Israeli workers committees shoot themselves in the foot

alon hasan - pic amir meiri - globesThe heads of several workers committees organized in the Histadrut recently announced their support for Israel’s right-wing Likud party, arguing that they could form a counterforce within that party against privatization schemes. Rather than stepping up to head a social movement and lend the weight of organized labour to the struggle for peace and equality, and in favour of a new social agenda, as unions do in Britain and in several Western countries, these short-sighted leaders prefer to support Likud, thus giving a hand to a party that is right-wing, war-mongering and anti-labour.

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Tension between approaches and the failure of Israeli-Palestinian talks

Political report submitted to the Central Committee of the Da’am Workers Party

23 March 2014 

The global political arena is undergoing dangerous and dramatic changes. The conflict in the Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex the Crimea further inflames tensions between the US and Russia, and is undoubtedly a surprising development in the relations between the two superpowers following a long period of cooperation in solving crises around the world, especially concerning the Iranian nuclear issue and chemical weapons in Syria. The former cooperation between the Obama administration and the Kremlin appeared to reflect a new framework for a new pattern of international relations. This followed the temporary agreement with Iran, which also isolated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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The boycott: To what end?

Pro-Palestinian demonstration to boycott IsraelUntil 2008 the boycott against Israel, known also as the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), was a marginal phenomenon. It began on July 9, 2005 when 171 Palestinian NGOs called for a boycott at an economic and cultural level. Over time, the initiative spread beyond the Occupied Territories to the wider world. But the Palestinian Authority (PA), which maintains diplomatic, security and economic ties with Israel, refused to express support (and refuses until now). The world’s governments likewise withheld support. Here and there, a famous singer or actor cancelled a gig in Israel, and demonstrations were held abroad when Israelis performed there, but these did not have an impact on public opinion in Israel, or on its government, which regularly accused the boycotters of anti-Semitism.

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Equality for Israel’s Arab citizens? Don’t hold your breath!

benet in arab sector conference 29-10-13The Prime Minister’s Conference on Minorities, held on Oct. 29, 2013, was entitled “Growth in Partnership.” PM Binyamin Netanyahu and senior ministers took part, including the “brothers in arms” Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, as well as Education Minister Shay Piron and Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug. The speakers gave stirring speeches full of promises to boost the political and economic integration of Israel’s Arab citizens, and to dismantle barriers to enable the full business potential of the Arab sector to be used. Higher education was emphasized along with employment, real estate, and fields in which government incentives could encourage economic growth in the Arab sector.

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The Arab Spring and the Consciousness Revolution: Daam’s Ideological Seminar

DSC_9244 copyOver 60 activists, supporters and members of Daam—Jews, Arabs, and representatives from the occupied territories—participated in the 3rd annual Daam ideological seminar, which took place at St. Gabriel Hotel in Nazareth on the 5th and 6th of July. The military coup that took place at the same time in Egypt demonstrated the relevance of the seminar topic, as well as the gravity with which Daam regards the revolutions in the Arab world. In a region where the only voice that was heard belonged to military and police-backed dictatorships on the one hand, and political Islam on the other, there has been a new voice in the past two years—the voice of the people. This voice has joined others from outside the Arab world—Spain, Israel, US, Greece, Turkey and Brazil, all sharing a yearning for a new economic and civil order, as coined by Daam in its campaign slogan: Equal justice for all.

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Abu Mazen’s failed gamble

1530097-5On July 19, 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The announcement did not come from Jerusalem or Ramallah, but from the Jordanian capital Amman, which has become the US State Department’s front line in the region. In the present tour, Kerry did not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because it was clear to all that Netanyahu was not the one who must make the decision. The ball was in the court of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen); he’s the one being asked to accept Israel’s familiar terms – talks with no preconditions, or in other words, talks for the sake of talks, as has been the norm since the Oslo Accords were signed.

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Egypt has lost its way

BESTPIX Egyptian President Morsy Ousted In Military CoupThe Egyptian revolution of 2011 was a rare opportunity to drive the country towards the future by creating a democratic regime which would enable Egyptians to develop a political awareness. The Muslim Brotherhood is incapable of turning Egypt into a modern state, because its religious outlook directly opposes cultural and scientific freedom, while the oppression of women prevents Egypt from shaking off backwardness and social introversion. But this is no reason to support the generals and the military coup. The only way of contending with these issues is via democratic elections.

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