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October 2019 Newsletter: Collective Rights of Minorities in Democratic Countries

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CEO’s Word


Shalom

Holidays are a great time for thoughts, reflection, introspection, and recalculation – especially holidays like this year’s that are filled with “Yom Tov”. Between the pots and pans of the numerous holiday meals, I found myself asking questions about our work at the Institute.
We are a small team that works ceaselessly and that believes strongly in what we do, in the liberal spirit of national Zionism, and in the focus that we have now adopted – promoting fieldwork with, and research on, the minorities living in Israel. We engage in this field out of a specifically Zionist, pro-Israeli outlook that strives for the true integration of minority populations in general and of Israeli Arabs in particular as a Zionist obligation and a right. We do this out of an understanding that by concentrating on interpersonal relationships and communication, we can generate a larger change in society at large and that only action at a grassroots level will enable us to generate this change – both within Israel’s Jewish society and among the minorities living here together with us.

And yet … the road to achieving this goal is difficult and winding and can only be sustained with a deep-rooted faith in the path we have chosen. The world we live in tends towards dichotomy – black or white; right-wing or left-wing. Each side is enclosed within a pre-determined set of values so that if a right-winger wants to work with Arabs and help them realize their civil rights, he is immediately challenged by his colleagues on the right as a “lefty”; at the same time he suspected by left-wingers as having ulterior motives. No-one really listens and hardly any effort is made to act in a more complex manner that rises above these shallow distinctions.

Fundraising is another world in which it’s hard to convey complex messages. We are asked about the very legitimacy of our request for support, and about our claim that we are doing something important on a national level. We are scrutinized as to what camp we belong to. Do we support the 2-state solution or annexation? Attempts are made to place us in one of the only two camps that exist – the national camp or the peace camp. Our attempt to express a different voice whereby we are not engaged in a political solution but rather action that alters the fabric of relations tends to generally fall on deaf ears.

If however, we proclaim our desire to benefit both sides living here – the Arabs who will increasingly feel part of the country rather than like foreigners and thereby desire to contribute more; and right-wingers who will understand that the Arabs are here to stay, thereby necessitating the building of bridges and connections with them – our message, lacking a single-party flag, becomes easier to criticize.

We are proud to be a brave and complex voice bearing many banners. We view ourselves as pioneers in this field of National-Zionist organizations that will eventually understand that it is by specifically working with minorities, and not by alienating them, that the hope for co-existence may prevail. It is difficult being a pioneer, outlining and adhering to a path despite the opposition from all sides, positioning our activity at the top of national priorities.

We therefore need you as our partners, as someone who understands the issues and their complexity, to join us in seeing beyond the horizon, to generate a genuine change in the fabric of relations between the two peoples living on this small piece of land of ours, and to provide hope. Together with you, we can prove that our activity does indeed positively influence society, that our approach is indeed pioneering Zionist activism and not just hopeful dreams.

Collective Rights of Minorities in Democratic Countries – A Comparative Survey


The debates on collective rights awarded to national, ethnic or religious minorities are shared by many democratic nation states. What is the right scope of autonomy in fields such as language, education and religion?

This month we survey the ways these issues were dealt with for five minority groups. We hope to contribute to the deepening of the debate on these questions in Israel by comparing their fate to Israeli Arabs’.
Coupling these five cases with processed data from the Knessset research department on other countries we can give this broader picture:

Language

10 of the 12 countries surveyed maintain statutes that obligate the state to provide official documents, public services and access to the court system in the minority population’s language.

In 7 of the 12 countries surveyed, speakers of minority languages enjoy special rights in a district or region with a high concentration of minority populations, such as signs in the minority language, public services in their language and others.

In 5 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population’s language has been declared an official local language in districts with a high concentration of minority populations.

In 6 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population’s language is an official state language without necessarily enjoying an equal legal status as that of the majority.

In 2 of the 12 countries surveyed, a special committee has been established to promote the minority population’s language.

___________11

 

Education

Public education in the minority population’s language or bilingual education is officially guaranteed in all the countries surveyed.

In practice, in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population makes widespread use of educational institutions in their own language or of bi-lingual education.
In 3 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population pupils are also legally obligated to learn the language of the majority together with their own language studied at the minority language schools.

For the Complete Study

 

Blue&White Human Rights

___________11Standing with the Syrian Kurds

In the midst of the Turkish operation in Kurdish-held areas of Syria, we joined together with several other Jewish NGOs to call for humanitarian support for the Kurds.

At the initiative of the International Legal Forum, we reminded Jews and Kurds share a long history, values, interests and a special relationship.

You can still take part and share the word. (Link enclosed in the picture)

In the Media

* Hashiloach magazine had an interesting review of the National-Liberal anthology we published last July.
* Arutz7 read our latest reasearch first hand and reported its central conclusions
* The Jerusalem Post on our campaign for the Kurds.

September 2019 Newsletter: 5779 Year End Summary

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CEO’s Word

In just a few days, we will sit around the holiday table with hopes and prayers for a good, blessed, sweet new year, a year in which, in the words of the traditional Rosh Hashanah blessing, we ask to be “as the head and not as the tail”. But what if everyone is at the head? How can we achieve anything with so many heads?
For us at the Institute for Zionist Strategies, this blessing means that each person should try and find the place where he/she can lead and be at the head – whether in the private or public domain, within the family circle or on the national stage. The meaning of being “as the head” is that, wherever we may be, we should all strive to make the world a better place, to take responsibility for our own individual surroundings, to look at the world from a birds-eye view and understand the whole picture rather than just the minor details. And this can be only be achieved out of a consciousness of being as a head and not a tail.

This then is our blessing for you – and for ourselves. We have proven this year that we are capable of leading and being at the head of our unique field as a rightwing-nationalist organization which understands that Jewish sovereignty entails an obligation and responsibility towards the minority populations in Israel. As we reported to you throughout the year, we have begun working with the Arab population in East Jerusalem, personally assisting hundreds of people. With this same sense of obligation and responsibility, we have successfully overcome many hurdles and gained the insight that peace agreements must begin between individuals, long before any signature ceremony on the lawns of the White House.

