industryterm:nation-state law

  • Israeli lawmaker’s attack on celebrity Jewish-Arab marriage echoes Nazi ideology

    MK Oren Hazan accused TV anchor Lucy Aharish of seducing Fauda actor Tzahi Halevi in order to hurt Israel – and Netanyahu said nothing

    Yossi Verter SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 11, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-mk-s-attack-on-celebrity-jewish-arab-marriage-echoes-nazi-ideology

    Knesset Member Oren Hazan (Likud), he of the infamous selfie celebrating the passing of the nation-state law, has identified a terrorist cell. This cell has a single member – TV anchorwoman Lucy Aharish.
    This week the Arab journalist carried out a terrorist act intended to lower the Jewish birthrate when she married actor Tzahi Halevi. “She seduced a Jewish soul with the aim of harming our country and preventing more Jewish offspring from perpetuating the Jewish line,” the racist, ignorant and repulsive MK tweeted.
    Substitute the word “German” for “Jewish” here and you’ve got the Nazi racial doctrine. Talk of racial purity, prevention of “assimilation,” seduction of the male and hostile exploitation of his fine, pure seed for nationalist purposes. In the name of such an ideology, six million Jews were murdered in Europe.

    Next week, the Knesset opens its winter session. The Likud MK will address the parliament from the podium. He will vote in committees. No boycott will be imposed on his party faction. He will not be penalized. He will exchange high-fives and pats on the back with the gang who appeared in the selfie. They deserve each other.

    Tzachi Halevy and Lucy Aharish.Vered Adir, David Bachar
    But something can still be done. A few months from now, when an early election is announced, Likud will hold a primary for its slate for the 21st Knesset. Like the rest of the bunch who were elected on the basis of their districts in the last primary, this time Hazan will have to run on the national list. There the hurdle is much higher. The last time around, when he ran in the Samaria district, he needed just 2,000 or 3,000 votes. This time he’ll need 20,000 to gain a top-20 slot (the district winners will be ranked after them). Whoever marks Hazan’s name on the ballot despite this repugnant tweet and everything else we now know about the guy will directly harm Likud.
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    In any event, given the party’s primary system, at least a third of the current MKs will likely be gone in the next Knesset. The math is simple: Twenty-nine will run for re-election (all but Benny Begin). Plus, four candidates not currently in the Knesset are likely to be elected to the list: Gideon Sa’ar, Danny Danon, Yoav Galant and Nir Barkat. That makes 33. The national list that comprises the top 20 will include no more than 18-19 of these people. In other words, we’ll have to bid farewell, happily or otherwise, to some 15 MKs.
    On Thursday we waited in vain for the Likud chairman (and Hazan’s selfie buddy) to denounce the disgusting tweet. Netanyahu chooses his condemnations carefully. What starts with “droves of Arabs are streaming to the polls” culminates in the seduction by Arab women of Jewish men so as to suppress the Jewish birthrate.
    We also waited in vain for any fatherly scolding from the prime minister of his elder son Yair for his hateful, invective-filled Facebook post aimed at Television News Company analyst Amnon Abramovich. No point expecting any such thing from Netanyahu. They are all his sons.


  • Bernie Sanders cites Israel’s nation-state law in slamming Trump for inspiring authoritarianism

    ’There’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,’ said Sanders

    JTA
    Oct 10, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bernie-sanders-cites-israel-s-nation-state-law-in-slamming-trump-1

    In a major foreign policy speech identifying an emerging authoritarian strain around the world, Bernie Sanders included the passage of Israel’s nation-state law as an example of President Donald Trump’s inspiring anti-democratic moves.
    “It should be clear by now that Donald Trump and the right-wing movement that supports him is not a phenomenon unique to the United States,” Sanders said Tuesday in a speech to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “All around the world, in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere we are seeing movements led by demagogues who exploit people’s fears, prejudices and grievances to gain and hold on to power.”
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    Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said Trump by himself was not responsible for the rise of authoritarianism but was spurring it forward.
    “While this authoritarian trend certainly did not begin with Donald Trump, there’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,” said Sanders.
    He cited as examples the rise in popularity of a far right-wing politician in Brazil, increased repression in Saudi Arabia, and policies of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    >> There’s a reason the opposition didn’t attend the nation-state protest | Opinion
    “It’s also hard to imagine that Israel’s Netanyahu government would have taken a number of steps— including passing the recent ‘Nation State law,’ which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, aggressively undermining the longstanding goal of a two-state solution, and ignoring the economic catastrophe in Gaza — if Netanyahu wasn’t confident that Trump would support him,” Sanders said.


  • Now Israel has a race law
    Haaretz.com - From now on by court decree, two types of blood exist in Israel: Jewish blood and non-Jewish blood
    Gideon Levy - Sep 21, 2018 1:55 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-now-israel-has-a-race-law-1.6492061

    Even if it had until the end of time, Israel and the Jewish nation will never be able to compensate the Palestinian nation for all the harm they have done to it. Not for the material harm nor the intellectual harm, the physical harm nor the spiritual harm. Not for the plunder of their land and property, nor for their trodden freedom and dignity. Not for the killing and bereavement, nor for the people who were injured and disabled, their lives irrevocably ruined. Not for the hundreds of thousands of innocents who were tortured and imprisoned, nor for the generations who were denied a fair opportunity for a normal life.

    There is nothing like Yom Kippur to express this. Israel has of course never even considered entering a process of compensation, reparation and taking responsibility. Nothing can be expected from an occupier that calls itself the victim, that blames everyone but itself for every injustice that it does. But even this isn’t enough for it.

    Occasionally, another record is broken: The state, organizations or individuals in Israel and the Jewish world sue the Palestinians for damages caused by terror activities. For example, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, a nonprofit organization that calls itself a “Jewish human rights organization,” moves heaven and earth in Israel and abroad to sue Palestinian individuals and organizations on behalf of Jewish victims.

    This despicable and contemptible act, according to which the victim is the criminal and only Jewish blood is red and thus deserving of redress, occasionally has its successes, mostly in public relations. While Israel avoids paying any compensation for its systematic destruction and killing in the Palestinian territories since 1948, there are those who still have the unbelievable audacity to demand compensation from the Palestinians. The Gaza Strip was destroyed by Israel time after time, horrifically, but Israel has never lent a hand to its rehabilitation. Israel killed tens of thousands of people, including innumerable innocent people, including children, women and elderly, over the years and the Palestinians are asked to pay compensation.

    As part of this madness, homes owned by Jews before 1948 are returned to their original owners through the Israeli legal system, dispossessing people who lived there for decades. At the same time, stolen or abandoned Palestinian property from 1948 has never been returned to its legal owners. In Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem and in other places, Israeli flags multiply, together with the hundreds of Palestinians left homeless after being kicked out of their homes in shame, on the order of the egalitarian and just courts of the State of Israel. If someone has it in their heart to understand how afflicted the Israeli legal system is with moral rot, and how far it is from the fundamental principles of equality and justice, here lies the proof.

    But all this is not enough. This week a new record was set. Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled that a Jew who was injured in a terrorist attack is entitled to additional compensation, because he is a Jew, without proof of any damage, based on the nation-state law, which states that the government will strive to protect the well-being of Jews.

    The circle has been closed, completed and perfected. Now it is a real race law, according to the unavoidable interpretation of the court of the nation-state law. From now on, two types of blood exist in Israel: Jewish blood and non-Jewish blood, on the law books as well. The price of these two types of blood is also different. Jewish blood is priceless, it must be protected in every possible way. Non-Jewish blood is terrifyingly cheap, it can be shed like water. A situation that existed until now only de facto, with different standards and punishments for Jews and others, is from today by court decree.

    Seventy years of nationalism and racism toward the victims is now receiving its appropriate legal backing. The nation-state law, which they said was only declarative, in the correct interpretation of Drori, has earned its true meaning: The basic law for the superiority of Jewish blood. From now on, Israel has race law.

    • traduction en français
      Israël a désormais sa loi raciale par par Jacques Boutard
      Désormais, par décision de justice, il y a deux types sanguins en Israël : le sang juif et le sang non-juif.
      http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=24157

      Même s’ils avaient l’éternité devant eux, Israël et la nation juive ne pourront jamais réparer tout le mal qu’ils ont fait à la nation palestinienne. Rien ne pourra compenser le préjudice matériel ni le préjudice intellectuel, ni le préjudice physique ni le préjudice spirituel. Ni le pillage de leurs terres et de leurs biens, Ni leur liberté, ni leur dignité foulées aux pieds. Ni les meurtres et les deuils, ni les personnes blessées et estropiées, et dont la vie a été irrémédiablement gâchée. Pas plus que les centaines de milliers d’innocents qui ont été torturés et emprisonnés, ou les générations qu’on a privées de leur droit légitime à une vie normale.


  • The State of Israel vs. the Jewish people -
    Israel has aligned itself with one nationalist, even anti-Semitic, regime after another. Where does that leave world Jewry?
    By Eva Illouz Sep 13, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jewish-people-1.6470108

    Orban, left, and Netanyahu, in Jerusalem in July 2018. DEBBIE HILL / AFP

    An earthquake is quietly rocking the Jewish world.

    In the 18th century, Jews began playing a decisive role in the promotion of universalism, because universalism promised them redemption from their political subjection. Through universalism, Jews could, in principle, be free and equal to those who had dominated them. This is why, in the centuries that followed, Jews participated in disproportionate numbers in communist and socialist causes. This is also why Jews were model citizens of countries, such as France or the United States, with universalist constitutions.

    The history of Jews as promoters of Enlightenment and universalist values, however, is drawing to a close. We are the stunned witnesses of new alliances between Israel, Orthodox factions of Judaism throughout the world, and the new global populism in which ethnocentrism and even racism hold an undeniable place.

    When Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to align himself politically with Donald Trump before and after the U.S. presidential election of 2016, some people could still give him the benefit of doubt. Admittedly, Trump was surrounded by people like Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, who reeked of racism and anti-Semitism, but no one was sure of the direction the new presidency would take. Even if Trump refused to condemn the anti-Semitic elements of his electoral base or the Ku Klux Klan, which had enthusiastically backed him, and even if it took him a long time to dissociate himself from David Duke – we were not yet certain of the presence of anti-Semitism in Trump’s discourse and strategies (especially since his daughter Ivanka was a convert to Judaism).

