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Posts tagged ‘Knesset’

Even if Benjamin Netanyahu is dethroned, the alternative is just as bleak for Palestinians

With just over two months to go before the second Israeli election this year, and with the latest polls predicting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will struggle to meet the 61 seats needed to form a governing coalition, former Israeli minister and current Yisrael Beiteinu party chair Avigdor Lieberman has emerged as the kingmaker. Last month the veteran politician expressed his desire for a unity government between Likud and the opposition Blue and White list. Mr Lieberman, whose refusal to form a coalition with Likud triggered the dissolution of the Knesset in May, told Israeli radio: “We will aim for a government with Likud and with [the Blue and White party] and that will be an emergency government, a national liberal government. We will do everything to limit the haredim [ultra-Orthodox] so that they won’t enter government.” Read more

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Netanyahu has triumphed again – here’s what that means for Palestinians

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done it again. Facing serious corruption allegations, and challenged by a “dream team” ticket including three former military chiefs of staff, Likud’s leader is now poised to form a new coalition government.

Although the Blue and White list headed by Benny Gantz secured 35 seats in the next Knesset, a majority of Israelis have voted for the so-called “right-wing” bloc headed by Likud (also on 35 seats), along with United Torah Judaism, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, Right-wing Union and Kulanu. Read more

Israel election: Why Israel desperately needs regime change

Israel’s elections on Tuesday remain too close to call. With Likud and the Blue and White list polling neck and neck, incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu likely has the easiest path to forming a new coalition government – but challenger Benny Gantz could yet emerge as prime minister.

The election has been framed as Netanyahu versus “anyone but Netanyahu”, the radical right versus establishment security figures, or in terms of competing “blocs” in the Knesset, the right and ultra-Orthodox on the one hand, versus centre-right and centre-left parties on the other. Read more

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”. Read more

Why has Netanyahu pushed through the Jewish Nation State bill now?

Late on Wednesday night, Israel’s parliament passed the Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People law, in a 62-55 vote hailed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “defining moment”.

No ordinary piece of legislation, the new bill takes its place among Israel’s quasi-constitutional set of Basic Laws. Read more

‘Jewish nation state’: How Israel enshrines apartheid into law

On Thursday, the Israeli government formally passed the “Jewish nation state”law. With the Knesset’s summer recess on the horizon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to pass the law ahead of the break.

“This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote. Read more

Israel’s Supreme Court: Liberal bastion or an enforcer of injustice?

It is routinely hailed as Israel’s last line of defence against ultra-nationalist legislation. But does the country’s Supreme Court deserve its reputation as an upholder of liberal values?

Recent cases have illustrated how the court, rather than undermining the systematic rights abuses experienced by Palestinians, in fact oils the machine of occupation. Read more

Israel’s ‘Jewish nation state’ bill is pushback against Palestinian citizens’ resistance

Last week, a Knesset committee approved a final version of the controversial “Jewish nation state” bill, sending it to the plenum for its three readings before becoming law.

Some Israelis have claimed that the law does not really change much, and stems more from the desire of current ultra-nationalist coalition members to make a point and curry favour with their base – the law, according to this view, is more symbol than substance. Read more

In Israel’s parliament, even limited Palestinian dissent is under threat

“These people have gone too far…”
MK Nissan Slomiansky, February 10, 2016

Many Palestinian citizens of Israel “take their rights too far.”
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, May 13, 2008

On February 2, Members of Knesset met with the families of Palestinian assailants whose bodies are being withheld by Israel authorities. The visit by Haneen Zoabi, Basel Ghattas, and Jamal Zahalka, all from Balad and part of the Joint List, was part of “a campaign being conducted by the families and legal aid and human rights groups seeking the return of the bodies of their family members.” Read more

Israel debates how to stop BDS even as it continues to lose friends abroad

On Wednesday, a debate was held in the British Parliament on the issue of Palestinian child prisoners detained by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

The same day, two thousand miles away, Israel’s Knesset hosted a discussion on how to combat the growing, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Together, these two parliamentary meetings serve as a useful illustration of why Israel’s international image continues to deteriorate – and why it is not likely to improve any time soon. Read more