We hope to continue leading this field, to expand and widen our influence in additional neighborhoods, and to enhance the lives of yet more people. We have chosen a challenging mission and invite you to partner us in fulfilling it.

Shana Tova

May we all be at the head!

5779: a Summary


5779 was a particularly fruitful year for the IZS.

First, our decision to deal with the issues related to East Jerusalem were largely welcomed, both by the authorities and many residents. The demand for Hebrew courses as a tool for integration is such that while we opened the year with one class we are closing it with five, spread throughout the city.
We also gave bureaucratic support, responding to close to 400 requests. We helped translating and filling forms, connected residents to the relevant public services… In other words, we made sure the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is expressed through taking responsability.
Second, the Institute has continued researching the fields of rights and duties, majority-minority relations, and National Liberal thought. Throughout the year we published 11 papers:

* Rights and Duties in Democratic Countries
* Overpopulation: a Threat to Israel’s Future?
* Family Reunification
* Law Enforcement in the Arab Sector
* The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria
* Palestinian Laborers in the Israeli Construction Industry
* From Oslo until Today: Human Rights Report
* Internationalization of the Israeli Law
* Liberal Nationalism: an Anthology
* Tikkun Olam according to Jabotinsky
* Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox and Arab Sectors in the Israeli Academy

Third we pushed forward with the ‘Blue&White Human Rights’ programs at the crossings and through the pre-army Ethics course – Biglal Haruach.

At the crossings around Jerusalem we accompanied the massive infrastructure changes which allowed a drastic improve in the workers’ lines. We explained the meaning of these changes both to touring groups and the media.

We wish to thank our partners in the different programs, and welcome 5780 with the certainty of making it even better.

Students? Not too late to join our yearly internship!

 

IZS News

Meet our new research coordinator!

This month Amit Aizenman has joined the IZS team. Amit, a Jerusalem resident, was an intern at the Institute the past two years. He is the author of an international review of legal tools used in the war against terror; family reunion in the framework of the Nation State; the National Liberal Anthology.
Amit is a PHD student in a prestigious political science program at the Hebrew University. He holds a MA in political science and a BA in psychology and sociology, both from Bar Ilan University. His MA thesis dealt with conservative political thought.

He will replace Noa Lazimi, our research coordinator for the past two years. She accompanied the reserachers’ work with precision and passion, from topic framing to the various stages of writing, publication and beyond. Her work has contributed a lot to the Institute.

Wish them both good luck!

In the Media

* On the eve of the elections, IZS director Miri Shalem was invited by the Knesset Channel to talk about the possible outcomes.
* The Forward: groups like the IZS acting on the ground show the strength of the Israeli democracy.

The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

* Miri Shalem, CEO of the Institute, shows that behind the personal accusations, the two main parties are not so different politically. (The Jewish Journal)
* Israel Harel, founding president of the IZS, discusses Netanyahu’s options. (Haaretz)
* Nicolas Nissim Touboul, projects manager at the Institute, reveals the Hebron roots of Zionism. (The Jerusalem Post)

August 2019 Newsletter

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The CEO’s word


Shalom,

A new study published by the Institute this month assessed the success of government programs aimed at integrating Haredim and Arabs into mainstream education and the workforce. The study revealed an interesting finding whereby programs for Arab integration had a significantly higher success rate than those aimed at promoting Haredim integration.
This week, we heard MK Ayman Odeh’s declaration about his willingness to join a center-left coalition. After observing the low rate of Arab participation in the previous elections (49%) and in light of polls showing similar expectations in the upcoming elections, Odeh realized that the voters, primarily the younger ones, refrain from voting because they feel that their vote lacks any real influence, and because they have no interest in their elected representatives sitting in perpetual opposition. Their agenda is primarily civilian rather than political and focuses on the daily problems of the Arab sector.

Odeh’s demands include those that are easy to agree with such as the demand to curb the violence in the Arab sector, to collect weapons, for police action against crime organizations, and to establish an inter-departmental team to fight crime. Other demands cannot be agreed with such as revocation of the Nation State Law or halting the demolition of illegal buildings and the legalizing of illegal construction on privately-owned property.

If we ignore the demands for a moment and focus on the statement itself, we will find a clear correlation between our study and Odeh’s declaration: Israeli Arabs do indeed integrate well into Israeli society. They are bothered by their leaders’ incessant preoccupation with the Palestinian problem and prefer that they concentrate on improving the quality of life of Israel’s Arab population. The low voter turnout primarily indicates a lack of faith in their leadership. Odeh seemingly understands this however this may not suffice. The burden of proof is his – and ours. The political leadership and civilian society bear great responsibility towards Israeli Arabs. We at the Institute have begun implementing this responsibility in East Jerusalem. Our next step will be to do so in other Israeli-Arab towns and cities.

Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox and Arab Sectors in the Israeli Academy

We surveyed in depth the programs initiated between the years 2011-2016 by the Council for Higher Education that were aimed at integrating the Arab and Haredi populations into academia.

The program for integration of the Arab population in academia achieved relative success.

A 50% increase in the number of students in institutions of higher education. The representation of Arab students among all undergraduate students rose from approximately 11% to approximately 15%.
Diversification in study fields of fields of study: Between 2009-2010 and 2016-7, the ratio of Arab students in the engineering and architectural fields rose by 66%. During the same period, the Arab student representation in mathematics, computer science and exact sciences increased by 44%.
Dropout rate: No such success was achieved in this parameter. The dropout rate among Arab students remains very high compared to the non-Haredi Jewish sector.

