Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion 

…Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East?

Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion.

His comments that the country belongs to ‘Jewish people alone’ strike to the heart of the nature of Israel.

Ben White The Independent Voices

Netanyahu is desperate, in the face of an electoral challenge from former military chiefs of staff as well as the looming indictments for corruption allegations ( EPA )

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”.

Netanyahu’s comments are the latest grim episode in an election season that will see Israelis going to the polls on 9 April. Just last month, the prime minister helped engineer an election merger that could see far-right party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) enter the Knesset.

That latter piece of realpolitik in particular prompted outrage from a number of Israeli politicians, analysts and even US-based groups better known for their Israel advocacy. According to the critics, Netanyahu’s boosting of the far-right and indulging of racist rhetoric endangers Israeli democracy.

Netanyahu is desperate, in the face of an electoral challenge from former military chiefs of staff as well as the looming indictments for corruption allegations. But recent developments are not just about motivating a right-wing base – the problem goes much deeper than an embattled demagogue.Netanyahu’s election manoeuvres offer an opportunity to shine a spotlight on an uncomfortable truth: namely that only under the most superficial definition can Israel be considered a democracy.

Consider the following:

Millions of Palestinians are subjected to a military regime which, for 52 years, has facilitated the establishment of illegal settlements. Settlers are Israeli citizens, and vote. The Palestinians they live among – whose land the settlers inhabit and colonise – are not.

The April elections will lead to the formation of Israel’s 35th government. Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip began during Israel’s 13th government.

Those Palestinians who do have Israeli citizenship, meanwhile, are very much second-class citizens – as Netanyahu has been at pains to emphasize.

Yes, the Jewish Nation-State law passed last year is significant in that regard, defining Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people”, and asserting that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”.

But the legislation was consistent with de jure and de facto discrimination going back to the very foundation of the state of Israel.As conflict studies scholar Nadim Rouhana wrote in 2010, “there are few honest observers in Israel who dispute that a Jewish state, by definition, privileges one group of citizens over another”.

This is an inequality “expressed in various ways, including in Israel’s Basic Laws and its laws of land control, immigration and resource distribution” – as documented by Palestinian citizens themselves, as well as international NGOs and human rights experts.

Finally – and this is regrettably rarely taken into account – there are millions of Palestinians who, expelled from their homes in the 1948 Nakba and prevented from returning ever since, are denied their rightful citizenship and thus suffrage…

FINISH READING: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion | The Independent






 

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Posted in HWH COMMENTARY

“PALESTINE”

Palestine by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – new book

Amir Taheri wrote a book report on Palestine that appeared in the New York Post on August 1, 2015 | 3:00pm

He was sent a copy of the book from a friend in Iran.

Reading Taheri’s abstract of the book, it struck me that what Ayatolla Ali Khamenei wants for the region is almost the same that Israel wants, right down to the strategies used to get there, only in the reverse – except for one thing. “All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are [in the world], would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.”

Maybe Benjamin Netanyahu has already thought of this, and that’s why he isn’t worried that his one state solution – meaning Israel reigns – won’t result in a Palestinian majority by the year 2020. A Jewish state was formed originally so that all Jews worldwide would have a place they call home. So if all Jews worldwide can vote in Israeli elections, that would seal the deal for essentially keeping Palestinians out of the major political runs, excepting local elections. Palestinians would be a protected minority; whereas with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s plan, the Israelis would be the protected minority.

It’s strange how devious minds think alike, right down to the details.

Although the book is only sold in Iran now, I’ll bet a lot of people would love to read it, including me. Take a look at Tamir’s ‘book report’ – very interesting and well done.

http://nypost.com/2015/08/01/iran-publishes-book-on-how-to-outwit-us-and-destroy-israel/