Uri Avnery: Who will save Israel?

Uri Avnery
May 23, 2015

THE BATTLE is over. The dust has settled. A new government – partly ridiculous, partly terrifying – has been installed.

It is time to take stock.

The net result is that Israel has given up all pretense of desiring peace and that Israeli democracy has suffered a blow from which it may never recover.

ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS – with the possible exception of Yitzhak Rabin’s – have never really desired peace. The peace that is possible.

Peace, of course, means accepting fixed borders. In the founding declaration of the state, which was read out by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, any mention of borders was deliberately omitted. Ben Gurion was not ready to accept the borders fixed by the UN partition resolution, because they provided only for a tiny Jewish state. Ben-Gurion foresaw that the Arabs would start a war, and he was determined to use this for enlarging the territory of the state.

This indeed happened. When the war ended in early 1949 with armistice agreements based on the final battle lines, Ben-Gurion could have accepted them as final borders. He refused. Israel has remained a state without borders that it recognizes itself – perhaps the only one in the world.

This is one of the reasons for the fact that Israel has no peace agreement with the Palestinian nation. It did sign official peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, based on the internationally recognized borders between the former British government of Palestine and its neighbors. No such borders are accepted by the Israeli government between Israel and the undefined Palestinian entity. All Israeli governments have always refused even to indicate where such borders should run. The much-praised Oslo agreement was no exception. Rabin, too, refused to draw a final line.

This refusal remains government policy. On the eve of the recent elections, Binyamin Netanyahu unequivocally declared that during his term of office – which for him means until his demise – no Palestinian state would come into being. Thus, the occupied territories would remain under Israeli rule.

No peace agreement will ever be signed by this government.

NO PEACE means attempting to keep the territorial status quo frozen forever, except that settlements will continue to grow and multiply.

This is not the situation concerning democracy. It is not frozen.

Israel is famously “the Only Democracy in the Middle East”. That is practically its second official name.

It is debatable how a state that dominates another people, depriving it of all human rights, not to mention citizenship, can be called a democracy. But Jewish Israelis have been used to this for 48 years, and just ignore this fact.

Now the situation inside Israel proper is about to change drastically.

Two facts attest to this.

First of all, Ayelet Shaked has been appointed Minister of Justice. One of the most extreme right-wing Israelis, she has not made a secret of the fact that she wants to destroy the independence of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of human rights.

This court has managed, throughout the years, to become a major force in Israeli life. Since Israel has no written constitution, the Supreme Court has succeeded, under strong and determined leadership, in assuming the role of the guardian of human and civil rights, even annulling democratically adopted Knesset laws that contradict the imagined constitution.

Shaked has announced that she would put an end to this impertinence.

The court has survived many onslaughts because its composition cannot be easily changed. Contrary to the practice in the US, which looks scandalous to us, judges are appointed by a committee, in which politicians are held in check by incumbent judges. Shaked wants to change this practice, stuffing the committee with politicians loyal to the government.

The court is already cowed. Lately it has made a number of ignoble decisions, such as outlawing calls for boycotting the settlements. But this is still heaven compared to what is bound to happen in the near future.

PERHAPS WORSE is Netanyahu’s decision to retain for himself the Ministry of Communication.

This ministry has always been disdained as a low-level office, reserved for political lightweights. Netanyahu’s dogged insistence on retaining it for himself is ominous.

The communication Ministry controls all TV stations, and indirectly newspapers and other media. Since all Israeli media are in very bad shape financially, this control may become deadly.

Netanyahu’s patron – some say owner – Sheldon Adelson, the would-be dictator of the US Republican party, already publishes a give-away newspaper in Israel, which has only one sole aim: to support Netanyahu personally against all enemies, including his competitors in his own Likud party. The paper – “Israel Hayom” (Israel Today) – is already Israel’s widest-circulation newspaper, with the American casino king pouring into it untold millions.

Netanyahu is determined to break all opposition in the electronic and written media. Opposition commentators are well advised to look for jobs elsewhere. Channel 10, considered slightly more critical of Netanyahu than its two competitors, is due to be closed at the end of this month.