    But the events in Charlottesville in August 2017 no longer allowed for doubt. The neo-Nazi demonstrators committed violent acts against peaceful counter-protesters, killing one woman by plowing through a crowd with a car (an act reminiscent in its technique of terrorist attacks in Europe). Trump reacted to the events by condemning both the neo-Nazis and white supremacists and their opponents. The world was shocked by his conflation of the two groups, but Jerusalem did not object. Once again, the indulgent (or cynical) observer could have interpreted this silence as the reluctant obeisance of a vassal toward his overlord (of all the countries in the world, Israel receives the most military aid from the United States). One was entitled to think that Israel had no choice but to collaborate, despite the American leader’s outward signs of anti-Semitism.

    This interpretation, however, is no longer tenable. Before and since Charlottesville, Netanyahu has courted other leaders who are either unbothered by anti-Semitism or straightforwardly sympathetic to it, and upon whom Israel is not economically dependent. His concessions go as far as participating in a partial form of Holocaust denial.

    Take the case of Hungary. Under the government of Viktor Orban, the country shows troubling signs of legitimizing anti-Semitism. In 2015, for example, the Hungarian government announced its intention to erect a statue to commemorate Balint Homan, a Holocaust-era minister who played a decisive role in the murder or deportation of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews. Far from being an isolated incident, just a few months later, in 2016, another statue was erected in tribute to Gyorgy Donáth, one of the architects of anti-Jewish legislation during World War II. It was thus unsurprising to hear Orban employing anti-Semitic tropes during his reelection campaign in 2017, especially against Georges Soros, the Jewish, Hungarian-American billionaire-philanthropist who supports liberal causes, including that of open borders and immigration. Reanimating the anti-Semitic cliché about the power of Jews, Orban accused Soros of harboring intentions to undermine Hungary.

    Whom did Netanyahu choose to support? Not the anxious Hungarian Jewish community that protested bitterly against the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Orban’s government; nor did he choose to support the liberal Jew Soros, who defends humanitarian causes. Instead, the prime minister created new fault lines, preferring political allies to members of the tribe. He backed Orban, the same person who resurrects the memory of dark anti-Semites. When the Israeli ambassador in Budapest protested the erection of the infamous statue, he was publicly contradicted by none other than Netanyahu.

    To my knowledge, the Israeli government has never officially protested Orban’s anti-Semitic inclinations and affinities. In fact, when the Israeli ambassador in Budapest did try to do so, he was quieted down by Jerusalem. Not long before the Hungarian election, Netanyahu went to the trouble of visiting Hungary, thus giving a “kosher certificate” to Orban and exonerating him of the opprobrium attached to anti-Semitism and to an endorsement of figures active in the Shoah. When Netanyahu visited Budapest, he was given a glacial reception by the Federation of the Jewish Communities, while Orban gave him a warm welcome. To further reinforce their touching friendship, Netanyahu invited Orban to pay a reciprocal visit to Israel this past July, receiving him in a way usually reserved for the most devoted national allies.

    The relationship with Poland is just as puzzling. As a reminder, Poland is governed by the nationalist Law and Justice party, which has an uncompromising policy against refugees and appears to want to eliminate the independence of the courts by means of a series of reforms that would allow the government to control the judiciary branch. In 2016 the Law and Justice-led government eliminated the official body whose mission was to deal with problems of racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, arguing that the organization had become “useless.”

    An illustration depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Auschwitz. Eran Wolkowski

    Encouraged by this and other governmental declarations and policies, signs of nationalism multiplied within Polish society. In February 2018, president Andrzej Duda declared that he would sign a law making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having collaborated with the Nazis. Accusing Poland of collusion in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities would be from now prosecutable. Israel initially protested the proposed legislation, but then in June, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, signed an agreement exonerating Poland of any and all crimes against the Jews during the time of the German occupation. Israel also acceded to Poland’s move to outlaw the expression “Polish concentration camp.” Moreover, Netanyahu even signed a statement stipulating that anti-Semitism is identical to anti-Polonism, and that only a handful of sad Polish individuals were responsible for persecuting Jews – not the nation as a whole.

    A billboard displaying George Soros urges Hungarians to take part in a national consultation about what it calls a plan by the Hungarian-born financier to settle migrants in Europe, in Budapest. ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

    Like the American, Hungarian and Polish alt-right, Israel wants to restore national pride unstained by “self-hating” critics. Like the Poles, for two decades now, Israel has been waging a war over the official narrative of the nation, trying to expunge school textbooks of inconvenient facts (such as the fact that Arabs were actively chased out of Israel in 1948). In order to quash criticism, Israel’s Culture Ministry now predicates funding to creative institutions on loyalty to the state. As in Hungary, the Israeli government persecutes NGOs like Breaking the Silence, a group whose only sin has been to give soldiers a forum for reporting their army experiences and to oppose Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians or the expropriation of land, in violation of international law. Purging critics from public life (as expressed in barring the entry into the country of BDS supporters, denying funding to theater companies or films critical of Israel, etc.) is an expression of direct state power.

    When it comes to refugees, Israel, like Hungary and Poland, refuses to comply with international law. For almost a decade now, Israel has not respected international conventions on the rights of refugees even though it is a signatory of said conventions: The state has detained refugees in camps, and imprisoned and deported them. Like Poland, Israel is trying to do away with the independence of its judiciary. Israel feels comfortable with the anti-democratic extreme right of European states in the same way that one feels comfortable with a family member who belches and gossips, losing any sense of self-control or table manners.

    More generally, these countries today share a deep common political core: fear of foreigners at the borders (it must be specified, however, that Israelis’ fears are less imaginary than those of Hungarians or Polish); references to the nation’s pride untainted by a dubious past, casting critics as traitors to the nation; and outlawing human rights organizations and contesting global norms based on moral principles. The Netanyahu-Trump-Putin triumvirate has a definite shared vision and strategy: to create a political bloc that would undermine the current liberal international order and its key players.

    In a recent article about Trump for Project Syndicate, legal scholar Mark S. Weiner suggested that Trump’s political vision and practice follow (albeit, unknowingly) the precepts of Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar who joined the Nazi Party in 1933.

    “In place of normativity and universalism, Schmitt offers a theory of political identity based on a principle that Trump doubtless appreciates deeply from his pre-political career: land,” wrote Weiner. “For Schmitt, a political community forms when a group of people recognizes that they share some distinctive cultural trait that they believe is worth defending with their lives. This cultural basis of sovereignty is ultimately rooted in the distinctive geography… that a people inhabit. At stake here are opposing positions about the relation between national identity and law. According to Schmitt, the community’s nomos [the Greek word for “law”] or sense of itself that grows from its geography, is the philosophical precondition for its law. For liberals, by contrast, the nation is defined first and foremost by its legal commitments.”

    Netanyahu and his ilk subscribe to this Schmittian vision of the political, making legal commitments subordinate to geography and race. Land and race are the covert and overt motives of Netanyahu’s politics. He and his coalition have, for example, waged a politics of slow annexation in the West Bank, either in the hope of expelling or subjugating the 2.5 million Palestinians living there, or of controlling them.

    They have also radicalized the country’s Jewishness with the highly controversial nation-state law. Playing footsie with anti-Semitic leaders may seem to contradict the nation-state law, but it is motivated by the same statist and Schmittian logic whereby the state no longer views itself as committed to representing all of its citizens, but rather aims to expand territory; increase its power by designating enemies; define who belongs and who doesn’t; narrow the definition of citizenship; harden the boundaries of the body collective; and undermine the international liberal order. The line connecting Orban to the nationality law is the sheer and raw expansion of state power.

    Courting Orban or Morawiecki means having allies in the European Council and Commission, which would help Israel block unwanted votes, weaken Palestinian international strategies and create a political bloc that could impose a new international order. Netanyahu and his buddies have a strategy and are trying to reshape the international order to meet their own domestic goals. They are counting on the ultimate victory of reactionary forces to have a free hand to do what they please inside the state.

    But what is most startling is the fact that in order to promote his illiberal policies, Netanyahu is willing to snub and dismiss the greatest part of the Jewish people, its most accepted rabbis and intellectuals, and the vast number of Jews who have supported, through money or political action, the State of Israel. This suggests a clear and undeniable shift from a politics based on the people to a politics based on the land.

    For the majority of Jews outside Israel, human rights and the struggle against anti-Semitism are core values. Netanyahu’s enthusiastic support for authoritarian, anti-Semitic leaders is an expression of a profound shift in the state’s identity as a representative of the Jewish people to a state that aims to advance its own expansion through seizure of land, violation of international law, exclusion and discrimination. This is not fascism per se, but certainly one of its most distinctive features.

    This state of affairs is worrisome but it is also likely to have two interesting and even positive developments. The first is that in the same way that Israel has freed itself from its “Jewish complex” – abandoning its role as leader and center of the Jewish people as a whole – many or most Jews will now likely free themselves from their Israel complex, finally understanding that Israel’s values and their own are deeply at odds. World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder’s August 13, 2018, op-ed in The New York Times, which was close to disowning Israel, is a powerful testimony to this. Lauder was very clear: Israel’s loss of moral status means it won’t be able to demand the unconditional loyalty of world Jewry. What was in the past experienced by many Jews as an inner conflict is now slowly being resolved: Many or most members of Jewish communities will give preference to their commitment to the constitutions of their countries – that is to universalist human rights.

    Israel has already stopped being the center of gravity of the Jewish world, and as such, it will be able to count only on the support of a handful of billionaires and the ultra-Orthodox. This means that for the foreseeable future, Israel’s leverage in American politics will be considerably weakened.

    Trumpism is a passing phase in American politics. Latinos and left-wing Democrats will become increasingly involved in the country’s politics, and as they do, these politicians will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued American support of Israeli policies that are abhorrent to liberal democracies. Unlike in the past, however, Jews will no longer pressure them to look the other way.

    The second interesting development concerns Europe. The European Union no longer knows what its mission was. But the Netanyahus, Trumps, Orbans and Morawieckis will help Europe reinvent its vocation: The social-democrat bloc of the EU will be entrusted with the mission of opposing state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, and above all defending Europe’s liberal values that we, Jews and non-Jews, Zionists and anti-Zionists, have all fought so hard for. Israel, alas, is no longer among those fighting that fight.

    A shorter version of this article has originally appeared in Le Monde.

