•  Finance Minister Yair Lapid said to justify the blatant discrimination against Arabs in the new law which grants full VAT exemption to those buying a first home.

    No VAT, but plenty of racism

    Finance Minister Yair Lapid said to justify the blatant discrimination against Arabs in the new law which grants full VAT exemption to those buying a first home.

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  • Rather than stepping up to head a social movement and lend the weight of organized labour to the struggle for peace and equality, leaders of new workers committees prefer to support Likud, thus giving a hand to a party that is right-wing, war-mongering and anti-labour.

    Israeli workers committees shoot themselves in the foot

    Rather than stepping up to head a social movement and lend the weight of organized labour to the struggle for peace and equality, leaders of new workers committees prefer to support Likud, thus giving a hand to a party that is right-wing, war-mongering and anti-labour.

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  • 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.

    Tension between approaches and the failure of Israeli-Palestinian talks

    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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  • Until 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.

    The boycott: To what end?

    Until 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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  • The 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.

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

    The 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.

    Continue Reading...