One cannot avoid an odious analogy. One of the key terms in the Nazi lexicon was the atrocious German word Gleichschaltung – meaning connecting all media to the same energy source. All newspapers and radio stations (TV did not yet exist) were staffed with Nazis. Every morning, a Propaganda Ministry official by the name of Dr. Dietrich convened the editors and told them what tomorrow’s headlines, editorials etc. were to be.

Netanyahu has already dismissed the chief of the TV department. We don’t yet know the name of our own Dr. Dietrich.

As a humorous counterpoint, Miri Regev has been appointment Minister of Culture. Regev is a loud-mouthed woman, whose vulgar style has become a national symbol. No one can even guess how she had become the army spokesperson. Her style, such as concluding every public utterance with the call “Applause!”, has become a joke.

THE MOST efficient instrument of de-democratization is the education ministry (which is not efficient in anything else.)

Israel has several education systems, all of them financed – and hence controlled – by the Education Ministry.

Two systems belong to the government outright: the general “state” system and the autonomous “religious state” system.

Then there are two orthodox systems, one Ashkenazi and one Oriental. In some of these, only religious subjects are taught – no languages, no mathematics, no non-Jewish history. This makes alumni unfit for any employment. They remain dependent on their religious community’s handouts forever.

Before the state came into being, there was also a leftist system with socialist values, especially in the kibbutzim. This was abolished by David Ben-Gurion in the name of “statism”.

The last government tried in a timid way to compel the orthodox to introduce “core studies” into their schools, such as arithmetic and English. This has been abandoned now, since the orthodox have become members of the government coalition.

The real battle, which is starting now, is about the “general” state schools, which have been free to some extent. My late wife, Rachel, was a teacher in such a school for almost 30 years, and did what she wanted, trying to instill in her pupils’ minds humanist and liberal values.

Not any more. Israel’s most extreme nationalist-religious leader, Naftali Bennett, has now been installed as Minister of Education. He has already announced that his main objective is to imbue the young with a nationalist-Zionist spirit, raising a generation of real Israeli patriots. No mention of humanism, liberalism, human rights, social values or any other such nonsense.

Netanyahu has also retained the Foreign Ministry in his own hands. Many of its functions have been dispersed between six other ministries. The pretext is that Netanyahu is keeping the prestigious ministry open for Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog, who he is pretending to invite into the government. Herzog has already loudly refused. (I suppose that the real owner of the government, Sheldon Adelson, would not allow him in anyway.)

Netanyahu’s real aim is to prevent any potential competitor from gaining international and national prestige in this position. He does conduct foreign policy alone anyhow.

ALTOGETHER, A deeply troubling picture for anyone who loves Israel.

It is not so much that the balance of power in Israel has changed (it has not) but that the worst elements of the Right have taken over, pushing out almost all right-wing moderates. Until now, these extreme elements had been subdued, talking loudly but carrying a small stick. This has now changed. The extreme right has found its self-assurance, and is determined to use its power.

The Israeli Left (timidly calling itself “center-left”) has lost its spirit. Its only hope is “foreign pressure”. Especially from the White House. Barack Obama hates Netanyahu. Any time now, American pressure will be applied and save Israel from itself.

That’s a comfortable thought. We don’t have to do anything. Salvation will come from the outside, deus ex machina. Halleluja.

Unfortunately, I am a non-believer. What I see is the US increasing its support of the Netanyahu regime, offering huge new arms deliveries as “compensation” for the budding Iran nuclear deal. John Kerry, humiliated by Netanyahu and treated with open contempt, is groveling somewhere at our feet. Obama boasts that he has done more for “Israel” (meaning the Israeli Right) than any other president.

Salvation will not come from that direction. God will remain in the machine.

THERE IS only one kind of salvation: the one we carry inside us.

Some hope for a catastrophe that will cause people to open their eyes. I don’t wish for catastrophes.

I don’t want Israel to become a replica of al-Sisi’s Egypt, Erdogan’s Turkey or Putin’s Russia.

I believe we can save Israel – but only if we get up from the couch and play our part.