In contrast, the program for integration of the Haredi population has been unsuccessful and failed to register significant achievements in any of the three parameters:

Number of students and in their representation in institutions of higher education: less than 80% of the set goal set was achieved ; the increase in the number of students, which was not one of the program’s goals, was because of the number of female students from the Haredi sector.
Diversification in study fields of fields of study: here too, the program’s goals remain unrealized. Between the academic years 2011-2 and 2014-5, a sharp increase of 80% was registered in the number of programs for Haredim, from 62 to 110. However, the overwhelming majority of the graduates choose to study education, a market with too few available jobs for the number of those seeking employment.
Dropout rate: the program’s achievements in this parameter are extremely worrying. According to the State Comptroller’s report, the rate of Haredi men dropping out of academic studies reaches about 46% while among female Haredim the dropout rate stands at approximately 28%

Click on the image for the interview of the author of the paper:

For the Complete Study

 

IZS News

Students in school year 5780? Join our interns program!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again we will open our doors to outstanding students willing to work with us on a variety of topics: research, East Jerusalem projects, video editing…
Contact us

Instructors for pre-army ethics course

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘For the Spirit’ classes will continue to thrive in highschools throughout Israel. Served in a fighting position in the IDF? Come join us!
Contact us

The IZS in the News


Why would a Zionist organization invest in East Jerusalem? The Jewish Chronicle has the answers.
The 5 Towns Jewish Times surveyed the changes in the crossings between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – and asked us about our activities there. (click on the picture for the video piece)

 

 

Publications by members of the Institute:

 

Miri Shalem, CEO of the IZS, wonders what Tlaib and Omar could have learned about the real Israeli civil society. (Yedioth Ahronoth)
Israel Harel, founder of the IZS, describes how those in charge of protecting the law bypass it. (Haaretz)
Noa Lazimi, our reseach coordinator, explains why developing East Jerusalem is an Israeli interest.

June 2019 Newsletter

By Newsletters

CEO’s Remarks

The Institute for Zionist Strategies is proud and delighted to present this anthology of essays, articles and contemplative expositions on “liberal nationalism”.
We tend today to regard the phrase “liberal nationalism” as a strange hybrid that amalgamates contradictory values. The concept of “liberal nationalism” is commonly attacked on three grounds. Firstly, nationalism is perceived as a value granting preference to one nation over another and therefore as being at odds with humane liberal values which emphasis the centrality of the individual. The very definition of nationalism occupies a central position in contemporary discussions of political philosophy. Secondly, the definition “liberalism” is vague and unclear while being bandied about daily and used to express a range of different, and even, conflicting views. The third argument is that the very connection between the concepts “nationalism” and “liberalism” is occasionally perceived as an oxymoron. Consequently, the nationalist-liberal theory is sometimes attacked as untrue, inconsistent and incomplete.

The Institute for Zionist Strategies seeks to promote a liberal-national outlook, advocating the belief that an inherent component of human rights supports every person’s right to national self-definition. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the theory of Roy Baumeister, this self-definition is the means to self-fulfillment while the right to a sense of belonging and identity is the realization of a basic psychological need.

The liberal-national view advocates that nationalism is intended to serve the individual, not to enslave him. Accordingly, there is no contradiction between Jabotinsky’s statements that: “In the beginning, God created the individual” and “In the beginning, God created the nation”. Jabotinsky claimed that humans gather together into a group, community or state in order to improve their standard of living and to increase the liberty of each of its members.

Jabotinsky supported the assumption that the nation is the desired vehicle for a person’s self-fulfillment. He viewed it as a natural entity for an individual to belong to – just as a person is born to a mother and father, so too he is born to his people and it is only within the broad national context of this framework, and through a bond to its unique culture, that a system of collective self-expression can be formed without one culture diminishing from or compelling another.

We invite you to peruse this anthology and to delve deeper with us into the liberal-national perception.

Liberal Nationalism: an Anthology

The etymology of the word “anthology” indicates its origins in ancient Greek and means “bouquet of flowers”. An anthology gathers the best literary works and presents them to the reader while coalescing them around a specific subject, common theme, or similar artistic motifs. In so doing, it enables the contemporary reader access to remote and concealed textual sources he may otherwise have lacked the inclination or time to pursue. Nevertheless, this anthology involves more demanding requirements. It does not merely offer its readers the opportunity to inhale and bask in the fragrance of ancient and contemporary political literature but rather, imposes upon them the obligation to ponder and contemplate.

One of the most common political concepts in our public discourse is “liberal nationalism”. Although many may claim to know of the origins of this ideological variation and its prominent proponents throughout history, its present-day meaning its somewhat vague. A heated argument rages between scholars, polemicists, and politicians as to the essence of national liberalism, and it is not this anthology’s intention to stymie this lively discussion. In practice, it may well be the nature of ideology to change form according to the manner it is understood in any specific place and time, such that any effort to arrive at a final and absolute definition is doomed to failure. We have therefore chosen to tread a different path here.

Naturally, when an editor is required to gather compositions and determine whether they are destined to be published or neglected, every choice or non-choice may potentially result in grievance on the part of participating scholars. Categorizing and classifying ideas is important however the analytical distinctions between similar contributions are, on occasion, too amorphous and do not necessarily further the intellectual discussion.
The political vision that the Institute of Zionist Strategies is attempting to formulate is located somewhere between the curves in the road, the peaks and the valleys that comprise the national-liberal landscape. We invite you to join us in exploring this anthology and to become our partners in the resultant ideological journey.
For the complete study

East Jerusalem


A single figure indicative of the tremendous deficiency in access to public institutions enjoyed by the residents of East Jerusalem.According to the 2018 report issued by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, the residents of the city’s Arab neighborhoods make up only 22% of those receiving a discount the city tax (arnona). This is while they comprise 38% of the city’s total population and the overwhelming majority of its poor.

Receiving an approval for reduction in arnona is subject to clear criteria and supposed to be granted upon request without need for personal consideration of a municipality official. The discrepancy in the number of recipients stems therefore from the residents’ lack of familiarity with the workings of the relevant municipal and state institutions.

