Israeli Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman likens Palestinian icon Mahmoud Darwish to Hitler, and in its coverage, The New York Times continues to bury the battle inside Israeli leadership over fascistic and Nazi currents in the country’s politics.
Category Archives: Israeli Government
Members of Israel’s opposition coalition will filibuster overnight to stall a vote on a controversial bill to expand the Knesset’s power to oust one of their own. The expulsion bill, formerly called the suspension bill, grants parliamentarians the authority to permanently kick their peers out of office, without loose criteria for disqualification. It is aimed at one member: Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List.
Israel’s human rights NGOs pushed back this week after the Knesset passed a transparency law that critics say was the most recent attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to persecute the country’s left. Leading Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now vowed to wage legal war against the new law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign donors to declare their funding sources prior to addressing Knesset committees, speaking with public officials, as well as on publications and websites.
Israel’s security cabinet said Sunday it will spend $13 million to expand social and education programs in West Bank settlements “in order to make it easier” for residents “to deal with the effects of the security situation and minimize its impact on the daily routine.” Peace Now said the funding was a backdoor policy to build up settlements under the cover of responding to the recent bout of violence.
Israel and Turkey announced an end to the six-year diplomatic rift that began in 2009 after Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish nationals during the seizure of a passenger ship, which departed from Turkey as part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla.” As a term of the agreement, Turkey will pass a law to make illegal any “criminal and civil claims” against Israel or it’s military forces for the death of the activists, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Rome. Netanyahu added the blockade over the Gaza Strip, which was an area of dispute between the two countries, will remain in full.
The Israeli parliament on Wednesday passed a law expanding the power of the state to label individuals or groups as “terrorists,” in what critics said will be exploited to criminalize legitimate Palestinian political activity. Among its most controversial tenets is an expanded definition of “terrorism” as well as official procedure for declaring a group a “terrorist organization.” The law also enables the state to outlaw charity groups “indirectly” contributing to “terrorist organizations,” imprison its members by association and issue a life sentence to those who “support” but are not directly involved in “terrorist acts.” MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List said the new legislation is not intended to indict “real terrorists.” but has a different aim. “It aims to prevent citizens from being critical and express their views, from being involved in a popular political struggle against the [Israeli] occupation, to talk about the boycott, and in general to think outside the box,” Zoabi tells Mondoweiss.
As Israel held funerals yesterday for those killed in an attack in Tel Aviv earlier in the week, police limited Palestinian travel from the West Bank and Gaza during the Ramadan holiday.
Blue and white banners filled Jerusalem yesterday to mark 49 years of Israeli rule in the city. Crowds of settler youth chanted the slogan “the Jewish nation lives” as they marched under the ramparts of Damascus Gate. Many wore stickers supporting rabbi Meir Kahane, a former Knesset member kicked out of the government after calling for violence against Arabs, while others pasted their clothes with decals backing a greater Israel, a Jewish-nationalist movement that seeks to annex the occupied Palestinian territory. Meanwhile, Palestinians were barred from sections of the city and postponed the start of their own festivities for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to avoid conflicts with the settlers.
Netanyahu wants to deflect attention from a French peace plan by pushing a “regional peace summit” based on the Arab Peace Plan of 2002, which promised Israel normal relations with the Arab world in return for ending the occupation. Israel’s sudden interest in the plan is odd, given that it has not been discussed in cabinet since the Saudis unveiled it 14 years ago. In truth, Netanyahu backs the idea because he knows reaching a region-wide agreement would be impossible with the Middle East in turmoil.
Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar returned to her West Bank home in Ramallah today after more than a year in an Israeli prison on charges related to her political activism. Jarrar was arrested in April 2014 first under an administrative detention order, a form of imprisonment without charge. In December of that year she signed a plea deal for a 14-month sentence after a lengthy hearing. After a tearful reunion with her husband, mother, and supporters at the checkpoint, Jarrar then traveled to her house in Ramallah. Once in her backyard amid shrubs and fruit trees Jarrar described her legal ordeal, and the long journeys she made to Israel’s military court to stand trial.
In a surprise move, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week forced out his long-serving defense minister, Moshe Yaalon. As he stepped down, Yaalon warned: “Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel.” He was referring partly to his expected successor, Avigdor Lieberman, and Israeli commentators pointed out that the new government will be the most extreme in Israel’s history. Less noticed however has been the gradual and parallel takeover of Israel’s security institutions by those espousing the ideology of the settlers – known in Israel as the national-religious camp.
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, a woman and a minor, Wednesday morning at Qalandia checkpoint in Jerusalem after the female threw knife at border officials, according to a preliminary Israeli police investigation.
Last week more than 5,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in a massive outpouring of support for the Israeli soldier recently indicted on manslaughter charges for executing a wounded, immobile Palestinian man in Hebron. The rally included signs featuring the motto of the Nazi SS and was the latest example of the genocidal current running through Israeli society. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I suggest that everyone lower the flames,” but Netanyahu himself has been stoking these flames since Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish opponent of the Oslo Accords.
Pronouncement by Netanyahu and cabinet on Israeli right to enter Area A shows Israel has abandoned two state program for a “one-state, two systems… apartheid” arrangement, Saeb Erekat of the PLO says
The detention by Palestinian Authority security forces of three Palestinians who allegedly planned to carry out an attack inside Israel this week brought renewed public criticism of the PA amid a slew of political disputes. The PA finds itself pitted between a need to appease the Israeli authorities through security coordination and the mass upheaval such coordination brings among political rivals and the wider public.
Hamas’s armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, displayed for the first time Friday photographs of four Israelis believed to be held in Gaza, of whom two are civilians and two are soldiers killed in combat.