Not Afraid of the Biberman Government

Benjamin Netanyahu was appointed, as expected, to form the new government. His government will probably include the racist “Israel Beytenu” party, of the scary Avigdor Lieberman. This makes many Israelis sick and horrified. I’m already over it.

The fear of this reality drove many left wingers to vote for FM Tzipi Livni, thinking that if her Kadima party gets more seats than Netanyahu’s Likud party, then Netanyahu won’t be Prime Minister again.

Well, Kadima got more seats, only to teach those people a lesson in Israel’s parliamentary system: the head of the biggest party isn’t automatically the PM – it depends on coalition. And Netanyahu’s right wing \ religious bloc won the elections.

Anyway, he may form many different coalitions, but there’s a good chance that the racist Lieberman will have a strong position in the government, having won the third place in the elections.

This specifically scares Israeli Arabs. Lieberman wants to deny their citizenship if they don’t show loyalty to the country. Maybe they’ll take mine if I’m not loyal enough with this criticism…

I don’t believe that this fascist law will pass, but I must be prepared:



Picture made in the site.


Anyway, to my main point: we aren’t alone in the world, and the world has changed. We are dependant on our main, and sometimes only ally: the US. And there’s a new guy in office there. Obama’s first month office proved that he came to work, on all fronts, and he isn’t wasting any time.

We will have to comply, at least partially, with the new administration’s policies, and they will be different from Mr. Bush. I’m sure that Obama’s will will force my country to a more moderate policy, and not an extreme right wing one.

Also in the economic front, Netanyahu is a great admirer of the neo cons, and of Margaret Thatcher. As Minister of Treasury, he already brought upon us extreme capitalistic reforms, deregulation and suffering. 

But also here, the world has changed. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 5 months ago, the world began re-regulating instead of de-regulating. In a global world, he cannot push through his brutal capitalism. He’ll have to let go.

So, I’m not in despair of the upcoming Israeli government. Yihye Tov!

Decision 2009: Voting for the Radical Left

* This post is dedicated to readers that come from Lisa Goldman‘s piece in the British Guardian about the Israeli blogosphere and the upcoming elections. I wrote very similar things in Hebrew here.

I’ve decided to vote this time for the Hadash party. It is a Jewish-Arab post-communist party Hadash. Voting for radical left isn’t easy for me. It’s new for me. (Hadash means new in Hebrew).

It took me quite a long time to reach this decision. I’d rather vote for a big party, a party that can be the ruling party. I’ve voted for the Labor Party in 96, 99, and in the recent elections in 2006. I cast my vote for Meretz, mild left part in 2003, and voted for Labor’s Ehud Barak in the direct elections in 2001.

But this time, I prefer to cast my vote for a 100% opposition party. I beleive that their MKs did an excellent job, and I trust them to continue the good work.

I was deliberating if to vote for the Green Movement Meimad party, which is a socialist green party, that also focuses on education. I decided not to vote for them, mostly because they avoid talking about the Israeli Arab conflict. They focus only on internal affairs, and hid their opinions during the Gaza war.

Hadash stood up against the war, before it and during it. Their presence was seen in all the demonstrations. Only they saw how stupid and useless this war was. 

In addition, these are days tense between Jews and Israeli Arabs. Avigdor Lieberman’s party suggests that citizenship should be revoked from Israeli Arabs if they don’t show loyalty for the country. These scary fascist ideas find many followers in the Israeli public, and it’s very alarming. 

So, I’m voting for a party that is a partnership between Jews and Arabs. 

So, I’m voting for an opposition party, and cleaning up my conscience.

Gaza War – Last Demonstration

The Israeli government declared a unilateral cease fire tonight. Just before the declarion, I’ve attended yet another anti war demonstration.


Gaza War - Last Demonstration?
Gaza War - Last Demonstration?

More pictures from the hopeful last anti war demonstration.


Contrary to the Peace Now protest, this time, it was back to the normal organizers: the radical left. Around 3000 people attended a demonstration that began on the seaside, and ended in a park in Jaffa. The demonstrators shouted different slogans. Some were the usual ones: Jews and Arabs refurse to be enemies, children want to live, stop the occupation, etc.