Such unfamiliarity has a detrimental influence, not only on the local population’s trust in those same institutions, but also on the entire city economy. Ultimately, improving the standard of living in the Arab neighborhoods is therefore an interest of all parties.
Over recent months, we have assisted dozens of East Jerusalem residents to receive a reduction on their arnona, many of whom were not even aware that such an option existed, not to mention entertaining the possibility that they may be eligible for it.

IZS News


This summer, the Institute is opening its doors to a group of students from North America who are coming to specialize in our research division.

They will be asked to assist in studying the manners in which democratic countries contend with separatist groups and the radicalization processes of some in the U.S Democrat camp in their stance towards Israel.
For further details on volunteering, internship, research and Hebrew teaching possibilities, please contact: info@izs.org.il

The Institute in the media

Miri Shalem was the guest of the political talk show ‘Mishkan Halayla’ on the Knesset TV. There she dealt with the returning elections and the potential window of opportunity for women in politics.

 

The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

Miri Shalem, CEO of the Institute, reveals the true meaning of the potential political deal between Orly Levy and Alona Barkat.
Israel Harel, founding president of the IZS, explains how the Supreme Court ends up undermining equality of opportunity for Arabs. (Haaretz)
Aryeh Green, research fellow at the IZS, details Jabotinsky’s social thought. (Hashiloach)

July 2019 newsletter – Adopt an Intern

By Newsletters

Dear Readers-Partners,

In the previous newsletters we told you about the amazing work we have had the privilege of undertaking this year in East Jerusalem. We call it “amazing” because that’s what our partners call it. Senior officials in the Israel Police Force tell us how the Hebrew studies classrooms spread over several focal points in East Jerusalem are increasing the students’ sense of belonging, reducing their alienization and, thereby, also contributing to a lowering of terror activity.

Ramadan, the mukhtar of Zur Baher and Khaled, the director of the local community center, tell us of the good work being done by our volunteers in the civil rights’ center. They talk the residents’ language, understand their needs, provide them polite and efficient service, relate to them with respect and patience – even calling them in the evening to ensure that a problem was solved, and provide them access to all the services they need and any payments to which they are entitled.

Senior officials in the Jerusalem municipality tell us how important and meaningful our work is and of the significant impact it is having on the ground.


We want to expand this activity and are therefore inviting you to join us in supporting the “Adopt an Intern” Project.

The 130 hours service to the community provided by each of our interns costs us NIS 10000.

We invite you to adopt an intern by covering 50% of the cost of the scholarship – NIS 5000 – and we will match the other half.

This is your opportunity to have a real influence, to generate a genuine change in the lives of our Jerusalem neighbors, to repair the fabric of relations in the city and to connect its divided pieces.
Only NIS 5000 for one intern who has a name and a face and who can add light to the world and do good in your name.

The donation can be sent by check to “The Institute for Zionist Strategies” (with the details of the donor), by bank transfer or via PayPal.

The donation is recognized for tax purposes under Clause 46.

Help us double the number of our interns, to reach more and more neighborhoods, and to help

 

Tikkun Olam According to Jabotinsky and as Reflected in his Socio-Economic Creed

”The Lord has created this world such as it is, but Man should not agree to leave it ‘such as it is’. ‘Such as it is’ the world is full of defects. It is Man’s mission to improve it.”
Zeev Jabotinsky, ”The Social Philosophy of the Bible” (1932)

This month we invite you to delve deeper into the philosophy of the esteemed Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and familiarize yourselves with his view of the concept of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (lit. repair of the world). This study offers an in-depth analysis of Jabotinsky’s perception of a person’s role within the society in which he lives. Furthermore, the essay presents the manner in which the expressions of Jabotinsky’s view are reflected in his attitude towards socio-economic issues.
Jabotinsky, who is frequently accused of having adopted occasionally conflicting political persuasions, is revealed here as a liberty-seeking statesman who believed in the individual’s ability to enhance the world around him while still demonstrating sensitivity towards the weaker members of society.

This essay is presented as part of our “Kol Koreh” project publishing outstanding academic essays.

Click on the image for the interview of the author of the paper:

For the Complete Study

East Jerusalem


Every year, radical Islamic organizations take advantage of the vacuum created during the summer vacation to run activities for children that incite the youth in East Jerusalem against Israel.

This summer, the Institute has responded to a request from the Israel Police to offer an alternative. We are currently conducting two Hebrew classes for youngsters from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood.
Even in such a complex place, there is no lack of residents looking to give their the children the necessary tools for their future in Israel. This is a critical and welcome trend that we are witnessing to some degree or other throughout East Jerusalem. After 52 years, it’s definitely time.

IZS News

Students in school year 5780? Join our interns program!


Once again we will open our doors to outstanding students willing to work with us on a variety of topics: research, East Jerusalem projects, video editing…
Contact us

 

 

Instructors for pre-army ethics course


‘For the Spirit’ classes will continue to thrive in highschools throughout Israel. Served in a fighting position in the IDF? Come join us!
Contact us

 

 

Call for outstanding academic papers


Once a semester we publish an academic paper dealing with a political-social issue relevant to the IZS activities.
Contact us

 

Pensioners? Volunteer with us a few hours a week!


We have several options for people willing to deal with education and bureaucratic counseling in East Jerusalem.
Contact us

 

 

The IZS in the News


Journalist and writer Yifat Erlich visited our activities in Sur Baher and reported how important it is in her Yediot Aharonot column.
From Tiberias to Ramat Gan the Shabbath wars are back in the news. Globes magazine based their report on this ongoing issue on our Shabbath and business activites researches.

May 2019 Newsletter: Internationalization of Israeli Law

By Newsletters, Recent

CEO’s remarks

Shalom,

As the last few weeks have proven, there is never a dull moment in Israel and the Institute for Zionist Strategies is no exception.
Petitions submitted repeatedly by human rights organizations, supposedly in order to protect human rights are in practice actually impinging on the right of Israeli citizens to protection from terror. By focusing world attention on issues of forced feeding of hunger striking security prisoners and the demolition of terrorists’ homes in Israel, these organizations are significantly harming the image of the State of Israel and promoting a Palestinian narrative that portrays the security prisoners and terrorists as freedom fighters.