Segregation in Israeli courts

The race segregation in Israeli buses turned out to be a public relations disaster for the government, and PM Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the arrangement would be suspended. However, the segregation on buses is not cancelled. Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, has made it clear that this is a temporary suspension, not a cancellation of segregation.

Much worse discrimination is the segregate judicial system: A civil system for Israeli settlers and their children, and military courts for the Palestinians living in the territories occupied by Israel.

Since 1967, Israel has colonised these occupied territories, even though to do so, is forbidden according to International law. In these occupied territories; East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, there is one civil law for Israeli settlers, and a military jurisdiction for Palestinians. A child of an Israeli settler throwing stones, and a child of a Palestinian doing the same thing, will therefore face two quite different judicial systems.

There’s a group of lawyers and human rights activists, Military Courts Watch, working to improve the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military courts, in military and police custody and in the prisons.

They have covered the segregation issue here.

Israeli Government Most Racist, Extremist in History

Israel named its new cabinet (Hebrew) yesterday and the names are a Who’s Who of the most rabid, racist, brutal and cruel politicians in the nation.

by RICHARD SILVERSTEIN

Israel named its new cabinet (Hebrew) yesterday and the names are a Who’s Who of the most rabid, racist, brutal and cruel politicians in the nation. The only one who rivals them and is missing from the show is Avigdor Lieberman, who’s bowed out for political reasons of his own. In the past, nations of the world have isolated individual leaders of nations and refused to visit or meet with them because their ideas are so noxious that they fall outside the consensus of international discourse. Kurt Waldheim and Jorg Haider are examples of this. The time has come to put the Israeli government in herem. You can pick your poison among them as to which deserves special ostracism.Läs mer

Uri Avnery: The War of Fools

May 16, 2015

A FEW days ago, Israeli TV Channel 10 broadcast an investigative story about the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, known as “Lebanon War II”.

Though not very profound, it provided a good picture of what actually happened. The three main Israeli protagonists talked freely.

The picture was very disturbing, to say the least. One could say that it was alarming.

The main conclusion is that all our leaders at the time behaved with blatant irresponsibility, combined with stupidity.

TO RECAPITULATE: Lebanon II lasted 34 days, from July 7 to August 14, 2006.

It was provoked by a border incident: Hezbollah forces in South Lebanon crossed the border and attacked a routine Israel patrol. The aim was to capture Israeli soldiers in order to effect a prisoner exchange – the only way to get the Israeli government to release Arab prisoners.

In the attack, two Israeli soldiers were dragged to Lebanese territory. All the others were killed. We were told that the captives were assumed to be alive. The film shows that the army command knew immediately that at least one of the captives was dead, and the second was assumed to have died, too. In fact, both were killed in the action.

The usual reaction to such an incident is a retaliatory strike “to restore deterrence”, such as the bombing or shelling of a Hezbollah base or a Lebanese village. Not this time. The Israeli cabinet started a war.

Why?

The TV story does not provide a convincing answer. The decision was taken at once, after a minimum of deliberations. One gets the feeling that emotions and personal ambitions played a major role.

THE TV investigation consists almost exclusively of the testimonies of the three persons who actually took the decision and conducted the war.

The first was the Prime Minister. Ehud Olmert had arrived at his office only a few month earlier, almost by accident. He had been the Deputy Prime Minister under Ariel Sharon, who had given him this empty title as compensation for not giving him a serious ministry. When Sharon suddenly fell into a permanent coma, Olmert adroitly managed to succeed him.

Throughout his adult life, Olmert had been a political functionary, being loyal to nobody, jumping from party to party and from patron to patron, from the Knesset to the Jerusalem municipality and back, until he achieved his lifetime’s ambition: the Prime Minister’s office.

Throughout, he had not gathered any military experience at all. He had shirked real army service, and in the end he did some shortened service in the army’s judicial department.

The Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, had even less military experience. A labor activist by profession, the former Secretary General of the giant Histadrut trade union, he became the leader of the Labor Party. When his party joined Olmert’s new government, Peretz could chose a ministry and took the most prestigious one: Defense.

This combination of two government leaders without any military qualifications is unusual in Israel, a country perpetually at war. The entire country laughed when Peretz was caught by a photographer at an army exercise following the action through binoculars with the lens caps still on.