    • Eva Illouz : « Orban, Trump et Nétanyahou semblent affectionner barrières et murs »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/08/08/eva-illouz-israel-contre-les-juifs_5340351_3232.html?xtor=RSS-3208
      Dans une tribune au « Monde », l’universitaire franco-israélienne estime que l’alliance du gouvernement israélien avec les régimes « illibéraux » d’Europe de l’Est crée une brèche au sein du peuple juif, pour qui la lutte contre l’antisémitisme et la mémoire de la Shoah ne sont pas négociables.

      LE MONDE | 08.08.2018 à 06h39 • Mis à jour le 08.08.2018 à 19h18 | Par Eva Illouz (directrice d’études à l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales)

      Tribune. Un tremblement de terre est tranquillement en train de secouer le monde juif. Lorsque le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, choisit de soutenir Donald Trump avant et après l’élection présidentielle américaine de 2016, certains pouvaient encore donner à ce dernier le bénéfice du doute. Certes, Trump s’était entouré de gens comme Steve Bannon dont émanaient des relents antisémites, certes, il refusait aussi de condamner sa base électorale sympathisante du Ku Klux Klan, mais personne n’était encore sûr de la direction que prendrait sa nouvelle présidence.

      Les événements de Charlottesville, en août 2017, n’ont plus permis le doute. Les manifestants néonazis commirent des actes de violence contre des contre-manifestants pacifiques (tuant une personne en fonçant dans la foule avec une voiture), mais Trump condamna de la même façon opposants modérés et manifestants néonazis.

      Le monde entier fut choqué de cette mise en équivalence, mais Jérusalem ne protesta pas. L’observateur indulgent (ou cynique) aurait pu interpréter ce silence comme l’acquiescement forcé du vassal vis-à-vis de son suzerain : de tous les pays du monde, Israël est celui qui reçoit la plus grande aide militaire des Etats-Unis.

      Cette interprétation n’est désormais plus possible. Il est devenu clair que Nétanyahou a de fortes sympathies pour d’autres dirigeants qui, comme Trump, front preuve d’une grande indulgence vis-à-vis de l’antisémitisme et dont il ne dépend ni militairement ni économiquement.
      Une statue à Budapest

      Prenons l’exemple de la Hongrie. En 2015, le gouvernement y annonça son intention de dresser une statue à la mémoire de Balint Homan, ministre qui joua un rôle décisif dans la déportation de 600 000 juifs hongrois. Quelques mois plus tard, en 2016, il fut question d’ériger à Budapest une statue à la mémoire d’un des architectes de la législation antijuive durant la seconde guerre mondiale, György Donáth....


  • L’article d’une DJ israélienne à propos des annulations récentes. Quelques points à noter :
    1) elle n’est pas surprise de l’annulation de Lana del Rey
    2) elle est surprise en revanche de l’annulation de DJs, car ce milieu n’était pas touché par la politique et BDS, et elle se demande si ce n’est pas le début de quelque chose...
    3) elle cite Gaza, la loi sur l’Etat Nation, les arrestations d’activistes à l’aéroport, mais aussi la proximité entre Trump et Netanyahu, qui influence surtout les artistes américains
    4) on apprend que tout le monde sait qu’il y a des artistes, et non des moindres, qui même s’ils ne le disent pas ouvertement, ne viendront jamais en israel : Beyoncé, The Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, Sonic Youth, Lil Yachty, Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Vince Staples, Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers, Ben UFO, DJ Ricardo Villalobos, Matthew Herbert, Andrew Weatherall... C’est ce qu’on appelle le boycott silencieux...
    5) il y a aussi le cas de ceux qui ne viennent que si les concerts sont organisés par des Palestiniens : Acid Arab et Nicolas Jaar
    6) même si cela me semble faux, le fait d’accuser certains artistes de boycotter parce que c’est à la mode est un aveu que BDS a le vent en poupe dans le milieu de la musique

    The Day the Music Died : Will BDS Bring Tel Aviv’s Club Scene to a Standstill ?
    Idit Frenkel, Haaretz, le 7 septembre 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-day-the-music-died-will-bds-halt-tel-aviv-s-club-scen

    Lana Del Rey should have known better. And if not Del Rey herself, then at least her managers, PR people and agents.

    As the highest-profile artist who was scheduled to appear at the Meteor Festival over the weekend in the north, it was clear she’d be the one caught in the crossfire , the one boycott groups would try to convince to ditch an appearance in Israel. That’s the same crossfire with diplomatic, moral and economic implications that confronted Lorde, Lauryn Hill and Tyler, the Creator: musicians who announced performances in Israel and changed their minds because of political pressure.

    Del Rey, however, isn’t the story. Her cancellation , which included some mental gymnastics as far as her positions were concerned, could have been expected. Unfortunately, we’ve been there many times and in many different circumstances.

    Tsunami of cancellations

    The ones who caught us unprepared by drafting an agenda for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict turned out to be DJs like Shanti Celeste, Volvox, DJ Seinfeld, Python and Leon Vynehall, who also dropped out of Meteor. Why was this unexpected? Because Israel’s nightlife and clubbing scene – especially in Tel Aviv – had been an oasis regarding cultural boycotts, an extraterritorial hedonistic space with no room for politics.

    The current tsunami of cancellations, while it might sound trivial if you’re untutored in trance music, could reflect a trend with effects far beyond the Meteor Festival. In the optimistic scenario, this is a one-off event that has cast the spotlight on lesser-known musicians as well. In the pessimistic scenario, this is the end of an era in which the clubbing scene has been an exception.

    Adding credence to the change-in-direction theory are the cancellations by DJs who have spun in Tel Aviv in recent years; Volvox, Shanti Celeste and Leon Vynehall have all had their passports stamped at Ben-Gurion Airport. And those times the situation wasn’t very different: Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister, the occupation was decades long and there were sporadic exchanges of fire between the sides.

    Moreover, two of the DJs spearheading the struggle on the nightlife scene regarding Mideast politics – the Black Madonna and Anthony Naples – have been here, enjoyed themselves, been honored and promised to return, until they discovered there’s such a thing as the occupation.

    Americans and Brits cancel more

    So what has changed since 2015? First, there has been a change on the Gaza border, with civilians getting shot. These incidents have multiplied in the past three months and don’t exactly photograph well.

    Second, news reports about the nation-state law and the discrimination that comes with it have done their bit. Third, the arrests and detentions of left-wing activists entering Israel haven’t remained in a vacuum.

    Fourth, and most importantly, is Donald Trump’s presidency and his unconditional embrace of Netanyahu, including, of course, the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. As in the case of Natalie Portman’s refusal to accept a prize from the state, the closeness between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government – under the sponsorship of evangelical Christians – has made Israel a country non grata in the liberal community, of which Hollywood is one pole and nightlife the other.

    It’s no coincidence that the DJs canceling are either Americans or Brits on the left; that is, Democrats or Jeremy Corbyn supporters in Labour – people who see cooperation with Israel as collaboration with Trump and Britain’s Conservative government.

    Different from them is Honey Dijon, the black trans DJ from Chicago who in response to the protest against her appearance at the Meteor Festival tweeted: “All of you people criticizing me about playing in Israel, when you come to America and stand up for the murder of black trans women and the prison industrial complex of black men then we can debate. I play for people not governments.” Not many people tried to argue with her. Say what you will, contrarianism is always effective.

    The case of DJ Jackmaster

    Beyond the issue of values, at the image level, alleged collaboration can be a career killer, just as declaring a boycott is the last word in chic for your image nowadays. That’s exactly what has happened with Scotland’s DJ Jackmaster, who has gone viral with his eventual refusal to perform at Tel Aviv’s Block club. He posted a picture of the Palestinian flag with a caption saying you have to exploit a platform in order to stand up for those who need it. The flood of responses included talk about boycotting all Tel Aviv, not just the Block.

    Yaron Trax is the owner of the Block; his club is considered not only the largest and most influential venue in town but also an international brand. Trax didn’t remain silent; on his personal Facebook account he mentioned how a few weeks before Jackmaster’s post his agent was still trying to secure the gig for him at the Block.

    “Not my finest hour, but calling for a boycott of my club at a time when an artist is trying to play there felt to me like crossing a line,” Trax says. “Only after the fact, and especially when I saw how his post was attracting dozens of hurtful, belligerent and racist responses – and generating a violent discourse that I oppose – did I realize how significant it was.”

    Trax talks about the hatred that has welled up in support of Jackmaster’s Israel boycott – just between us, not the sharpest tool in the shed and someone who has recently been accused of sexual harassment. As Trax puts it, “The next day it was important to me to admonish myself, first off, and then all those who chose to respond the way they responded.”

    In a further well-reasoned post, Trax wrote, “I have always thought that people who take a risk and use the platform that is given to them to transmit a message they believe in, especially one that isn’t popular, deserve admiration and not intimidation or silencing.” Unsurprisingly, the reactions to this message were mostly positive.

    Notwithstanding the boycotters who have acceded to the demands of Roger Waters and Brian Eno – the most prominent musicians linked to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – there are plenty of superstar musicians like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and the Rolling Stones who have come to Israel as part of their concert tours, even though they suffered the same pressures. The performers most vocal about their decision to appear in Israel have been Radiohead and Nick Cave.

    At a press conference on the eve of his concert, Cave expressed his opinion on the demand to boycott Israel: “It suddenly became very important to make a stand, to me, against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and to silence musicians.”

    Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke took the message one step further and tweeted: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America. We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.” As Yorke put it, music, art and academia are “about crossing borders, not building them.”

    There’s a lot of truth in Yorke’s declaration, but whether or not musicians like it, appearances in Israel tend to acquire a political dimension; any statement becomes a potential international incident. Thus, for example, after Radiohead’s statement, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan saluted the band, and after Cave’s press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted “Bravo Nick Cave!”

    The trend continues when we step down a league from the A-listers, like Beyoncé, who doesn’t intend to perform in Israel despite her annual declaration that she’ll come “next year.” There’s the second level, the cream of international alternative rock and pop – refusals to appear in Israel by bands “of good conscience” like the Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire and Deerhunter.

    The most prominent voice from this territory is that of former Sonic Youth guitarist and vocalist Thurston Moore. Yes, he appeared with his band in Tel Aviv 23 years ago, but since then he has become an avid supporter of BDS, so much so that he says it’s not okay to eat hummus because it’s a product of the occupation.