Other shouted slogans that called Ehud Barak a murderer, and “Enough with the country”. It was hard for me being in the same demonstration where such slogans are screamed. Again, I expected a unified message: Stop the War!

Well, hopefully it’s happening, and the unilateral cease fire will hold.

Why I’m against the Gaza war

Some readers have asked me to elaborate on why I’m against the war. In general, I think that this “Cast Lead” operation kills way too many civilians, causes lots of destruction, and isn’t a good practice of our right of self protection. We definitely have a right to protect our civilians.

I’m convinced that this terrible war isn’t the way to acheive it. And after three wees, this operation didn’t stop the Quassam rockets from landing in Israel.

There are additional reasons why I’m opposed to this war, and I can elaborate much more on the points I’ve stated above. It requires a separate post. I hope it’ll all be over, and I won’t need another post.

Gaza War – Peace Now?

The anti war demonstration was supposed to be big: instead of having only radical left protesters, this one was organized by the Peace Now movement. 

Gaza War - Peace Now
Gaza War - Peace Now

Peace now is a veteran left wing movement that has influence on the Israeli political scene for over 30 years. In the Lebanon War in 2006, the joining of Peace Now to the protests marked a change in the Israeli sentiment towards the war.

This time, Peace Now blew it. First of all, there weren’t many people: only about 1000 people came, despite the organization many volunteers and workers.

And the bigger problems were in the speeches: Yariv Opnheimer of Peace Now: instead of focusing on the main message of stopping the hostilities, he talked lengthy about how Peace Now is different from those non-Zionist / Red protesters. The focus was on what divided the few protesters, rather than on the simple call for ceasefire. He told them that there are other protests for them – very bad mistake.

Yariv Openheimer
Yariv Openheimer

Also Haim Orron (aka Jumes), head of the left of center Meretz party, made a bad speech. Although his rhetoric was better than Openheimer’s, the message to the Israeli government was: “Think twice before deepening the operation” – quite a weak statement from a party that wants to be a major factor in Israeli politics.

Haim Orron - Jumes
Haim Orron - Jumes

After this disappointing protest, I’m convinced that the Israeli public will stay supportive for the war.

The only thing that can stop the war is Obama’s inauguration in a week from now. With the Bush administration in its last days, there is no internal or external force that can now stop the fighting. 

More pictures from Peace Now Gaza War Demonstration.

Gaza War – 10,000 Israeli Protesters Couldn’t Stop the Invasion

For the third time in a week, I came to protest against the ongoing war in Gaza. This time, the turnout was massive: there were about 10,000 people that came to protest against the war in Gaza, that is going on.

Gaza War - Big Demostration Against It
Gaza War - Big Demostration Against It

The rally was bothered by group of “counter protesters” – right wing activists that didn’t like this demonstration. Luckily, the police was scared that this event would turn violent, and there were lots of policeman that kept the two sides seperated.

The war has quite strong support among the Israeli public. But when the public is asked about the ground operation – the Israeli public is divided is divided 50-50.

Unfortunately, the ground operation began this evening, exactly in the time of the protest (and the counter protest): Lots of troops and tanks entered the northern Gaza strip. It’s all over the news.

Tens of thousands of Israeli reserve soldiers will be drafted very very soon. For Israelis, this is much more scary than the conflict was until tonight. Here’s a short video to get a feeling of the demonstration:


10,000 Israeli Protesters Couldn’t Stop the Ground Operation in GazaClick here for the most popular videos

I believe that even a succsseful operation will leave casualties on our side, something that will turn around the Israeli public from support to unapproval of the Gaza war. Barak’s war games before the elections will not achieve his goal to become popular.

I know that you, my readers are tired of hearing of yet another protest, but apart from showing that there’s another opinion in Israel, going to protests and writing about in my blog are probably the most I can do to stop this useless bloodshed.

Big Rally Against the Gaza War
Big Rally Against the Gaza War

And I’ll keep going to protests, and I’ll keep on reporting about them.

And relating again to my readers, in the past few days I’ve received a huge amount of comments. I’m not used to it, and I can’t respond to all of them. I apologize. I was quoted in Ynet, and received lots of entries from Google that are related to the Gaza war. I can’t respond to all of them, and I’m glad that in some cases, the readers began a discourse amonsgt themselves.

More picture from the Big Anti Gaza War Demonstration.