The aura of an ideological and national struggle which accompanies the security prisoners gains them respect and admiration. The incitement in the Palestinian education system, social networks, and the media create a society that sanctifies terrorists and murderers of Jews and transforms them into role models. The Palestinian Authority supports and embraces the prisoners and their families. Furthermore, the security prisoners benefit from fraternity and an organized supportive community framework in prison with a spokesman and committees responsible for different fields such as: communication with family, contact with wives, liaison with prison authorities etc. Above all, the security prisoners know that they have an excellent chance of being released as part of a future prisoner exchange deal.

In June, the Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, established a committee to examine the conditions of imprisoned terrorists. In light of the committee’s findings, he decided in January to restrict their conditions to the minimum required by international law. Among his decisions were: to put an end to the separation between Hamas affiliated prisoners and belonging to Fatah, to cancel the position of “prisoner spokesman” in its current form, to restrict the funds deposited in prison for the terrorists by their families, and more.

Despite Erdan’s findings, figures were published last week according to which the security prisoners enjoy holiday meals, receive frequent visits (every six weeks on average), have access to television with a wide selection of channels, games during leisure time, and fitness apparatus. It turns out that security prisoners in Israel benefit not only from a halo of admiration but also from enhanced imprisonment conditions.

Israel’s attempts to diminish the admiration for the terrorists and security prisoners in order to prevent terror, are frequently thwarted or challenged by petitions submitted by human rights organizations. For example, petitions are submitted against forced feeding with the claim that it constitutes a real danger to the terrorist’s health and an infringement of his autonomy over his body; and against requests to demolish the homes of terrorists’ families, with the claim that the state is using people as a deterrent and violating the families’ rights to a home and to live in dignity. These petitions serve as a tool to encourage terror rather than eradicate it.

The large number of petitions submitted is made possible by the assistance of European countries and possesses a distinctly political and worrying nature. The Institute of Zionist Strategies recently initiated a study examining petitions submitted by human rights organizations in cases related to the forced feeding of security prisoners, illegal immigration, and the demolition of terrorists’ homes, all of which significantly harm the State of Israel and its residents.

Internationalization of Israeli Law: European Support of NGOs Appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court

This study details the manner in which human rights organizations receiving funding from foreign governments promote political objectives through systematic petitioning to Israeli courts. Our study focused on three case studies: forced feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes; illegal immigrants and asylum seekers; and the demolition of terrorists’ homes, and examined the main petitions submitted on these issues by the organizations or on their behalf. The study did not examine private petitions submitted. The study aimed to evaluate the different influences of the many petitions in each of these fields. The main findings are presented below:
___________11
With regard to the forced feeding of prisoners, the human rights organizations’ appeals focused international public attention on the policy of the Israeli government attempting to contend with security prisoners, as are detained in different countries, and contributed to the continued excessive and extortive demands from the security prisoners.
Nevertheless, in reality, the High Court of Justice approved the legality of the current arrangement of force feeding and it would appear that most of the damage in this area amounts to harm caused to the State of Israel’s image and in promotion of the Palestinian narrative depicting the prisoners as freedom fighters.
With regard to the Prevention of Infiltration Law and the government’s policy aimed at eradicating the phenomenon of illegal immigration to Israel, the petitions submitted by the human rights organizations have had an extremely inhibitive influence on legislative efforts and on attempts to promote policy measures to curb this phenomenon. Following these petitions, the High Court of Justice revoked the legislation during several rounds of legal proceedings, causing, according to government sources, marked damage to the state’s ability to fight the phenomenon of illegal immigration.
With regard to the issue of demolition of terrorists’ homes, it is apparent that despite the many petitions promoted or aided by the human rights organizations, there has been no fundamental change in government policy and the military commander still maintains a high level of discretion, subject to various reservations determined by the High Court of Justice. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that these petitions delayed demolitions, sometimes for many months, a reality that harmed the effectiveness of this deterrent in the war against terror.
___________11
Moreover, it is apparent from the findings that the activity of these organizations significantly influences the public and juridical discourse in Israel – both at local and international levels – surrounding the decision-making process and, all the more so, with regard to the State of Israel’s foreign relations.
Several recommendations were formulated in light of the study. First, effort should be made to increase the transparency of these organizations’ activity, from both ends of the political spectrum (e.g. exposing funding sources of organizations petitioning the court or joining a petition as a “friend of the court – amicus curiae) and reducing the right of standing in law to direct victims only, while limiting the incentive for powerful “return players” such as human rights organizations with large financial resources.
In conclusion, in order to guarantee the continued welcome activity of these organizations in the field of human rights and to bolster their legitimacy in the eyes of Israeli citizens, we advocate acting to increase transparency, further to legislating the Transparency Law and imposing restrictions on the right of standing.

For the complete study

Blue&White Human Rights


We celebrated Jerusalem Day at the Rachel crossing, in a special tour open to the public.

Jerusalem is the center of life for dozens of thousands of PA residents. The conflict raises several challenges to this reality in terms of economic interests, security and freedom of movement.
In the light of the engoing changes at the crossings around Jerusalem, and in order to both deepen the understanding and challenge some stereotypes, Blue&White activists on the ground all year long presented the meanings of this new reality.

IZS News


Outstanding student?

The Institute will again this semester publish an academic paper on a political-social relevant to its activity.

Want to publish the findings of your research? Contact us at: info@izs.org.il

 

 

IZS In The Media

* Arutz7 covered our lawsuits abuses research: ”a new research by the Institute for Zionist Strategies shows how ‘human rights’ organizations and European countries interfer with security issues and policy making.”
* Ohad Chemo of Channel 12 News has followed developments at the crossings in the Jerusalem area for years and has unhesitatingly voiced his harsh criticism of the continued crowding prevalent there during the early morning hours. This time however, he too understands that reality has changed dramatically… thanks to right-wing organizations.
* The Protestant news channel GODTV surveyed the Institute’s activity in East Jerusalem, describing it as a “unique initiative” that demonstrates “an understanding that complete Israeli sovereignty over the capital entails investing in all the city’s neighborhoods.”