The third person in the fateful trio, the Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, was supposed to make up for the military deficiencies of his two civilian superiors. He was a professional soldier, an officer in good standing. But, alas, he was an Air force general, a former combat pilot, who had never handled ground troops.

In Israel, all previous Chiefs of Staff had come from the land forces, had been experienced infantry or tank commanders. The appointment of Halutz to this post was highly unusual. Bad tongues insinuated that the former Defense Minister, a person of Jewish-Iranian origin, had preferred Halutz because his father was also an immigrant from Iran.

Be that as it may, the Chief of Staff, less than a year in office, had no qualifications for leading a force on the ground.

It thus happened that the three leaders of Lebanon War II were new in office, quite inexperienced in directing a ground war. Two of the three had no experience whatsoever in military matters.

The Chief of Staff had another misfortune. It appeared later that a few hours after the decision to go to war, and before the first shot was fired, he had instructed his broker to sell his shares. In the TV story he argued that he had meant to give the instruction some days earlier, when no one dreamed of a war, and that for some technical reason there had been a delay. But like Peretz’ photo with the capped binoculars, Halutz’ affair with the shares cast a shadow over both.

Olmert, of course, has in the meantime been convicted of taking bribes and divers other crimes and sentenced to prison, pending appeal.

LEBANON WAR II was preceded 24 years earlier by Lebanon War I, which was led by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon under the auspices of Menachem Begin.

At the time, the purpose was to destroy the Palestinian bases in South Lebanon. There was a definite war aim, a clear operational plan and efficient, military and political leadership. It ended, of course, in disaster, when the Sabra-Shatila massacre shocked the world.

In the wake of the atrocity, a Commission of Inquiry was set up and Sharon was dismissed from the Ministry of Defense (but not from the government). Military commanders were punished.

In spite of this, in Israel the campaign was considered a brilliant military achievement. Only a few realized that it was a military shambles: on the eastern front, opposite Syria, no Israeli unit reached its prescribed objective, while on the western front the Israeli troops reached Beirut only after the prescribed time, and only by breaking the UN-imposed cease-fire. (It was then that I met Yasser Arafat in the besieged western part of the city.)

Lebanon I had one unforeseen and, lasting effect. The Palestinian troops were indeed removed for the country and relocated in Tunis (where Arafat continued to conduct the fight until the Oslo agreement), but instead of the Palestinian threat another, much worse threat grew in Lebanon. The Shiite population, until then an ally of Israel, became a deadly and very efficient enemy. Hezbollah (“Party of Allah”) grew into a potent political and military force, which eventually led to Lebanon War II.

YET LEBANON War I was a strategic masterpiece compared to Lebanon War II.

In Lebanon II there was no operational plan at all. Nor was there a clear war aim – a requisite for any successful military operation.

The war started with a massive bombardment of civilian as well as military targets, power stations, roads and villages, the fulfillment of an Air Force general’s dream. Decision were taken and revoked, operations started and cancelled. Targets were bombed and destroyed without any purpose, except to terrorize the civilian population and “burn into their consciousness” the lesson that it was not worthwhile to provoke Israel.

Hezbollah reacted by terrorizing Israeli towns and villages with missiles. On both sides, casualties and destruction mounted. South and Central Lebanon suffered, of course, the most.

When Hezbollah did not capitulate, pressure in Israel mounted for a ground attack. It led next to nowhere. After the UN decreed a cease-fire, the Israeli leadership decided to make a last effort and launched a ground attack after the deadline. 34 Israeli soldiers were killed for nothing.

A large part of the operation was carried out by reserve soldiers, who were hastily called up. When the reservists arrived at their bases, they found the permanent emergency stores empty of many essential war materials. Being uniformed civilians, they complained loudly. Clearly, the army command had neglected the stores for years. The same with training – many reserve troops had not been through their annual training exercises for years.

When the fire eventually stopped, the achievements of the Israeli army amounted to nothing. A few Lebanese villages right next to the border were conquered, and had to be left again.