    ’Apartheid state’

    At the next level of refusers are the major – and minor – hip-hop stars. In addition to Lil Yachty and Tyler, who canceled appearances, other heroes of the genre like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples have refused from the outset to accept invitations to Israel. It’s quite possible that the connection between BDS and Black Lives Matter is influential. As early as 2016, Black Lives Matter published a statement supporting BDS and declaring Israel an “apartheid state.”

    Which brings us to electronic music and the cultural phenomenon that goes with it – the club culture. In numerical terms, club culture is smaller, but the information that flows from it on the ground or online flows much faster.

    Moreover, not only is club culture more sensitive to changes and far more alert to ideas and technological advances, its history is marked by struggles by oppressed groups. It can be said that African-Americans, Hispanics and gay people were the first to adopt the “night” way of life, back in the days of New York’s clubs and underground parties in the ‘70s. Accordingly, these groups have been the ones to nurture this lifestyle into today’s popular culture. Hence also the association with movements like BDS.

    Boiler Room Palestine

    Indeed, the current trend points to a step-up in the discourse; in the past year the top alternative culture magazines – of which the electronic music magazines play a key role – have published articles surveying musical and cultural happenings in Palestinian society.

    The online music magazine Resident Advisor has had two such stories, the first about a workshop for artists with the participation of the Block 9 production team, musicians Brian Eno and Róisín Murphy (formerly of Moloko) and American DJ the Black Madonna. The workshop, which included tours, discussion groups and joint musical work, was held at the Walled Off Hotel in Ramallah, also known as Banksy’s hotel because of the street artist’s involvement in its planning in the shadow of the separation barrier.

    The second article surveyed the Palestinian electronic scene and its leading players – promoters, DJs and producers who are operating despite the restrictive military regime. In addition, the writer accompanied the production of Boiler Room Palestine in Ramallah in June. (The wider Boiler Room franchise has been the world’s most popular pop party for the past five years.)

    Another example includes the style magazine Dazed, which wrote about the cultural boycott movement immediately after the cancellation of Lorde’s concert, and just last month New York Magazine’s culture supplement Vulture set forth its philosophy on the boycott (also in the context of Lana Del Rey). It predicted that the awakening we’re seeing today is only in its infancy.

    This partial list isn’t a clear declaration about “taking a stance” – after all, progressive media outlets in culture laud Israeli artists (for example Red Axes, Moscoman and Guy Gerber) or local venues, like the Block club. But if you add to these the scores of Facebook battles or Twitter discussions (like the one Del Rey found herself in), you’ll get noise. And noise generates questions, which generate more noise and raise consciousness. And from there to change on the ground is a modest distance.

    ’These are people who slept on my sofa’

    Refusals of invitations or cancellations of concerts in Israel by artists didn’t begin with BDS or the increasing volume of the past two years. After all, a visit to Israel all too often requires an intrusive security check. It’s hard to complain about a DJ who isn’t keen to have his underwear probed.

    Also, there’s a stratum of artists who’ve appeared in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa and have decided to stop coming – unless there’s a Palestinian production. Two examples are the French band Acid Arab (Parisians Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho) and the American producer – and darling of the hipster community – Nicolas Jaar . Jaar appeared in Tel Aviv a bit under a decade ago, just before he became a star, while Acid Arab not only performed in Tel Aviv but was also involved in projects with Israeli musicians – so plenty of people called the duo hypocrites.

    “I have no problem with strong opinions, but in the case of Acid Arab it annoyed me at the personal level – these are people who slept on my sofa, recorded with local musicians, and the day they put up their post announcing they wouldn’t play in Tel Aviv, they also asked me to send them some music,” says Maor Anava, aka DJ Hectik.

    “I have no problem with people changing their minds on the go; it’s clear to me that a visit to the separation fence can do it, but what bothered me is that it’s entirely a PR and image move, apparently at the advice of their agent,” he adds.

    “We’ve reached a situation in which a boycott of Israel is the trendiest thing and situates you in the right place in the scene – as a supporter of the Palestinian freedom fighters against the terrible Zionist occupier, something that can get you to another three big festivals. If you performed in Tel Aviv, apparently they’d do without you.”

    Thus at the end of last year, Acid Arab and Nicolas Jaar appeared in Haifa and Ramallah at parties produced by Jazar Crew, the only electronic collective in Israel that isn’t afraid to mix in politics.. So it surprised no one when Jazar received laudatory – and justified – coverage not only in Bar Peleg’s Haaretz piece but also in Resident Advisor.

    Is the party over?

    So are we seeing the onset of the electronic boycott of Tel Aviv, one of the world’s clubbing capitals? Well, the city is still a flourishing center of parties and club events every week. “ As of today it hasn’t yet happened that we’ve directly encountered an attempt by the cultural boycott to influence artists who are slated to appear at the club,” Trax says.

    “But we’re definitely seeing a change in the surrounding behavior. Nasty responses that people are leaving for a DJ who announced an upcoming gig with us have led to fewer famous DJs announcing appearances at the Block – even those who always promote themselves.”

    He notes a slowdown in the past two years. “A number of DJs who used to appear with us – Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers – have announced they won’t be returning, ” Trax says, referring to three American acts. “But there isn’t any set reason why. If the cultural boycott has an influence here I wouldn’t be surprised, because the Detroit junta is very political. And this also applies to UFO,” a successful British DJ and a high-profile voice in the European underground arena.

    Not all DJs who have chosen not to come to Israel have taken their stance amid the strengthening of the BDS movement. Some of the top people in the dance industry – including star Chilean-German DJ Ricardo Villalobos and British DJs and producers like Matthew Herbert and Andrew Weatherall – have for years been refusing to spin in Israel. They’ve made clear that this is their way of opposing Israel’s activities in the territories.

    Another great DJ, Tunisian-born Loco Dice who lives in Germany, is also considered a vocal opponent of Israel. But in December he played at the Block, and Trax doesn’t recall any signs that his guest was hostile to the country. This shows that a change of awareness works both ways.

    There’s a similar story: the decision by DJ Tama Sumo of the Berghain club in Berlin to play in Israel after a long boycott. She and her partner DJ Lakuti, a pillar of the industry, donated the proceeds of her Tel Aviv set to an organization for human rights in the territories.

    “As of now I don’t feel that the names who have decided to stop coming will change anything regarding the Block, because our lineup of VIPs isn’t based on them,” Trax says. “But if the more commercial cream of the clubs – DJs like Dixon, Ame and Damian Lazarus, or the big names in techno like Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock, Jeff Mills or Adam Beyer – change their minds, that will be a real blow to us, and not just us.”

    Amotz Tokatly, who’s responsible for bringing DJs to Tel Aviv’s Beit Maariv club, isn’t feeling much of a change. “The cancellations or refusals by DJs and artists based on a political platform didn’t begin just this year. I’ve been encountering this for many years now. There are even specific countries where we know the prevailing mood is political and tending toward the boycott movement. For example England. The rhetoric there is a priori much stronger,” Tokatly says.

    “But take Ben UFO, who has played in Tel Aviv in the past. When we got back to him about another spinning gig he said explicitly, ‘It simply isn’t worth it for me from a public relations perspective, and it could hurt me later on.’ DJs like him make their own calculations.”

    Tokatly doesn’t believe in a “Meteor effect” that will send the visiting DJ economy to the brink of an abyss. “I’m giving it a few weeks to calm down, and in the worst case we won’t be seeing here the level of minor league DJs who have canceled due to the circumstances,” he says.

    “In any case, they’re names who would have come here – if at all – once a year. Regarding artists who have a long-term and stable relationship with the local scene, we haven’t seen any change in approach yet.”

    Unlike Trax and Tokatly, Doron “Charly” Mastey of the techno duo TV.OUT and content director at Tel Aviv’s Alphabet Club says the recent goings-on haven’t affected him too much; his club is unusual in that doesn’t base itself on names from abroad.

    “I don’t remember any case of a refusal or cancellation because of political leanings,” he says. “But with everything that’s happening now regarding Meteor, and if that affects the scene down the road and the airlift to Tel Aviv stops, I’m not at all sure that’s a bad thing.”

    Mastey has in mind the gap between the size of the audience and the number of events, parties and festivals happening in Israel right now. “The audience is tired, and indifferent,” he says.. “And if this kick in the pants – of cancellations – is what’s going to dismantle the scene in its current format, then it will simply rebuild itself. I hope in a way that’s healthier for everyone.”

    In any case, if the rest of the world has realized that it’s impossible to separate politics from anything, and definitely not from club culture, which started out as a political and social movement, then the best thing we can do is try to hold the discussion in an inclusive a way as possible. An Israeli DJ working in Berlin who requested anonymity thinks that these ideas should be taken one step further.

    “Nowadays, for artists who want to go to Israel, two proposals are on the table,” he says. “Support the boycott or support the occupation. These two things are depicted even if they aren’t accurate, and between the two options there are a thousand more levels.”

    He believes there is scope for taking action. “The local scene must know how to fill the vacuum and craft alternatives to the boycott’s demands,” he says. “For example, by showing artists other ways to take a stand, whether by cooperating with Palestinians or suggesting that they donate the proceeds of their Tel Aviv appearances to a human rights group.”

    The voices calling for a cultural boycott of Israel, whether in sports, concerts or the subfield of electronic music, aren’t going to disappear. If anything, they’re only going to grow louder.

    Moreover, if we take into account the complexity of the conflict, maybe we should seek to communicate these insights in a way that drops the imagery of absolutes like left-right, bad-good, Zionist-anti-Semitic. The club culture exists to connect extremes, not separate people. Our demand to continue a vibrant electronic scene is just as legitimate as that of the boycott supporters’ attempts to create awareness.

    Even if we don’t agree with the idea of the boycott, it’s still possible to accept the realization that there are people who think differently – who want to perform for the other side as much as they want to perform for us. This doesn’t make them an existential danger.

    Moreover, as the Israeli DJ working in Berlin says, the Israeli scene needs an arsenal of proposals for constructive activism; it must provide alternatives to the BDS call to boycott – and not automatically flex an insulted patriotic muscle. This might not be the easiest thing to do, but hey, this is Israel. It’s not going to be easy.

