Peace Now on the run

Posted: October 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Left, The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments »

peace nowThe right wing is recently running an extremely successful campaign to de-legitimize Peace Now, the once powerful left wing grassroots movement.

A few weeks ago, the deputy for PM Benjamin Netanyahu, minister Moshe “Bugy” Yaalon (Likud), referred to Peace Now as “a virus, which causes the state great damage”. Today, following a bizarre incident in which three Peace Now activists (Update: see Amitai’s comment below) tried to conduct a mock interview with the most extreme MK in the Knesset, Michael Ben-Ari – a friend and a student of the late Rabbi Meir Kahana – the Knesset’s chairman, MK Rubi Rivlin (Likud), forbid Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheim from entering the Israeli parliament. Meretz party – which was always close to Peace Now – has filed an official protest n this matter. Read the rest of this entry »

What is Neo-Zionism?

Posted: September 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: racism, The Left, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the relations between the Arab citizens of Israel and the Jewish majority. I think it is the most important issue on the agenda today, and the one that will determine the nature of this state in the years to come.

As the price of holding on to the West Bank is growing, more and more Israelis are coming to accept the idea of an Israeli withdrawal. However, on the same time they demand the state to go on favoring Jews, both on the symbolic level (meaning that state symbols, such as the flag and the anthem, will be Jewish ones) and on the practical level, meaning that Jews will enjoy a better position in the citizenship acquiring process, or with regards to ownership over land, etc.  And something else is happening: racism is on the rise, contrary to what happened during the first round of the peace process, in the 90′s.

I’ve been referring here to those people who want to strengthen the exclusive Jewish nature of the state as “neo-Zionists”, as oppose to the “post-Zionists”, who emphasized the liberal-democratic (and sometimes multi-cultural) nature of the state. Post-Zionism was on the rise during the 90′s; neo-Zionism is the dominant intellectual and political force of the past decade, and it hasn’t even reached its full potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Kahana lives in Petah Tikva (part II)

Posted: September 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Left | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Last week I dealt here with a disturbing initiative that takes place in the city of Petah Tikva. As it was reported on, a local news site, the municipality of this Tel Aviv suburb is forming a team that would locate and “help” girls that date “members of ethnic minorities”, i.e. Arabs.

This weekend, the guy behind this idea, Moshe Spector, the head of the Youth department in the municipality and a senior advisor to the mayor of Petah Tikva, insisted that “there wasn’t any personal racist motive” behind the initiative:

“If we see a 13 years old girl going with these guys to their village, what do you want me to say, that it doesn’t bother us? This can happen not only with minorities. Some families are not aware that their girls are doing that.”

Sometimes explaining stuff only makes it worse.

Yes, a 13 years old girl going with a group of older men is not something you would like to see, and if Spector’s team was only supposed to help these kids, I think everybody would have praised him. But with all the criticism his idea drew, Spector still insists to link the problem with the Arabs. By doing so, he not only reveals his true motives, but also links the entire Arab minority to a social problem, even a crime (statutory rape). If that’s not racism, I don’t know what is. Read the rest of this entry »