THIS TIME, the failures could not be covered up. A civilian Commission of Inquiry was set up. It condemned the leadership. Peretz and Halutz had to resign, Olmert was indicted for corruption soon after and had to resign, too.

From the Israeli government’s point of view, Lebanon II did yield some achievements.

Since then until now the Lebanon-Israel border has been comparatively quiet. If there had been any discernible war aim at all, it was to terrorize the Lebanese civilian population by widespread destruction and killing. This was indeed achieved. Hassan Nasrallah, the outstanding Hezbollah leader (who was appointed after his much less able predecessor was “eliminated” by the Israeli army in a “targeted killing”) publicly admitted with unusual candor that he would not have ordered the prisoner-taking action if he had foreseen that it would result in a war.

However, listening to the three Israeli leaders in the TV stories, one is struck by the glaring incompetence of all three. They started a war in which hundreds of Israelis and Lebanese were killed and houses destroyed without a valid reason, conducted a war without a clear plan, took decisions without the necessary knowledge. Speaking on TV, they showed very little respect for each other.

An Israeli, listening to these testimonies, is compelled to ask himself or herself: is this true for all our wars, past and future? Has this only been covered up until now by censorship and silent agreement?

And the much larger question: has this not been true for most wars in history, from ancient Egypt and Greece until now? We know already that World War I, with its millions of victims, was ignited by political idiots and conducted by military incompetents.

Is humanity condemned to suffer this forever? Is this all that we Israelis can look forward to, another few wars conducted by the same kind of politicians and generals?

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery: -A Netanyahu day- and nightmare!

Uri Avnery
May 9, 2015

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU seems to be detested now by everyone. Almost as much as his meddling wife, Sarah’le.

Six weeks ago, Netanyahu was the great victor. Contrary to all opinion polls, he achieved a surprise victory at the last moment, winning 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, leaving the Labor Party (re-branded “The Zionist Camp”) well behind him.

The extra seats did not come from the Left. They came from his nearest competitors, the Rightist parties.

However, it was a great personal triumph. Netanyahu was on top of his world. Sarah’le was radiant. Netanyahu left no doubt that he was now the master, and that he was determined to order things according to his wishes.

This week he had his comeuppance. On the very last day of the period allotted to him by law to set up his new government, he was near desperation.

AN OLD Hebrew saying puts it succinctly: “Who is a hero? He who turns an enemy into a friend.”

In this sense, Netanyahu is an anti-hero. He has a peculiar talent for turning friends into enemies. Sarah’le is a great help in this.

Winston Churchill once advised that at the moment of victory, one should be magnanimous. Magnanimity is not one of Netanyahu’s outstanding virtues. He made it clear that he, and he alone, was now the master.

Right after the election Netanyahu decreed that the next government would be a narrow coalition of orthodox and rightist parties, which would be able at long last to do the things he really wants to do: put an end to this two-state nonsense, castrate the Supreme Court, muzzle the media and much more.

Everything went just fine. Netanyahu was invited by the President of the State to form the next government, coalition talks went smoothly, and the contours of the coalition were clear: Likud, the Ashkenazi orthodox Torah party, the Oriental orthodox Shas party, Moshe Kahlon’s new economic reform party, Naftali Bennett’s nationalist-religious party and Avigdor Lieberman’s ultra-rightist party. Altogether: a comfortable 67 of the 120 Knesset members.

Party chiefs don’t have lo love each other to set up a coalition. They don’t even have to like each other. But it is not really very comfortable to sit together in a government when they hate and despise each other.

THE FIRST to throw a bomb was Avigdor Lieberman.

Lieberman is not considered a “real” Israeli. He looks different, speaks with a very thick foreign accent, his mind seems to work in a different way. Although he came to Israel decades ago, he is still considered “a Russian”. Actually he came from Soviet Moldavia.

There is a saying that has been attributed to Stalin: Revenge is best served cold. This Tuesday, 48 hours before the end of the time allotted by law to the formation of the new government, Lieberman dropped his bomb.

In the election, Lieberman lost more than half of his strength to Likud, shrinking to six seats. In spite of this, Netanyahu assured him that he could retain his post as Foreign Minister. It was a cheap concession, since Netanyahu makes all important foreign policy decisions himself.

