Website policy

We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.

Action Alerts

Support Amnesty International's campaign to Bring Mordechai Vanunu to London in June

Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


Israel’s ‘deep change’ to the right

Poll showing voting intentions for January elections, grouped into two blocs.

The rise of the extreme right is the story of the Israeli elections

By Noam Sheizaf, +972
December 25, 2012

There are two new elections polls out, both following the trends of the last few weeks. First, Netanyahu’s right-Orthodox bloc is pulling ahead, now polling 67.5 seats in our average (out of the Knesset’s 120). As I argued when the elections were called, it’s clear that no candidate but Netanyahu will be able to form the next government.

But another story is unfolding before our eyes, and that’s the rise of the extreme right. The National Religious Party – traditionally the political home of the settlers – is now polling at around 13 seats. The more extreme Otzma LeYisrael, led by former Kahane man Michael Ben Ari, passes the Knesset threshold in roughly half of all polls, generally getting between two and three seats. That’s 15-16 seats, compared to the seven both parties have in the current Knesset. The popular leader of NRP, Naftali Bennett, was attacked by almost all other parties this weekend for an interview he gave in which he said he would ask his army commanders to relieve him from evacuating settlements, were he ever to receive such an order. It seems that Bennet only benefited from the controversy.

At the same time, the Likud-Beitenu party (the joint ticket of Prime Minister Netanyahu and resigning Foreign Minister Lieberman) is registering an all-time low since the unification was announced, with 35.5 seats, as opposed to the 42 they have now. Add to that the rise of the settlers and other hawks within the Likud itself, and you get the story of the elections: the rise to power of a new right-wing elite, which is firmly commited to the settlements. Recent developments, like the recognition of the college at Ariel as Israel’s first university in the occupied West Bank, or the refusal of Likud leaders to even pay lip service to a Palestinian state, should be seen in this context.

This graph shows the numbers for the Likud vs. the (even more) extreme right in the last couple of months.

There were some speculations that Netanyahu would try for a centrist and even a secular government after the elections, but if those trends continue, the Likud will simply be too small, and the prime minister will need to return to his “natural allies” at the right. In both cases, it’s clear that the next Knesset will deepen Israeli control over the occupied territories, and more right-wing representatives will fill the ranks of Israeli bureaucracy, justice system and security establishment. What’s happening in these elections is beyond a question of the political fates Netanyahu or Lieberman, and it reflects a deep change Israel has been going through for two decades or more.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.