The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:
* Institute CEO, Miri Shalem, criticizes the decidedly comfortable imprisonment conditions enjoyed by the security prisoners (Yediot Aharonot).
* Founding Chairman of the Institute, Yisrael Harel, asks where the new national-religious political faction is headed (Ha’aretz).

April 2019 Newsletter: Human Rights Report, East Jerusalem and a word from our CEO

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CEO’s remarks


Shalom

At this time of the year, between the Pesach Holiday of Freedom and Yom Ha’atzmaut, between the memory of slavery in Egypt and that of the Shoah, it is also incumbent upon us to remember that human rights are a Jewish value shared by all sections of the political spectrum, and that preserving these rights is both our obligation and an interest that serves to strengthen Israeli sovereignty.
The ‘Blue and White Human Rights’ movement has maintained a presence at the crossing points in the Jerusalem area over recent years, supervising the general conduct at the crossings and providing medical aid to the Palestinians passing through them daily. The movement was founded by the Institute’s outgoing chairman, Dr.Yoaz Hendel.

A year ago, we decided to further expand our activity and after several brainstorming sessions, East Jerusalem was chosen as the location for a new project: the establishment of a human rights center for the local residents in Zur Baher and a Hebrew studies classroom for women from the neighborhood and surrounding area. Additional classrooms for Hebrew lessons were opened last month for the residents of Isawiya.

The program for the coming year was planned together with Dr. Ramadan Dabash, Chairman of the Zur Baher Community Council (and a candidate for the Jerusalem City Council at the last elections). Our activity in East Jerusalem and at the crossings is undertaken by Arabic-speaking students who each receive a scholarship.

We are very excited about this new project for several reasons. Firstly, because it expands on the existing activity which is based on the ‘Blue and White Human Right’s philosophy whereby striving for human rights and the enhancement of Palestinians’ quality of life are not endeavors exclusive to the left-wing of the political spectrum, and do not contradict a centrist or right-wing outlook that also regards activity in these fields as both legitimate and necessary.

Secondly, because we see how our work on the ground, as a small non-governmental organization, is generating huge change and reducing the alienation that the 300,000 residents of East Jerusalem feel towards the State of Israel, an achievement thus far unmatched by others.

Thirdly, because we believe that this is the embodiment of Zionism today: the concern for the human rights of the Palestinians living alongside us.

And finally, because sovereignty must be accompanied by responsibility. Although the discussion on the future status of Jerusalem has been on the table for many years, questions continue to be raised: will it be divided? Will it become an international city? If we wish to ensure that Jerusalem remain united, we must act as a sovereign concerned for the welfare of all the city’s residents and provide them due services and rights. This is precisely the reason that we have taken on the task to enhance the daily living conditions of the residents of East Jerusalem.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas in this field and would naturally be grateful for any support and cooperation in this important project.

Wishing you a pleasant and healthy spring,

Miri Shalem

From Oslo until Today: Human Rights Situation Report

This study conducted a broad survey of three human rights issues in Judea and Samaria: employment of Palestinians in Israel, treatment of Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals, and the functioning of the crossing points. The study examined the Israeli policy for each of the three issues and the implementation of that policy since the Oslo Accords until today, 25 years after the agreements were signed. The main findings are presented below:
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Employment of Palestinians in Israel

The general trend in Israeli policy since Oslo is one of increased employment and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In the eyes of the Israeli government, as long as the security situation allows it, the economic cooperation expressed by an increase in the number of Palestinians employed in Israel leads to positive results, both from an economic and security perspective. Nevertheless, flaws were found in the manner of employment and in the protection of employees’ rights.
Since the Oslo Accords and until today, there has been a general trend of increased numbers of Palestinian employees in Israel, except for isolated exceptions, most of which occurred during sensitive periods from a security perspective. In 1996, the number of work permits stood at approximately 25,000, in 2011, this figure had risen to about 37,000, and by 2017 had reached 85,000.
Flaws were found in the current employment method which resulted in an infringement of the Palestinian workers’ rights to social benefits: improper employment contracts, a lack of provisions for retirement, and ineligibility for vacation and sick allowance.
In order to rectify the flaws, the government decided in 2016 on the implementation of a reform in the manner of Palestinian workers’ employment that included a placement program for Palestinian workers and the option of limited entry into Israel without the need for a request from an employer. A series of other steps aimed at guaranteeing the workers’ rights was also introduced.

Receipt of Medical Treatment in Israel

The area of medical treatment received by Palestinians in Israel has also been characterized by a trend of increased cooperation. This trend was due to diplomatic, security, economic, and moral reasons. At the same time, the congestion caused in certain departments because of treatment given to Palestinian patients, as well as the Palestinian Authority’s huge debt owed to Israeli hospitals, constitute a significant burden which requires immediate attention.
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Permits given to Palestinians in order to receive medical treatment in Israel. The number of permits rose from 19,488 in 2003 to 93,770 in 2017.
The hospital departments with the highest number of Palestinian patients are the pediatric departments. A study conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Center found that 51% of all Palestinian hospitalization days were in departments designated for children.
The Palestinian Authority refrains from transferring full payment for the treatments and has accumulated a huge debt to Israeli hospitals. A study conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Center revealed that in 2017 the Palestinian Authority’s outstanding debt to hospitals in Israel stood at approximately 40.36 million shekels.

For the complete study

East Jerusalem


In the framework of our activities in East Jerusalem, we are glad to announce the opening of two new Hebrew classes for residents of the Isawyia neighborhood, closeby Mount Scopus. Isawyia is a particularly negected neighborhood, which has benefited little improvement in the last decade compared to other areas of the city. The strong demand for Hebrew courses shows the will to integrate exists. With or without a ”deal of the century” everyone understands Israel is here to stay.