    #Palestine #BDS #Boycott_culturel


  • Demonstrate with the Arabs - Haaretz Editorial -
    The place of Livni and the other opposition leaders is in Rabin Square, alongside the Arab community. Their struggle is the struggle of all Israelis, Jews and Arabs alike

    Haaretz Editorial
    Aug 10, 2018 1:32 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/demonstrate-with-the-arabs-1.6364336

    The demonstration called for Saturday night in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Israel’s Arab community, is the most important of all the protests that have taken place against the nation-state law. It’s also one of the most important demonstrations in Israel in the past several years.
    No minority in Israel suffers as much discrimination as the Arab minority, which is also Israel’s largest minority. It is frequently the target of normalized, institutionalized racism. 
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The nation-state law, which has sparked civic protests throughout Israeli society, was engineered precisely in order to strip the Arabs of their rights and subordinate them to rule by the Jews, the lords of the land, even at the price of sacrificing civic equality. This worldview has characterized despicable racist regimes throughout history, and its implementation in Israel is a black stain not only on the history of the state, but also on that of the Jewish people.
    The nation-state law is an especially ugly milestone in the right’s delegitimization campaign against the Arabs. It’s meant to mark them as enemies, as a fifth column; to cause strife between them and Jews; and to remove them from civil society. Given this, it’s regrettable that the leaders of the opposition, who warmly embraced the Druze community’s justified protest against the law, have decided not to attend this demonstration.
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    >> In Show of Renewed Activism, Arab Israelis to Protest Nation-state Law on Saturday
    Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who came to the Druze demonstration last Saturday night, announced that she won’t attend the upcoming one because some Knesset members from the predominantly Arab  Joint List “don’t share my view that Israel is the nation-state of the Jews.” In the same breath, she declared her belief in “equal rights for all.” She thereby proved that even the left has adopted the right’s propaganda. If, as she says, Livni believes in equality for all and opposes the nation-state law — the issues of the demonstration — why is it even relevant what Joint List MKs think Israel’s character should be?
    Livni must meet the challenge that was posed to Israeli society by President Reuven Rivlin in his “four tribes” speech, in which he argued that Israel’s future depends on abandoning a worldview based on majority and minority in favor of one that is based on a partnership with the ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs, who don’t define themselves as Zionist. The place of Livni and the other opposition leaders Saturday night is in Rabin Square, alongside the Arab community. Their struggle is the struggle of all Israelis, Jews and Arabs alike.


  • Now Israel has a revolution of the pampered, in stages

    Like the LGBT community, the Druze are fighting an erosion of their favored status – and just might help the country achieve a state based on justice

    Gideon Levy - Aug 05, 2018 12:34 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-now-it-s-a-revolution-of-the-pampered-in-stages-1.6341321

    Israel is making progress. It’s ashamed and is even beginning to protest. Only part of it, probably a minority, remains in its comfort zone; a new light seems to be breaking through the darkness.

    All of a sudden they’re saying apartheid. They dare ask questions about Zionism. Now the term “Jewish-democratic” doesn’t seem so natural anymore. Something creaks when you utter these words. There’s some hesitation when you say “the only democracy.” The protest of the pampered marches on.

    The rally Saturday night in Rabin Square was still within the confines of relative comfort and indulgence, but much less so than previous such events. It was two weeks after the LGBT community demonstrated in the same spot for equal surrogacy rights – under the sponsorship of Meitav Dash Investments. Then came the Druze community, the most privileged of Arabs but Arabs nevertheless, demonstrating for more meaningful equality, this time under the auspices of former heads of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad and the army.

    This is a hopeful development. It’s true that a demonstration for freedom, equality and fraternity under the helm of former defense chiefs is problematic, almost grotesque.

    When a former Shin Bet head like Yuval Diskin, a person responsible for despicable actions toward millions of people who have no rights, writes a pompous manifesto extolling “the value of equality,” “democratic protest” and “mutual respect,” reminding everyone that he’s the son of Holocaust survivors while talking about racism, it turns your stomach. The fact that most speakers at the rally were generals, both Jews and Druze, who during their service often brutally oppressed another nation, is also problematic.

    It’s true that most of the Druze participants were demonstrating for their own interests, for the equality they believe is their due in return for their military service, without trying to serve as a bridgehead for a campaign championing equality for all, including Palestinians.

    But we can’t ignore their contribution to the growing protest. Largely due to them the nation-state law has become possibly the most exciting civics lesson in Israel in recent years. Questions that were never asked are being raised, maybe only for a short time – yet this is really a shake-up. Maybe in response to the most ultra-nationalist government, a little opposition will finally make an appearance.

    The elephant still stands silently in the middle of the room, with only a few daring to mention him, but some are throwing furtive glances at him. An establishment commentator on defense matters, Channel 10’s Alon Ben-David, has written that underlying the nation-state law is a strategic objective: “It paves the way for the annexation of millions of Palestinians and the loss of a Jewish majority. Will the law mark the beginning of the laying to rest of the Zionist dream?”

    So we may be at the brink of an earthquake, more severe than the earthquake expected in Tiberias. The first signs on the seismograph have been noted. The road is still long, the agents of denial and propaganda are still well in control, but hope has been ignited.

    Israel needs this shake-up so badly. We’ve had so many years mired in the muck amid the brainwashing, the lack of critical thinking and the civic indifference. We’ve had years of intoxication with power, moral arrogance, smugness and confidence that what was will continue, that everything is being done as it should be done and will continue forever. There has been a certainty that we’re right and the whole world is wrong. But maybe the time of doubts has arrived. There can be no better news.

    Seventy years after the establishment of the state, the time has come for questions, for a real lesson in civics and democracy. Did we really deserve all this? Only we deserved it? Is it only ours? Is it only for Jews? By what right? Did all the non-Jewish people deeply connected to this land and who deserve the same rights, deserve everything we’ve done to them? Above all, hasn’t the time come to repair things?

    This repair is still a long way off, but maybe it’s becoming clear that if it doesn’t arrive there won’t be a state here based on justice. Who knows, maybe Brig. Gen. Amal Assad, an occupation officer in Jenin and Lebanon and a Likud member, will herald the message: It’s apartheid or democracy.
    Gideon Levy

    Haaretz Correspondent


  • Israel
    Jews and Arabs: Unite, the Nation-state law poses an existential threat

    This won’t be an alliance of love. It won’t even be an encounter between friends. But this is the only way to survive as a citizen of Israel and not become a political prisoner in a theocracy

    Ravit Hecht SendSend me email alerts
    Aug 03, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-jews-and-arabs-unite-the-nation-state-law-poses-existential-threat

    The abominable nation-state law was admittedly passed at this particular moment for contemptible political reasons: Elections are only a Knesset session away, and in the background are the investigations of the prime minister, a despair-inducing front devoid of achievement in the south and a terrifying front in the north.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    But these circumstances, while genuine and rational, don’t hide what comes next. And what comes next is clear. Israel, with the support of a substantial portion of its Jewish population, is en route to apartheid, both de facto and de jure, which will evict the Arabs from civil society. Next in line for the chopping block: leftists, who are going with the flow to various degrees, and ultimately, anyone defined as disloyal to the government (that is, “the state”).
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    This is not a cataclysmic lamentation or a stylized prophecy of destruction. It’s reality, plain and simple. The moment you begin fiddling with democracy – that is, creating differences in the level of equality to which citizens are entitled and conditioning it on various conditions – the road is clear.
    The attempts to bribe the Druze, whose pain, unlike that of the other Arabs, evokes empathy from Jewish Israelis, only makes the picture clearer: The government is creating castes among minorities and citizens in general based on the degree of sympathy the government has for them and the whims of the masses.
    What can one do in light of this reality but rend one’s garments, weep bitter tears and protest at demonstrations whose importance is beyond price, but whose contribution to changing the course of reality will be limited to the point of nonexistence?
    Israel’s Jewish and democratic camp has only one partner for building a front against the settler right, with its hallmarks of fascism, which is currently making historic changes to the country’s character. That partner is the Arabs.

    And when we speak of making such a partnership, we aren’t talking about a Jewish and democratic camp that includes only people like opposition MKs Tamar Zandberg and Tzipi Livni, but also former senior defense officials like Gabi Ashkenazi, Tamir Pardo and Moshe Ya’alon, who still aren’t willing to be portrayed, heaven forbid, as leftists, but whom the modern right is already rejecting like a transplant, because such security establishment figures’ consciences bar them from submerging themselves in today’s right wing and joining in the destruction of democracy.
    >> Planted by Netanyahu and Co., nation-state law is a time bomb exploding in Israel’s face | Analysis >>
    Nevertheless, it’s not only the Jews on whom the burden of effecting a change in consciousness falls. The Arabs will also have to make what they see as painful concessions.
    As long as MKs Ahmad Tibi, Jamal Zahalka and Aida Touma-Sliman keep talking about two states – a state of all its citizens on one side and the nation-state of the Palestinian people on the other – they’ll remain within the bounds of their own narrow community, plus a few thousand Jewish voters following their conscience or a fad. They’ll have no chance of taking power, no ability to have a major impact, no access to the resources that could save the voters from the bitter fate written on the wall.
    Therefore, they’ll have to swallow hard and accept the Law of Return and the fact that Israel within the 1967 borders is the national home of the Jewish people worldwide, in order to enable the establishment of a Palestinian state and save themselves and us from the nightmare of occupation and apartheid.
    This won’t be an alliance of love. It won’t even be an encounter between friends. But this is the only way to survive as a citizen of Israel and not become a political prisoner in a Bezalel Smotrich-like theocracy.
    The battle for life requires passing through the deep wadis of painful compromise and getting scratched by the thorns of upsetting concessions. It requires changing our methods and our worldviews, because there’s no choice. Because we want to live. And just for your information, we are in a fight for our lives.


  • Israeli Druze commander quits army over nation-state law in open letter to Netanyahu

    In a Facebook post, Capt. Amir Jmall calls on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israeli Druze

    Yaniv Kubovich
    Jul 30, 2018 5:36 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-druze-quits-idf-over-nation-state-law-in-letter-to-netanya

    In the letter, Jmall also called on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israel’s Druze. The Facebook post has since been removed.
    “This morning, when I woke up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why? Why do I have to serve the State of Israel, a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication, a sense of mission and a love of the homeland, and, in the end, what do we get? To be second-class citizens,” Jmall wrote.
    >> ’When we’re in uniform they treat us well’: Israel’s Druze no longer feel like blood brothers
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    "Continue serving the country? I do not want to continue and I am sure that hundreds more people will stop serving and will be discharged from the army following your decision, Netanyahu, that of you and your government,” he continued.
    "After many thoughts ran through my head, I decided to let go and to discontinue serving the country, a country that has a government that takes and does not give back.”
    In conclusion, Jmall wrote: “I ask everyone who is against the nation-state law to share and share my proposal to community leaders to stop the conscription law for members of the Druze community.”
    The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, also known as the nation-state law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze.
    The nation-state law is designed to alter the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel’s Jewish character in their rulings.

