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Israel continues slippery slope to being an Apartheid state


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#1 Fiz

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:57 PM

Israel bans Arab parties from coming election
By JOSEF FEDERMAN
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM -- Israel on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections, drawing accusations of racism by an Arab lawmaker who said he would challenge the decision in the country's Supreme Court.

The ruling by parliament's Central Election Committee reflected the heightened tensions between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority caused by Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. Arabs have held a series of demonstrations against the offensive.

Parliament spokesman Giora Pordes said the election committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, accusing the country's Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. Arab lawmakers have traveled to some of Israel's staunchest enemies, including Lebanon and Syria.

only democracy in the middle east lol

#2 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:21 PM

Hopefully the Israeli supreme court overturns the ruling.

#3 pstall

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:53 PM

So 2002. Thomas Friedman has been banging this drum for several years now.
Ironic Israel could get there though.

#4 Fiz

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:55 PM

stop talking about thomas friedman

he's a terrible writer, a mediocre journalist, and almost always wrong in retrospect.

#5 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:05 PM

So 2002. Thomas Friedman has been banging this drum for several years now.
Ironic Israel could get there though.



You must understand pstall that you cannot mention anyone that is not on Fizzy's preapproved list of competent journalist. :)

#6 Fiz

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:09 PM

the next six months will determine whether or not friedman becomes a good reporter

#7 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:20 PM

Friedman is not a reporter, he is a columnist. He use to be a reporter, but now he writes op-ed pieces. His job is to write his opinion and provoke thought and discussion. He seems to be good at it.

#8 pstall

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:54 PM

stop talking about thomas friedman

he's a terrible writer, a mediocre journalist, and almost always wrong in retrospect.


Your anger is in direct proportion to someone smarter than you. Interesting. :cool:

Anywho, there are a ton of things Friedman has either written about or talked about and from Lord Obama to many others are "using" his ideas.

Go back and read his columns and look at the # of ideas that are being mentioned.

#9 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:06 PM

This seems to be at least partially the result of a personal disagreement between the head of the election board, and the head of one of the parties. And apparently, this is not the first time they have tried to bar this particular party or parties.

The head of the election board voted to bar these parties, even if he feels that the decision will be overturned by the Israeli version of the Supreme Court.

Interesting discourse between the two of them.

Balad is a democratic and progressive party and we believe in the basic principle of equality for all people. We would never accept, politically or emotionally, claims that someone else is superior to us just because we're Arabs," Zahalka said. "All we demand is democracy! What are you afraid of when we ask for equality? We are the sons of this country, we were born here and we are willing to treat you with equality, so why don't you? We offer to live together. [Israel Beitenu chairman Avigdor] Lieberman offers to die together."

"We say, any vote given to Kadima is a bullet in the chest of a Palestinian child in Gaza," Tibi told the committee prior to the vote. "Israel's problem is not Balad, not UAL, but the Kadima Party and [Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud] Barak. These people started a war as an election campaign. The State of Israel is democratic for Jews and Jewish for its Arab citizens. We never said that we don't recognize the State of Israel. We are part of it, but we will never accept Zionism, which is an ideology that aspires to banish us from our homes."

Before Tibi's harsh words, UAL had not been expected to be disqualified from running. Despite the fact that there had been no plan to bar the party, Tibi's comments managed to upset Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel.

Cabel voted to bar Balad, saying that although he knew the High Court of Justice would reverse the committee's decision, Zahalka had offended him and the Israeli public.

Twenty-six of the committee's members - all MKs except for former deputy president of the Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, who heads the Central Elections Committee and abstained - voted to disqualify Balad.

Three committee members voted against disqualifying the party, including representatives of Meretz and Meimad. A total of 21 members voted to disqualify UAL, seven voted against (Labor and Meretz representatives) and two abstained.

In 2003, the committee approved a similar request to disqualify Balad from Knesset elections, a decision that the High Court of Justice later reversed.

Rivlin quoted the High Court's 2003 ruling, saying the decision had mandated that there be substantial evidence that a given party supported an enemy's armed fight against Israel in order to disqualify that party from running for the Knesset, not just random and sporadic hostile sentiments expressed by its members.

Attorney Dana Briskman, speaking on behalf of Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, told the committee prior to the vote that the attorney-general had not found sufficient evidence to disqualify Balad or UAL.

Lieberman, whose party led the move to have these Arab parties disqualified from the elections, responded to the committee's decision by saying, "The next step is to declare Balad illegal because it's a terror organization that seeks to hurt Israel."

Attorney Yoav Manni, who represented Israel Beitenu in the discussion, said that former Balad head Azmi Bishara, who fled the country under suspicion of spying for Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, was still consulted regularly by current party members.

Tibi said he would appeal the committee's decision to the High Court of Justice, which is expected to reverse the decision by Friday. Zahalka predicted that this decision would lead to a deeper crisis between the country's Jewish and Arab citizens.

Later Monday, the Elections Committee rejected petitions that sought to disqualify haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism from the Knesset elections on the grounds that they ran separate school systems that operated in an undemocratic way and would undermine democracy in the countr


This appears to be more of an internal political squabble done in the heat of anger than a change in the position of the Israeli government. I imagine their court will overturn it this time just as they did last time.

Edited by Davidson Deac II, 12 January 2009 - 09:34 PM.


#10 rodeo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:02 AM

my dad was stationed in israel for a year (along with turkey and korea, thanks air force for ruining my childhood!).

he tells a story about the friends he met there, they were native arabs who lived in a little predominately arab community, like a chinatown equivalent in the US.

one day everyone in the community got a phone call to evacuate. weren't told why or for how long, they were just told they had to leave.

they were gone about a month, then told they could go back. when they arrived at their homes they found them flattened. the israeli government tested missiles on them.

#11 cookinwithgas

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:44 AM

I'm sure it was all in the cause of FREEDOM! ™

#12 Epistaxis

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:00 AM

That is disappointing.
Very disappointing.


I wonder if ethnic/religious minorities have anything remotely resembling privileges in other ME countries. Doubt it.

The whole region is just insane.

#13 engine9

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:10 AM

I wish we as a country could build up a good animosity and constant war with Canada. Damn that would be awesome.

#14 Matt Foley

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

I wish we as a country could build up a good animosity and constant war with Canada. Damn that would be awesome.


We don't already?

#15 engine9

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:56 AM

We don't already?


Not the good kind.


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