IZS News


Outsdanding student?

This semester again we will publish an academic work dealing with a relevant social or political issue.

If you want to share your analysis and conclusions, or receive complementary information, please be in touch at info@izs.org.il.

Publications

The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

Institute CEO Miri Shalem explains that in the post-election reality, with the Trump deal coming, right wingers will need more than the usual left-bashing to prove theselves as such. (Times of Israel)
IZS co-founder Israel Harel met a not-so-bitter kind of left, which prefers national unity over ideological feuds. (Haaretz)
Nicolas Nissim Touboul, projects manager at the Institute, analyzes the elections’ results in an Arab sector slowly but surely swinging towards the maintsream parties. (Mida)

March 2019 Newsletter: Palestinian Laborers in the Israeli Construction Industry

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שלום

The Institute usually deals with issues related to Palestinian entries into Israel through the lens of its field activity at the crossings. Over the past few months we have been looking at the socio economic factors from a research point of view. More specifically, we wanted to evaluate the implementation of the reforms advocated in the 2014 State Comptroller report on this topic. Here are the main findings.

Also in this month’s newsletter: paratroopers in Kiryat Gat, Hebrew U students and law and order in the downfall of the political left.

Have a nice read!

מדיניות העסקת פלסטינים בענף הבנייה בישראל

This article surveys the long-standing Israeli policy in the field of employing Palestinian laborers from Judea and Samaria in Israel and presents the changes that have occurred in this policy since the beginning of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria

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Impetus for conducting this study was rooted in the personal testimonies that have steadily accumulated over recent years regarding the infringements of the Palestinian laborers’ social benefits rights and of the flaws in the distribution of permits to Israeli employers which have a detrimental effect upon the efficiency of the Israeli construction sector.

In this study, we related to the shortcomings presented in the State Ombudsman’s Report for 2014. The report indicated the lack of a uniform and systemized policy for allocating permits to employers, a lack of supervision over the awarding of social benefits to Palestinian laborers, and to the existence of a restrictive arrangement which results in Palestinian laborers being obligated to work for a single Israeli employer without the option of transferring to another. One very negative consequence of this arrangement is the dependence of laborers in agents to ensure the continuity of their employment, a service which costs them a high percentage of their income.
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In light of these shortcomings, we examined the effectiveness of the reform in this field authorized by the Ministry of Finance in October 2018. The study found that the reform solves most of the problems caused by the existing policy and can be primarily successful in negating the cartel and in increasing enforcement aimed at ensuring provision of social benefits for laborers in accordance with the terms of Israeli law.

Finally, the study recommends complementary measures to the reform, including ongoing guidance for Palestinian laborers regarding their social benefits and the imposition of financial penalties on contractors who were found to have used the services of agents. The study also highlights the importance of establishing the payments and clearing system with the Palestinian Authority as recommended by the reform. This system will serve to prevent cash payment to the laborers, payment that increases the risk of infringement of the laborers’ social benefits rights

For the complete study

 

Blue & White Human Rights

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Students at the ORT Kiryat Gat technological high school had a very meaningful day cloturing their Biglal Haruach program. The whole school came together to hear the participants’ conclusions and summary. Then Platoon Alef of the 890 paratroopers’ battalion shared their moral and tactical experience serving at the Gaza border in the midst of the so-called ‘Return march’ riots. Finally we held an intergenerational debate with veterans from the local community.
At the Institute we believe the people’s army is not an empty slogan. We believe in the mutual need for reprensentation of the different components of the Israeli society in meaningful positions in the IDF. We act to narrow the gap and help all face the complexity of balancing the different values emanating from the society and making the IDF what it is.

Institute News

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Thanks to our new parternship with the Hebrew University, BA students can now volunteer with us and receive academic credits in exchange.

You too can join us through two main channels:
East Jerusalem (teaching Hebrew and working in our information center)
Research assistant on political and social topics

More details on the Hebrew U app TRIBU or by email info@izs.org.il

———-

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Past and present staff members joined to thank Dr Yoaz Hendel for his 7 years as the head of the Institute. Stepping down to contend for a Knesset seat in the coming elections, Hendel underlined the need for a rich and dynamic extra-parliamentary work, pushing forward ideas on the public stage and having an impact on the public agenda.

 

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

Founding Chairman of the Institute Israel Harel blames Netanyahu for repeatedly mishandling the situation on the Temple Mount. (Haaretz).
Institute CEO Miri Shalem argues Livni’s fall symbolizes the end of a certain kind of political left (Yediot Aharonot).

February 2019 Newsletter: The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

By Newsletters

Shalom,
This month we explore the status of the former Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria that were seized by Jordan in 1948. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Valero case (2011), this paper concludes that Israel legally can, and should, return the property to its former owners.

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel takes it to the political level and we wish him luck in his run for a Knesset seat.

Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

We are proud to open a new research section, in which we will give a stage to excellent student academic papers.
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In this first research, Russel A. Shalev examines the High Court Valero ruling, according to which a property’s transfer to Jordanian custodianship eliminated any ties between the previous owners and the property pending the cancellation of such a transfer as part of a peace agreement.

Left, the interview of the researcher, Russel Shalev.