    Last week, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the legislation. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter.
    Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon echoed similar sentiments on Thursday, telling Israeli Army Radio, “The enactment of the nation-state law was done hastily,” and adding: “We were wrong and we need to fix it.”
    On Saturday, Israeli Arab lawmaker Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) announced his intention to resign from the Knesset in protest of the law. "The law oppresses me and oppresses the population that sent me to the Knesset,’’ he said.

    • Haaretz, 1er août
      Nation-state Law Backlash: Druze Leaders Say Netanyahu’s Offer May Set ’Historical Precedent’

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-nation-state-law-backlash-netanyahu-offers-druze-new-legislation-1

      Representatives of the Druze community said Thursday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to pass a law to strengthen the status of the Druze and Circassian communities is “a window of opportunity to set a historical precedent for the advancement of the Druze community and its status in the State of Israel.”
      Representatives, headed by Sheikh Muwafak Tarif, will continue talks with Netanyahu’s team, which has been appointed to make an agreement on both sides.
      Netanyahu’s proposed law follows the protest sparked by the nation-state law. The plan outlines a Basic Law and a regular law that will recognize the contribution of minorities who defend the country by “enshrining eligibility for the benefits of minority members of all religions and communities who serve in the security forces, for the purpose of closing gaps and promoting social equality.”
      Benjamin Netanyahu and the Druze representatives, August 1, 2018.
      Benjamin Netanyahu and the Druze representatives, August 1, 2018.
      >> Israeli Druze in Golan welcome end of Syrian war but fear future in Jewish nation-state
      Another demonstration against the nation-state law is slated for Saturday evening in Tel Aviv.
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      According to the plan submitted by the prime minister’s representatives, “the law will recognize the contribution of the Druze community to the security of the state, and will include support for community institutions (religion, education and culture), will strengthen Druze residential settlements, and establish new towns if needed. It will also preserve and cultivate Druze heritage.”
      Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) congratulated “the agreement we have reached with the Druze leadership. Recognizing the rights of those who serve in the security forces is an achievement.” Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said in response: “The Prime Minister ranks Israel’s citizens, and he divides and rules the minorities from whom he has stolen equality in his Basic Law. He got scared after the fact. Netanyahu’s government has torn apart the Declaration of Independence and the values of equality on which the state was founded. Now they’re making laws in honor of the Druze community, as if equality is a prize and not a right that all of us have.”
      The proposal drew mixed reactions from the Druze community, MK Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), one of the two Druze MKs who petitioned the Supreme Court against the nation-state law, congratulated the plan. MK Saleh Saad (Zionist Union) said he will continue with the petition and said: “I am sad that my friends have succumbed to pressures and withdrew from the petition.”
      The negotiating team of the Druze community, which includes their spiritual leader, Sheikh Muwafak Tarif, former security officials and civil servants, has had strong disagreements over the proposal. One of the team members told Haaretz that the representatives who have security backgrounds tend to accept the spirit of the plan, while others – including local council heads – oppose it.
      The source added that some of the representatives accused the prime minister of trying to implement a policy of “divide and conquer.” They said that they would settle only for annulling the nation-state law or adding to it the value of equality. The source added that the Prime Minister’s Office is concerned about the protest rally scheduled for Saturday night, and therefore is exerting heavy pressure on the representatives of the community to accept the plan and cancel the rally.

      >> ’When we’re in uniform they treat us well’: Israel’s Druze no longer feel like blood brothers
      The plan was drafted by a team formed by the prime minister on the issue of the Druze, headed by the acting Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, Yoav Horowitz, and including Sheikh Tarif, ministers Ayoub Kara and Yariv Levin, MK Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), former MK Shakib Shenan, heads of the Druze local authorities and the forum of reservist senior officers.
      The prime minister’s office called the plan “historic” in a press release, saying it “represents a revolution in the legal status of minority group members who serve in the security forces, and members of the Druze community in particular.” Sheikh Tarif welcomed the work of the team and thanked the prime minister for his quick and serious activity. The plan will be presented to the Druze community’s dignitaries.
      The plan offers to enshrine a Basic Law - Israeli constitutional equivalent - for the status of the Druze and Circassian communities, “paying respect to the contribution of the Druze community to the State of Israel in building the land, strengthening security and shaping the face of Israeli society as an egalitarian and diverse society.”
      The plan also suggests enshrining in law that members of minority groups, from all religions and ethnic groups will be eligible for benefits if they serve in the security forces. The law will also recognize their contribution if they serve.
      >> Analysis: Druze nation-state crisis: Israeli army chief forced to put out fire Netanyahu started
      Several Druze officers have left the Israeli military in recent days over the nation-state law.
      The Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, also known as the nation-state law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze.
      The nation-state law is designed to alter the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel’s Jewish character in their rulings.
      Earlier this month, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the legislation. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter.
      Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon echoed similar sentiments, telling Israeli Army Radio, “The enactment of the nation-state law was done hastily,” and adding: “We were wrong and we need to fix it.”
      The acting Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Bureau announced the formation of a ministerial committee to deal with the issue of the Druze community, to be headed by the prime minister, which will work to promote the plan and to supervise its implementation - among other things.
      Details of the plan will be formulated and worded within 45 days, in the context of a joint team of the cabinet and representatives of the community, all subject to the instructions of the law and the approval of the attorney general. Legislative activities will begin immediately with the convening of the coming winter session of the Knesset and will be concluded within 45 days from the start of the session.
      Jonathan Lis

    • Rare manifestation de la communauté druze contre une loi controversée définissant Israël
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/05/rare-manifestation-de-la-communaute-druze-contre-une-loi-controversee-defini

      Une foule immense de Druzes israéliens et leurs sympathisants a manifesté samedi à Tel-Aviv contre une nouvelle loi controversée qui, disent-ils, fait d’eux des citoyens de seconde classe. Selon les médias israéliens, quelque 50 000 personnes ont pris part à la manifestation.
      […]
      Arborant des drapeaux druzes et israéliens, les protestataires ont défilé dans le centre de Tel-Aviv an scandant « égalité ». « Malgré notre loyauté illimitée à l’Etat, celui-ci ne nous considère pas comme des citoyens égaux », a affirmé le chef spirituel de la communauté druze, cheikh Mouafak Tarif dans un discours.


  • The world isn’t flat - Opinion
    The dangerous nation-state law declares the intention of its authors: To teach generations of Israeli Jews that the world is flat and entrust them with the mission of expelling and wiping out a nation

    Amira Hass
    Jul 24, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-world-isn-t-flat-1.6310944

    From a balcony in Ramallah, surrounded by friends and acquaintances, the nation-state law shrinks to its proper ludicrous proportions. The creationists erased a nation from the written text.
    And yet, nine indisputable representatives of that nation sat and joked, turned serious, reminisced, traded political gossip about senior Palestinian Authority officials, voiced fears and concerns, made predictions and retracted them. What a privilege it was for me to sit among them and enjoy what is so natural to them that they don’t even categorize it — a rootedness and a belonging that don’t need verbal trappings; a zest for life; unimaginable strength and courage.
    They were born in a village that was destroyed; in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip; in Damascus, Jaffa, Nablus, Ramallah, Nazareth, Acre. They’re the first, second and third generations of the 1948 refugees. Some are third-class citizens — fifth-class, now — of the state that robbed them of their homeland. Some returned to their homeland after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 and settled down in the West Bank, subject to Israeli military orders.
    >> Planted by Netanyahu and co., nation-state law is a time bomb exploding in Israel’s face | Analysis ■ By degrading Arabic, Israel has degraded Arabs | Opinion ■ Israel’s contentious nation-state law: Everything you need to know >>
    All are members of the same nation, regardless of what is written on their identity cards. They escaped Israeli bombings in Beirut and in Gaza; they lived under Israeli-imposed curfew, siege and house arrest; they were jailed in Israeli prisons for political activity; they were interrogated by Israel’s Shin Bet security service; they raised themselves from poverty; they wandered, studied, worked in left-wing organizations.

    All of them have lost relatives and close friends, killed by Israel or in civil wars in the Arab countries where they used to live. All of them treasure the silent, pained gazes of their parents, who told them about the home that was lost 70 years ago.
    Some of them also became bourgeois. Which doesn’t spare them the checkpoints; the Israeli expressions of racism and arrogance; the forced separations from relatives who cannot go (from the Gaza Strip) or come (from Syria); the fears for the future.

    Not far, yet very far from there — under a lean-to in Khan al-Ahmar — women sit on thin mattresses placed on the ground and talk about the attack by police officers two weeks ago and a wedding party that is scheduled for this week. The strength and courage of these women from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe are equally evident. There, in those heartbreaking shelters, Israel’s greedy racism is also an immediate issue, broadcast by the spacious houses of the settlement of Kfar Adumim.
    How do they live like this, with nonstop threats and aggression from bureaucrats, soldiers, policemen and settlers who covet the little that remains to them? Where do they get the strength to live in crowded conditions that are hard to get used to, without electricity or running water — which are the minimum conditions for community life — with shrinking pasturage and shrinking income, and yet not give in to the expellers’ orders? Their strength comes from that same rootedness and natural sense of belonging, which the deniers of evolution, the drafters of the nation-state law, are incapable of understanding.
    For over a month, this community, which is threatened with a new expulsion, has been hosting mass public events — press conferences, rallies, speeches, delegations. There’s an element of exploitation and ostentation here on the Palestinian Authority’s part. Yet at the same time, another process is taking place, one that is very political: Palestinians from both urban and rural communities are liberating themselves from the alienation they used to feel toward the Bedouin.


