Left-wing leader considering linkup with Arab party too, ‘to have a more significant left-wing element, Jewish and Arab’ ■ Hadash rules out partnership with ‘hypocritical’ Meretz
Labor chief Avi Gabbay and Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg.Ilan Assayag, Olivier Fitoussi
Who’s in and who’s out of Israel’s new Knesset? The good, the bad and the newly unemployed
The downfall of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked
If there’s one conclusion from the Israeli election results, this is it
The Labor Party and Meretz have been examining the possibility of a merger, with the addition of candidates from Arab parties, following a bruising election that has halved their representation in the Knesset.
No concrete proposals have been put forward yet but lawmakers in both parties may advance such a step in the near future.
>> How Israeli Arab voters saved Meretz, the Druze got payback and kibbutzniks broke tradition ■ For real change, the Zionist left must drop its sense of Jewish supremacy | Opinion
Arab-majority Hadash rejected calls to join forces “with Meretz or anyone else” for now, arguing that with the six Knesset seats its joined slate with Ta’al gained, it is “the leading and biggest party among the Arab public.” Some Labor representatives also expressed reservations about a possible merger.
Labor, with 18 seats in the last Knesset, won only six this time, while Meretz was reduced from five seats to four.
Speaking of a potential merger, Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg told Haaretz that “the components for such a linkup must include Labor, Meretz and a significant Arab figure or party, such as Hadash or a part of it.”
“Israel has to have a more significant left-wing element, Jewish and Arab,” Zandberg added. “The votes Meretz got in the latest election shows that this is possible. This is the time when there is a chance for things and I intend to help them happen. We need to begin to do this now. Israeli elections are called by surprise and now is a good time to take a step.”
Both Meretz and Labor were significantly shaken and lost a core base of supporters to the Kahol Lavan party. Meretz owes at least one of its four seats to Arab voters. Zandberg said that in hindsight, her proposal to Labor chairman Avi Gabbay to unite before the elections would have been the correct move to make.
“I proposed this because I expected a tsunami. I wanted to do it not as a lifeline because we had no choice but as a part of a more significant move by the left,” Zandberg said.
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich wrote on Facebook this week that there had to be a distinction drawn between a possible linkup between Labor and Kahol Lavan or Meretz. But another Labor lawmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, said any linkup of the party with Meretz would likely damage the party’s base of support.
“It could be that linking up with Meretz is the right move,” the lawmaker said, “but such a unification could split the Labor Party and its supporters. Labor has a significant hawkish branch that has no common language with Meretz and its messages, and such a situation could split the party.”
Another senior Labor figure said: “All talk about uniting with Meretz at this stage is too early and unnecessary. At the moment the party has to undergo a healing phase. It has to choose a new chairperson. It has to understand how to confront its core base and see how to build itself into an alternative with only six Knesset seats.”
Labor Party chairman Gabbay has made clear he intends to leave his post as soon as possible. In talks with senior party figures he confirmed that he considered resigning the night of the election as soon as the failure became clear, but he didn’t want his departure to look like he was abandoning ship.
Tal Rousso, the number two on the Labor slate, also considered dropping out of the party on Thursday in light of the party’s electoral failure, but later reneged.
In the coming days Gabbay is expected to lead discussions about whether to move up a party leadership contest, which would be held within three months, or name a temporary chairperson and have the election held at a later time. Senior Labor figures said that if there’s a decision to name a temporary chairperson the leading candidate for the job is lawmaker Amir Peretz, but Peretz has apparently not decided whether he would be interested in taking the job.
Hadash lawmaker Youssef Jabareen harshly criticized some Meretz lawmakers who opposed a bill he proposed, to define Israel a “democratic and equal” state, as an antithesis to the Nation-State Law. Their vote “exposes Meretz’s hypocrisy,” Jabareen said.
“However, we’ll keep cooperating with opposition parties for a public front, as broad as possible, against the government’s occupation and discrimination policies,” he added.
BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti (YouTube)
Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was denied entry to the United States on Wednesday.
He was informed by airline staff at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel that U.S. immigration officials told the American consul in Tel Aviv to block him from boarding the flight.