At the time of the armistice agreement between the State of Israel and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan in 1949, approximately forty square kilometers of land and several hundred buildings previously owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria lay in Jordanian hands. 1 Subsequently, the Jordanian government, applying Mandatory ordinances, seized the former Jewish assets, declaring them enemy property and vesting them in the Enemy Property Custodianship.
___________11
When Israel conquered Judea and Samaria following the 1967 Six Day War, many of the former owners expected to regain control of their property which had been seized from them by the Jordanian government. Despite this expectation however, the Israeli government has not released the property, instead continuing to hold the assets as Jordanian national property. The Israeli Supreme Court has argued that the Jordanian seizure of the assets as enemy properties essentially extinguishes the ties between the property and its original Jewish owners.
This paper will argue that the Jordanian seizure was illegal, was the result of Jordanian aggression and unrecognized annexation of the territory, and thus should be seen as invalid. Recognizing confiscated Jewish assets as Jordanian state property would be a violation of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur, unjust acts cannot create law.
After having established that Jordan’s illegal actions cannot grant them legal rights, we will examine the claim that Jewish properties cannot be returned to their original owners barring comprehensive treatment of parallel Arab claims on Israel. We will argue that Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria are sui generis, ie. a unique historical and legal phenomenon, and that they are much straightforward legally than Arab properties in Israel. Conditioning their return on parallel Arab claims would erase the distinction between aggressor and victim. We will see from Israel’s experience in Jerusalem that such parallelism is unnecessary and that the return of Jewish properties will not open the gates to a flood The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria 8 of Arab claims. Finally, we will argue that Israel has a unique historical obligation to restore the seized Jewish properties.

For the complete study

Blue and White Human Rights
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After a year and a half under construction, the new facility at the Qalandia crossing opened on February 20th. It includes six personal and belongings screening spots and twenty automatic documentation checking monitors. Workers show their magnetic card and can go through within seconds.

Nadav and Shmuel, our volunteers at the crossings around Jerusalem, sum up: ”The new crossing is a considerable change in all the way the place works. The maximum waiting time has dropped to five minutes. We see a lot of workers who used to cross earlier. Everybody we have been talking to is very satisfied with this change, to the extent people from Beit Lehem drive all the way to cross from here.”

For those who missed it, last month’s Tablet coverage of our activities in Qalandia can be found here.

Institute News

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Congratulations to our chairman Yoaz Hendel for being #2 of Moshe Yaalon’s Telem movement and running together with Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s Bue and White party.

Yoaz’s dedication to Zionism, the state and national liberal values are important assets for Israel in general and the Knesset in particular.

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel bids farewell to readers after years of holding his weekly column (Yediot Aharonot).
Founding Chairman of the Institute Israel Harel laments the Jewish Home’s shift toward sectarianism (Haaretz).
Institute CEO Miri Shalem argues Livni’s fall symbolizes the end of a certain kind of political left (Yediot Aharonot).
Head of Blue&White Human Rights Nave Dromi explains why the left’s personal attacks won’t end the day after Netanyahu (Haaretz).
Progects’ manager Nicolas Nissim Touboul shows how France’s way to deal with antisemitism is flawed (Ynet).

January 2019 Newsletter: Law Enforcement In The Arab Sector

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15 years after the Wadi Ara riots we decided to check what has changed in the relations between the Arab-Israel community and the police. Between over-policing and lack of law enforcement, and between confidence-building measures and the community’s representation among police officers, the Orr commission recomendations are implemented only slowly.

This month we lost Pr. Moshe Arens zal, head of the IZS’ advising committee.

Law Enforcement In The Arab Sector

Three years following the October 2000 events, the Or Commission published its recommendations for the improvement of the relations between the Israeli police and the Arab society.
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The commission’s report made recommendartios in three major areas: the treatment of Israeli Arabs as nonhostile, the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between the police and the Arab society and equal enforcement of the law in the Arab sector.

 

This paper examined the degree to which these recommendations have been implementated in the 15 years since the issuance of the Orr Commission’s report.
With regards to the treatment of Arabs by the police, we found that the Israeli police uses excessive force towards the Arab society compared to the Jewish society. In addition, the Arab sector is, to some extent, subject to over-policing. In recent years, the percentage of arrests that didn’t result in pressing charges among Israeli Arabs was significantly higher than its equivalent in the Jewish sector. These issues have probably accounted for the decline in the level of trust in the police among Israeli Arabs since 2003.
____________...
With regards to strengthening the dialogue between the police and the Arab sector, we found that government decisions aimed at expanding the Civil Guard apparatus in the Arab sector have been partially implemented. Moreover, Arab volunteers in the police make up a small part in proportion to their share in the population.
With regards to equal law enforcement in the Arab sector, we found that major Arab cities are still lacking in police stations. This is in part the result of objections by some of the Arab municipalities to allocate lands for the purpose of establishing new police stations. In addition, Arabs’ participation rate in the police force is much lower than their share in the population. Efforts to tackle these problems have been made as part of the implementation of government decision No. 922.

For the complete study

 

East Jerusalem

___________11We are proud to help strengthen municipal services! At the occasion of the new civil year, our information center in Zur Baher has started an important cooperation with the Jerusalem municipality. From now on residents will be able to register their children in the school system or appeal local tax or tickets from our offices, without having to go to the city hall. Jerusalem’s new mayor Moshe Leon praised the initiative on his Arabic Facebook page.

We have opened a Facebook page for our Zur Baher project – share and help us inform Arabic speakers!

Religion and State

___________11Institute CEO Miri Shalem took part in an important panel on social lobbying for religion and State related issues. The panel took place at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Knesset, at Center for Jewish and Democratic Law – Bar Ilan University. Other central participants were head of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Woman Adv. Keren Horowitz, and head of the People, Religion and State Center at the Israel Deomocracy Institute Prof. Shouky Fridman.

Institute News

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Early January passed away professor Moshe Arens, who played a central role in the founding years of the IZS. Arens, a two-times Defence minister, was also the head of our advising committee and participated to the strategic forum’s discussions.

יהי זכרו ברוך.

 

The Institute in the Media

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Tablet magazine published an extensive coverage of Blue&White’s activities at the Qalandia crossing.
The sex-corruption scandal in the justice system was the occasion for The Marker to publish the main conclusions of our comparative research on judges nomination throughout the world.

 

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel warns liberals: the Palestinian state they call for won’t be Human Rughts friendly whatsoever (Yediot Aharonot).
Founding Chairman of the Institute, Israel Harel analyzes the current elections campaign and the dire straits of some of Israel’s historical parties (Haaretz)
Nave Dromi, the head of Blue&White Human Rights thinks part of the progressive US Jewry is responsible for most of the crisis with Israel.

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