  • Planted by Netanyahu and Co., nation-state law is a time bomb exploding in Israel’s face

    Even die-hard American Jews were forced to admit this week that something is rotten in their favorite Jewish state

    Chemi ShalevSendSend me email alerts
    Jul 21, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-planted-by-netanyahu-and-co-nation-state-law-is-a-time-bomb-1.6294

    Israel’s new nation-state law is loathsome, damaging, divisive and mainly superfluous, but its passage won’t make Israelis’ blood boil. Some agree with the law and others are apathetic, while its staunch opponents quickly recognized that the campaign to fight discrimination against gay men, sparked by the concurrent passage of a new Knesset bill on surrogacy, has a greater potential of sparking mass protests. The nation-state law injects poison into the country’s relations with its non-Jewish minorities, but in the final analysis, after the removal of some of its more controversial clauses, it won’t make much of a difference in the day-to-day lives of most Israelis.
    Nonetheless, as far as Israel’s standing and image are concerned, the new law is a mega-attack, a thermo-nuclear onslaught, a landmark that will henceforth divide before and after. Benjamin Netanyahu was right, therefore, to describe it as a “defining moment.” Scores of Breaking the Silence activists, hundreds of B’Tselem reports on the occupation and thousands of BDS proponents, all of which the government cynically holds responsible for its bad name, could never have inflicted such profound, comprehensive and long-lasting damage as Netanyahu and his coalition did by passing the new bill. In Donald Trump’s America, they might have been accused of treason.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The damage won’t be expressed in the few formal protests issued by foreign governments, especially European. The international community has other, more existential concerns right now, emanating from the growing awareness that the world’s greatest superpower is headed by a president who is unintelligible, at best, unstable, at worst and possibly beholden to a foreign government. In any case, the only protest that Netanyahu and most Israelis care about would have to come from the White House: Barack Obama personally blocked passage of the nation-state law, but Trump probably hasn’t heard about it, and if he has, is clueless as to what it all means, and even if he understands, then he doesn’t give a hoot. This is the glory of what Netanyahu describes as the greatest era of relations between the two countries: Israel can cut its wrists to its heart’s content, and America won’t lift a finger.
    But a dearth of diplomatic démarches won’t mitigate the inherent destructiveness of the nation-state law. It comes with a built-in time-release mechanism that ensures that it will taint Israel’s good name for many years to come. The law, in fact, marks the ground zero of a new Israel. Its first clause grants the Jewish people exclusive rights to self-determination, and Netanyahu’s coalition was quick to self-determine, in essence, that Israel is arrogant, belligerent and ethnocentric. This is the country’s new reflection in the mirror, and even if most Israelis prefer to look the other way, the whole world is watching, and reaching its own conclusions.


  • Israel’s LGBT strike of the pampered -

    The community has come by its power honestly – and become powerful, well-connected and fashionable. Not the Arab community, though

    Gideon Levy
    Jul 22, 2018

    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-s-lgbt-strike-of-the-pampered-1.6293904

    Israel should be striking Sunday, supported by Super-Sol, McCann and Cellcom, against the nation-state law, in sympathy with the Arabs of this country, into whose faces the Knesset has spat, telling them officially and legally: You are second-class citizens.

    What a healing and hopeful effect such a strike would have as a sign of identification with the Arab towns of Sakhnin and Nazareth. What brotherhood would be in the air, what fruit would be borne for all society from such a show of solidarity. But for this a measure of courage and a clear moral compass is needed – two products that the leading companies don’t have in stock and the entire society needs.
    No one expects for Israel to come out anymore in mass protest against the occupation, the closure of Gaza or the settlements; it’s too brainwashed and anxiety-filled.
    But the nation-state law, which was passed only hours after the surrogacy bill was in play, is critical. It’s much more discriminatory and excluding than the surrogacy legislation. It doesn’t make it hard to be a parent. It makes it hard to belong to this country. For some Israelis it shows the way out. It shows all Israelis that from now on they’re living in a de jure apartheid state, not just a de facto one.
    And the trajectory is also different: The LGBT community is on its way to success: One more protest, one more vote, and surrogacy, a problematic way to parenthood, sometimes more despised than prostitution, will be approved for men as well. The legislation against the Arabs is going the other way: The nation-state law is just a promo. The slope is slippery and clear. Mass protest Sunday against this law could have marked a change.
    But Israel will march Sunday in another one of its protests of the pampered. The streets will be festooned with colorful flags, the sense of satisfaction will grow. Only the “tskers” – as my Haaretz colleague Nitzan Horowitz calls them – will smile bitterly. We thank the community, we thank the banks and we thank the advertising and high-tech firms. We have a vibrant and protesting society. The truly oppressed can wait.


  • Israel Declares Itself Apartheid State
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/israel-declares-itself-apartheid-state.html
    Today Israel declared itself to be an apartheid state:
    The Knesset passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation and 55 opposing it.
    ...
    The nation-state law also includes clauses stating that a “united Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country’s official language. Another says that “the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

    Immediately after the law passed, Arab lawmakers tore copies in protest, and were subsequently removed from the Knesset plenum hall. Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, released a statement saying that Israel “declared it does not want us here” and that it had “passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citiziens .”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill-1.6291048


  • Israel passes controversial nation-state law defining country as Jewish national homeland

    62 lawmakers vote in favor of the bill after a stormy debate ■ Arab lawmakers tossed out after they tear bill in protest, call it ’apartheid law’

    Jonathan Lis and Noa Landau Jul 19, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill-1.6291048

    The Knesset passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation and 55 opposing it.
    The nation-stae law also includes clauses stating that a “united Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country’s official language. Another says that “the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”
    It passed after a long and stormy debate that began in the afternoon, with lawmakers voting on hundreds of clauses presented by the opposition that objected to differents parts of the bill. 
    >> Nation-state bill heralds the end of Israel as a Jewish, democratic State | Analysis ■ As an Arab, I support Israel’s Jewish nation-state bill | Opinion ■ Israel’s nation-state bill betrays insecurity about its right to the land
    Immediately after the law passed, Arab lawmakers tore copies in protest, and were subsequently removed from the Knesset plenum hall. Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, released a statement saying that Israel “declared it does not want us here” and that it had “passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citiziens.”

    Speaking moments after the bill passed into law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “This is a defining moment – long live the State of Israel.”

    Arab lawmakers tear the nation-state bill in protest after it passes in the Knesset.
    Netanyahu further said that “122 years after Herzl made his vision known, with this law we determined the founding principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, and respects the rights of all of its citizens.”
    The prime minister also said that "in the Middle East, only Israel respects [rights]. This is our country, the Jewish state. In recent years there have been those who have tried to undermine that and question the principles of our existence. Today we made it into law: This is the country, the language, the anthem and flag. 

    As they left the Knesset plenum, Arab MKs from the Joint List party confronted Netanyahu. MK Ahmed Tibi and MK Ayeda Touma-Souliman yelled at Netanyahu: “You passed an apartheid law, a racist law.” 
    MK Tibi lashed at Netanyahu: “Why are you afraid of the Arabic language?” The premier retorted by saying: “How dare you talk this way about the only democracy in the Middle East?” 
    Opposition head Isaac Herzog also spoke up at the plenum, saying that “it’s a little sad to me that the last speech I make will be against this kind of backdrop. The question is whether the law will harm or benefit Israel. History will determine. I really hope that we won’t find the fine balance between a Jewish and democratic state to be hurt.”
    The sponsor of the bill, MK Avi Dichter, said during debates that took place prior to the vote that “unlike the disinformation and fake news that were tossed around [regarding the bill], this basic law doesn’t hurt the culture of minorities living in Israel, doesn’t hurt their sabbaticals and holidays and certainly doesn’t hurt the Arabic language, which remains a mother tongue for 1.5 million of Israel’s citizens.”
    The draft bill the Knesset voted on is fundamentally different form the version the coalition had sought to advance in the past decade. Its main clauses were moderated following pressure within the coalition ranks and beyond.
    Initially, the bill was intended to significantly limit the discretion of Supreme Court justices’ decisions, requiring them to set the state’s Jewish character above its democratic character in rulings where the two clashed. This clause was removed from the bill already in May.

    The most controversial clause, which appeared to pave the way for the creation of communities segregated by nationality or religion, was removed from the legislation earlier this week.

    The nation-state law establishes as a basic law, or quasi-constitutional law, a set of values, some of which already appear in existing laws. The law stipulates that Israel is the Jewish nation’s historic homeland and that this nation has the singular right to national self-determination in it. The law anchors the flag, menorah, Hatikva anthem, Hebrew calendar, Independence Day and Jewish holidays as national symbols.
    The law states that the “whole and united” Jerusalem is the state’s capital, which appears today in Basic Law: Jerusalem. The nation-state law further grants the status of an official language only to Hebrew.
    Another controversial clause stipulates that the state will invest resources in preserving Israel’s affiliation to world Jewry, but not in Israel. This wording was demanded by the ultra-Orthodox parties to prevent the state from linking up with the Reform and Conservative communities in Israel.
    As part of the protest against the law, Peace Now activists waved a black flag in the Knesset balcony during the debate, until security guards made them leave the room. Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh also raised a black flag during the debate against the legislation.
    “As [the 1956 massacre] in Kafr Qassem was a blatantly illegal order, with a black flag over it, so is a black flag hoisted over this evil law,” he said.
    J Street’s president and founder, Jeremy Ben-Ami, harshly criticized the nation-state bill and Netanyahu’s government: “It was born in sin, its only purpose is to send a message to the Arab community, the LGBT community and other minorities in Israel, that they are not and never will be equal citizens. Two months ago we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, where it was written that the State of Israel ’will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or gender.’ Today Netanyahu’s government is trying to ignore those words and the values that they represent.”
    On Monday, Netanyahu said the bill was “very important to guarantee the foundations of our existence, which is Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people” – though critics say he is mainly keen to drum up support before the next Knesset election, due by November next year.


  • A law that tells the truth about Israel
    The nation-state law makes it plain. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. It’s easier this way for everyone
    Gideon Levy Jul 12, 2018 5:01 AM - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-a-law-that-tells-the-truth-about-israel-1.6267705

    The Knesset is about to legislate one of its most important laws ever, and the one most in keeping with reality. The nation-state law will put an end to Israel’s vague nationalism and present Zionism as it is. The law will also put an end to the farce about Israel being “Jewish and democratic,” a combination that never existed and could never exist because of the inherent contradiction between the two values that cannot be reconciled, except by deception.

    If the state is Jewish, it cannot be democratic, because of the lack of equality; if it’s democratic, it cannot be Jewish, because a democracy does not bestow privilege based on ethnicity. So now the Knesset has decided: Israel is Jewish. Israel is declaring that it is the nation-state of the Jewish people, not a state of its citizens, not a state of the two peoples that live within it, and has therefore ceased to be an egalitarian democracy, not just in practice but also in theory. That’s why this law is so important. It is a truthful law.

