (Jewish) nation’s innermost feelings. It seems the existing national anthem – Hatikva (hope) is outdated and no longer reflects the new Israeliness which has formed during the 66 years of the state’s existence. The new anthem is straightforward and easy to understand – every Jew can learn it by heart. It is based on a primordial and very effective fear, and mobilizes the soul’s moral strength for a higher purpose: hate.

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Oslo out, Autonomy in

bogy02_waSince Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s last visit to Washington, tension between Israel and the White House has only increased. The State Department and the White House refused to have anything to do with Yaalon, who once accused Secretary of State John Kerry of having a “messianic fervor,” and he was left talking shop with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. For the others, he has become a persona non grata. This boycott of the Israeli defense minister caught most of the headlines, but the important interview Yaalon gave to the Washington Post, appearing on the paper’s website on October 24, was mostly ignored. This interview reveals that the Israeli government has buried Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to the two-state idea.

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Der Krieg gegen Gaza und das Scheitern der arabischen Regime (German)

Politische Bewertung für das Zentralkomitee, 7. September 2014

daam_LogoDer Krieg gegen den Gaza-Streifen dauerte 52 Tage. Er endete da, wo er begonnen hatte: Die Belagerung des Gaza-Streifens dauert an. Beide Seiten, Israel wie die Hamas erklärten gleichermaßen, sie hätten gewonnen. In Wahrheit hat hier niemand einen Sieg errungen. Wie in den bisherigen Runden dieses zerstörerischen Krieges ist es die Bevölkerung, die den Preis zahlt. Dabei sind die Verluste für das palästinensische Volk besonders hoch: mehr als 2.000 verloren ihr Leben, die Hälfte davon Zivilisten, zehntausende wurden verwundet, hunderttausende obdachlos.

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The Arab Spring and the Protest Movements in Europe

Roni Ben Efrat (left) in Messina

Roni Ben Efrat (left) in Messina

A lecture by Roni Ben Efrat in SABIRMaydan, in Messina, September 28th.

Topic: The difference is between those who have rights and those who don’t: United against the system of inequalities, is there any chance to win?

Part 1: The difference is between those who have rights and those who don’t: United against the system of inequalities…

In the summer of 2011 in a series of mass demonstrations, over a million people marched in the streets of Tel Aviv. Thousands of youngsters camped on Rothschild Boulevard occupying “the” city center for three months.

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The war on Gaza and the collapse of the Arab regimes

Political assessment for the Central Committee, Sept. 7, 2014

daam_LogoThe war against the Gaza Strip lasted 52 days and ended as it had begun: the siege on the Strip continues, and both Israel and Hamas declared they had won, though in fact neither achieved victory. Like previous rounds in this destructive war, the people pay the price, particularly the Palestinian people who lost more than 2,000 lives, half of them civilians, as well as tens of thousands wounded and hundreds of thousands made homeless.

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