A State Department official told NPR, “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The US Capitol Building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Four of Israel’s most dedicated supporters in the US Congress on Friday expressed concern that the Jewish state may annex the West Bank, as results from Israel’s election earlier this week confirmed the likelihood of a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” said a joint statement from Democratic representatives Eliot Engel (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The final image sent by Israeli spacecraft Beresheet before it crash-landed on the moon. Photo: courtesy of Space IL.
Astronauts and scientists at the US space agency NASA commended the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL for its efforts afyer its spacecraft “Beresheet” failed to land safely on the moon on Thursday.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.”
“Der ewige Jude” – “Theeternal Jew” movie poster . (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The lead article Thursday on the opinion page of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the 1940 Nazi antisemitic movie The Eternal Jew.
The article was titled in the paper “The Eternal Netanyahu” in a word play in connection with director Fritz Hippler’s antisemitic pseudo-documentary, based on the medieval legend of the wandering Jew, that served as a cinematographic justification for the Holocaust.
As an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years in Washington, D.C. I see patients from all over the world and from every walk of life and what has become clear to me is that everyone is fundamentally the same. As a rule, I shy away from political or religious discussions with my patients as they have no bearing on their care. But occasionally, the discussions are thrust on me.
Several years ago I treated a professor of political science from a local university and had established a good rapport with him. On his last visit before saying goodbye he popped a question.
It is well-known by some and wholly ignored by others that Islam has a long, sad history of antisemitism, a bigotry that originated in the seventh century CE (the first Islamic century) and has grown more vicious in the 21st. Combined with an almost universal anti-Zionism and bolstered by many on the political “left”, it is today the most ubiquitous and deadliest form of Jew-hatred. It takes the form, not just of insults, boycotts, and lawfare, but of wars, terrorist attacks, and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of the Jews.
Amman – The streets in Amman’s Jebel al-Weibdeh are crowded in the early evening with sounds of young people looking for a place to relax. Coffee shops intermix with art studios selling crafts for tourists. At the Maestro bar and restaurant, a band is getting ready for a live performance. The lights are dimmed and someone has put “no smoking” signs on the tables – they are out of place with the ash trays. Apparently, Monday has jam sessions and anyone can bring their instrument to join in. But it’s Wednesday.
A few of my readers recently asked me to explain the difference between “Palestinians” living inside and outside of Israel’s borders. Who are the “Palestinians” anyway? First, see below:
“Palestine” does not exist today as a nation-state, but at multiple times in history, including the present, it has been one of the names of a place. The Romans, recalling the defunct Philistines – non-Arab Sea People – coined it after defeating [Jewish general] Bar Kochba in 135 CE to disassociate what had been Judaea from Jews.
President Trump’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict surfaced two years ago and to this day – remarkably – only he and a handful of aides know its precise details. A stream of leaks, however, contains enough internal consistency that their collation, supplemented by conversations with administration officials, provides a plausible outline of the plan’s contents.
On March 31, a South Bend grandma brought her grandson to the hospital. The 11-month-old baby boy had been shot. His grandmother’s car had also taken fire. It was another early morning in South Bend.
Around the same time, Mayor Buttigieg, was toting up the $7 million in donations from his charm offensive as his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination got underway. The national media never bothered reporting the shooting of an 11-month-old boy in the city he was supposed to be running, but instead confined its coverage of South Bend matters to a publicity stunt wedding officiated by Buttigieg.
The Palestinian students are being targeted because of their political affiliations and not because of any crime they committed.
While the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are busy beating up each other’s supporters, “pro-Palestinian” activists on US and Canadian university campuses are busy blaming Israel for Palestinian woes.
As an American Christian who has had the privilege of working in senior-level positions for four US presidents and who has enjoyed a close association with three of Israel’s prime ministers, I believe it is my obligation to provide the Israeli people with my views. I think my viewpoint is important because a vast number of American Evangelical Christians believe as I believe. In addition, Evangelical Christians are, without question, Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States.
Does Case 3000 – known as the submarine affair – prove that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of doing something illegal? Well, all Likud supporters believe with absolute confidence that it’s a political plot. Netanyahu’s opponents, however, believe – also with absolute confidence – that it’s the largest corruption case to ever occur in the State of Israel.