    The uproar over the bill was intended mainly as an effort to continue the policy of national ambiguity. The president and the attorney general, the ostensible guardians of decency, protested and received compliments from the liberal camp. The president shouted that the law would be “a weapon in the hands of Israel’s enemies,” and the attorney general warned about the “international ramifications.”

    The prospect of Israel’s veil being removed before the world prompted them to act. Reuven Rivlin, it must be said, cried out with great vigor and courage against the clause allowing community-acceptance committees to screen residents and its implications for the regime, but most liberals were simply horrified to read the reality when it was worded as a law.

    Mordechai Kremnitzer, in Tuesday’s Haaretz, also cried out in vain when he said the bill would “foment a revolution, no less. It will spell the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state ...” He added that the bill would make Israel “a leader among nationalist countries like Poland and Hungary,” as if it isn’t already and hasn’t been for a long time. In Poland and Hungary there is no tyranny over another people lacking rights, which has become a permanent reality and an inseparable part of how this state and its regime operate, with no end in sight.

    All those years of hypocrisy were pleasant. It was nice to say that apartheid was only in South Africa, because there everything was rooted in racial laws, and we had no such laws. To say that Hebron is not apartheid, the Jordan Valley is not apartheid, and that the occupation really isn’t part of the regime. To say that we were the only democracy in the region, even with the occupation.

    It was nice to claim that since Israeli Arabs can vote, we are an egalitarian democracy. To point out that there’s an Arab party, even if it’s excluded from any influence. To point out that Arabs can be admitted to the Jews’ hospitals; that they can study in the Jews’ universities and live anywhere they choose. (You bet.)

    How enlightened we are; our Supreme Court ruled in the Kaadan case that an Arab family could buy a home in Katzir, after years of litigation and endless evasion. How tolerant we are that the Arabs are permitted to speak Arabic, an official language. The latter was certainly a fiction; Arabic never was remotely treated as an official language, the way Swedish is in Finland, where the minority is far smaller than the Arab minority here.

    It was comfortable to ignore that the lands owned by the Jewish National Fund, which include most of the state’s lands, were for Jews only – with the progressive Supreme Court backing that stance – and claim we’re a democracy. It was much more pleasant to think of ourselves as egalitarian.

    Now there will be a law that tells the truth. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. The nation-state of the Jewish people, not of its residents. Its Arabs are second-class citizens and its Palestinian subjects are hollow, nonexistent. Their fate is determined in Jerusalem, but they aren’t part of the state. It’s easier this way for everyone.

    There remains a small problem with the rest of the world, and with Israel’s image, which this law will tarnish somewhat. It’s no big deal. Israel’s new friends will be proud of this law. For them it will be a light unto the nations. And people of conscience all over the world already know the truth and have long been struggling against it. A weapon for the BDS movement? Certainly. Israel has earned it, and will now legislate it.


  • Anti-Zionist law - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News
    Knesset sought to make clear that the purpose of the nation-state law is to fundamentally change the balance between Israel as a Jewish state and a democratic one

    Haaretz Editorial Apr 30, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/anti-zionist-law-1.6035579

    Two weeks after the historic celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the state’s establishment, the Knesset is busy with another historic process. On Monday, it is expected to hold the first of three votes on the proposed Basic Law, which states that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. The nation-state bill is meant to be the state’s identity card, equivalent to the preamble of a constitution, which defines its identity and values.
    One of the “compromises” of the committee that prepared the law for its first vote was the removal of the section that established the explicit supremacy of the nation-state law over all other laws. Also removed was a paragraph stating that the law’s purpose is “to enshrine in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel.”
    In other words, the Knesset sought to make clear that the purpose of the law is to fundamentally change the balance between Israel as a Jewish state and a democratic one, and to undermine the values of the Declaration of Independence, which promised a state that grants full equality to all its citizens. Apparently the combination of “Jewish and democratic” and the values of the Declaration of Independence have became inconceivable concepts — just like the words “equality” and “human rights,” which the Knesset refused to include in the law.


  • In Israel, growing fascism and a racism akin to early Nazism
    Zeev Sternhell Jan 19, 2018 2:00 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-in-israel-growing-fascism-and-a-racism-akin-to-early-nazism-1.5746

    I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?

    The answer, that historian might say, was embedded in the actions of Knesset members such as Miki Zohar and Bezalel Smotrich and the bills proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The nation-state law, which looks like it was formulated by the worst of Europe’s ultra-nationalists, was only the beginning. Since the left did not protest against it in its Rothschild Boulevard demonstrations, it served as a first nail in the coffin of the old Israel, the one whose Declaration of Independence will remain as a museum showpiece. This archaeological relic will teach people what Israel could have become if its society hadn’t disintegrated from the moral devastation brought on by the occupation and apartheid in the territories.

    The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz’s Ravit Hecht held with Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.

    Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the “Jewish problem” would have ended only with the “voluntary” expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.

    Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don’t rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It’s likely that the Likud’s Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren’t Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.

    According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. “A Palestinian,” Zohar tells Hecht, “has no right to national self-determination since he doesn’t own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won’t tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren’t born as Jews.”

    From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don’t seem worried.


  • Une importante tribune de l’histoirien Zeev Sternehll
    In Israel, growing fascism and a racism akin to early Nazism

    They don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression

    Zeev Sternhell 19.01.2018

    I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?
    The answer, that historian might say, was embedded in the actions of Knesset members such as Miki Zohar and Bezalel Smotrich and the bills proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The nation-state law, which looks like it was formulated by the worst of Europe’s ultra-nationalists, was only the beginning. Since the left did not protest against it in its Rothschild Boulevard demonstrations, it served as a first nail in the coffin of the old Israel, the one whose Declaration of Independence will remain as a museum showpiece. This archaeological relic will teach people what Israel could have become if its society hadn’t disintegrated from the moral devastation brought on by the occupation and apartheid in the territories.
    The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz’s Ravit Hecht held with Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.
    Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the “Jewish problem” would have ended only with the “voluntary” expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.
    Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don’t rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It’s likely that the Likud’s Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren’t Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.
    According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. “A Palestinian,” Zohar tells Hecht, “has no right to national self-determination since he doesn’t own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won’t tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren’t born as Jews.”

    From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don’t seem worried.

    Zeev Sternhell
    Haaretz Contributor


  • A cornerstone
 of apartheid -
    Israel’s ’nation-state’ law must be stopped - the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among all its citizens in law

    Haaretz Editorial May 08, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.787870

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.787870

    The nation-state bill, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved unanimously on Sunday, is a bad bill. Nobody denies that Israel, as the bill says, “is the national home of the Jewish people,” or that “the right to the realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
    The Jewish people’s right to national revival in the Land of Israel was recognized back in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and approved by the League of Nations Mandate in 1922. On November 29, 1947, this right was reaffirmed and recognized by the UN General Assembly as well.
    “We ... hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” reads the Declaration of Independence. Similarly, the state’s Basic Laws define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. And aside from all this, just last week, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence.
    >> Israeli ministers greenlight nation-state bill: Arabic isn’t an official state language <<
    Nevertheless, this bill is bad, because the only legitimate way to ensure the state’s Jewishness is for Israel to be a democracy that grants full equality to all its citizens, but which also has a Jewish majority. Any situation in which Jews were a minority in Israel, and the state’s Jewishness was maintained solely via discriminatory laws and a regime that enforced them against the majority’s will, would be undemocratic, and in any event would certainly not be viable over the long run.
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    The only explanation for why Israel is advancing this bill is the millions of Palestinians whom it keeps under its control in territories that it fantasizes about annexing. Because Israel is interested in applying its sovereignty to the land but isn’t interested in annexing the Palestinians who live there as equal citizens in a single state, it is forced to create the legal infrastructure for segregating Jews from Arabs and preserving the Jews’ legal supremacy. The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.

    The nation-state law is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, as it seeks to enshrine the rule of a Jewish minority over an imagined Arab majority. This is a fearful and aggressive move by a people that sees itself as a minority and is preparing to maintain control over an apartheid state that contains a Palestinian majority living under its rule. Yet even before that point is reached, the law discriminates against members of Israel’s Arab minority and legally labels them as second-class citizens.
    The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass. The only way to preserve the national home of the Jewish people is to separate peacefully from the occupied territories and liberate the Palestinian people. And the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among its citizens in law, in line with the promise of the Declaration of Independence: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
    The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.


  • Joint List leader: A real apology from Netanyahu would be true equality for Arabs - National - Israel News | Haaretz
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.648460

    The leader of the Joint List of Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, rejected on Monday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology for the offense his remarks on Election Day caused, saying that a true apology would include true equality for Israeli Arabs and minority groups.

    ‘I want to see if he recognizes the unrecognized Bedouin villages [in the Negev],’ Odeh told Channel 2. ‘He will keep pushing the racist legislation and will sit with [Habayit Hayehudi’s Naftali] Bennett to legislate the Jewish nation-state law. This isn’t a true apology.’

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret Monday for his statements during the elections last week, in which he called on his supporters to vote, warning that ‘the Arabs are voting in droves.’ “I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu said during a meeting Tuesday with representatives of Israeli monitory groups.

    During another interview with Channel 10 news, Odeh said that Netanyahu’s ‘racism didn’t start or end with this inflammatory statement,’ adding that ‘zig-zagging positions are part of Netanyahu’s personality.’

    The head of the third-largest party also criticized the fact that Joint List leaders were not invited to the meeting with Netanyahu, accusing him of turning one community against the other.

    ‘Therefore we have no choice but to continue the struggle of democratic Arab and Jewish citizens together against Netanyahu’s destructive policy, and for a future of peace, equality, democracy and social justice for all of the country’s citizens,’ Odeh said.

    Netanyahu’s comments on Election Day drew harsh criticism in Israel and abroad. The White House said it was “deeply concerned” by “divisive rhetoric” that sought to marginalize Israeli Arabs, and Netanyahu’s remarks against Israel’s Arab citizens were also brought up by Obama in his conversation with Netanyahu a few days after the elections.

    In Israel, President Reuven Rivlin took the prime minister to task over the remarks, saying such remarks have no place in a country where people must live as equals. Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog also slammed Netanyahu, saying he ‘humiliated 20 percent of Israeli citizens for the sake of his election campaign’ with those remarks.