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Posts tagged ‘Knesset’

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

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‘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

Israel offers its Palestinian citizens development without decolonisation

Hundreds of Jewish Israelis demonstrated on Saturday in the northern city of Afula, after construction tenders issued for new housing were won by Palestinian citizens from nearby villages.

The demonstrators, who are calling for the tenders to be revoked, included “senior officials” from the Afula city council, as well as David Suissa, chief of staff to Israel’s Housing Minister. “The fight in Afula has set off many warning bells”, said Suissa, adding that the protest was on behalf of “anyone who grew up in the city and wants to safeguard its character.” Read more

Beyond the ballot box: how Israel’s “Arab voters” are second-class citizens

On Monday, newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regretfor his now notorious remarks on polling day last week, when he warned that Israel’s Palestinian citizens were coming out to vote “in droves.”

Netanyahu did not actually say sorry; he merely noted that what he had said “hurt some Israeli citizens”, and added that he sees himself as the prime minister of “each and every one of you…without differentiating between religions, races and sex.”

In the words of one journalist, Bibi’s comments were “like publishing a one-column-inch apology on the obituary page for deliberately libelling a person on Page 1.” The Joint List also rejected the non-apology, noting the prospect of further “racist and marginalising legislation” in the next Knesset. Read more

10 facts about Israel’s elections and the Palestinian vote

On 17 March, Israelis will go to the polls to elect a new government. Here are 10 facts about the Knesset elections and the Palestinian vote. Read more

Jerusalem: A stricken apartheid city

In the weeks and months after the Jerusalem Light Rail was inaugurated, city officials boasted of a practical achievement and powerful symbol of the city’s modernity and “unity”. Criticism that the line served illegal settlements was dismissed as ignorant. Pictures of Jewish and Palestinian passengers were proof positive, some suggested, of the deceit of the apartheid charge.

Yet in the fiery weeks of this year’s summer, the JLR became a different kind of symbol, as Palestinians focused their rage on its stations and trains as representative of Israel’s colonial domination. Read more