All of a sudden, without any provocation, Lieberman convened a press conference and made a momentous announcement: he was not joining the new government.

Why? All Lieberman’s personal demands had been satisfied. The pretexts were obviously contrived. For example, he wants “terrorists” to be executed, a demand resolutely resisted by all security services, who believe (quite rightly) that creating martyrs is a very bad idea. Lieberman also wants to send to prison orthodox youngsters who refuse to serve in the army, a ridiculous demand from a government in which the orthodox parties play a central role. And so on.

It was a clear and blatant act of revenge. Obviously Lieberman had taken the decision right from the beginning but kept it secret until the very last moment, when there was no time for Netanyahu to change the composition of the government by inviting, for example, the Labor Party.

It was indeed revenge served cold.

WITHOUT THE six members of Lieberman’s party, Netanyahu still has a majority of 61, just enough to present the government to the Knesset and get a vote of confidence. Just.

A 61-member government is a continuous nightmare. I would not wish it on my own worst enemy.

In such a situation, no member of the coalition parties can go abroad, for fear of a sudden opposition motion of no-confidence. For Israelis, that is a fate worse than death. The only way for a coalition MK to travel to Paris would be to make an agreement with a member of the opposition who wants to go, say, to Las Vegas. Hand Washes Hand, as the saying goes.

But there is a much worse day-and-night-mare for Netanyahu: in a 61-member coalition, “every bastard is a king”’ as a Hebrew saying goes. Each and every member can obstruct any bill produced by the government, allow any opposition motion to win, absent himself from any crucial vote.

Every day would be a field day for blackmail of all kinds. Netanyahu would be compelled to accede to every whim of every member. Even in Greek mythology no such torture was ever invented.

THE FIRST example was given already on the very first day after the Lieberman bomb.

Bennett, who had not yet signed the coalition agreement, found himself in a position in which there would be no Netanyahu government without him. He racked his brains on how to exploit the situation and get something more than was already promised to him (and humiliate Netanyahu in the process). He came up with the demand that Ayelet Shaked become Minister of Justice.

Shaked is the beauty queen of the new Knesset. In spite of her 38 years, she has a girlish appearance. She has also a beautiful name: Ayelet means gazelle, Shaked means almonds.

Her mother was a leftist teacher, but her Iraqi-born father was a rightist Likud central committee member. She follows in his footsteps.

This almond-eyed gazelle excels in political activities based on hatred: an intense hatred of Arabs, leftists, homosexuals and foreign refugees. She has authored a steady stream of extreme rightist bills. Among them the atrocious bill that says that the “Jewish character” of Israel takes precedence over democracy and overrides basic laws. Her incitement against the helpless refugees from Sudan and Eritrea, who have somehow succeeded in reaching Israel, is just a part of her untiring efforts. Though the No. 2 of a rabid religious party, she is not religious at all.

The relationship between her and Bennett started when both were employees of Netanyahu’s political office, when he was leader of the opposition. Somehow, they both incurred the wrath of Sara’le, who never forgets or forgives. By the way, the same happened to Lieberman, also a former director of Netanyahu’s office.

So now is payment day. Netanyahu tortured Bennett during the negotiations, letting him sweat for days. Bennett used the opportunity after Lieberman’s desertion and put up a new condition for joining the coalition: Shaked must be Minister of Justice.

Netanyahu, bereft of any practical alternative, gave in to open blackmail. It was that or no government.

So now the gazelle is in charge of the Supreme Court, which she detests. She will choose the next Attorney General (known in Israel as the “judicial advisor”) and stuff the committee that appoints the judges. She will also be in charge of the ministers’ committee that decides which bills will be presented by the government to the Knesset – and which not.

Not a very promising situation for the Only Democracy in the Middle East.

NETANYAHU IS too experienced not to know that he cannot à la longue govern with such a shaky coalition. He needs at least one more partner in the near future. But where to find one?

The Arab party is obviously out. So is Meretz. So is Yair Lapid’s party, for the simple reason that the orthodox will not sit with him in the government. So only the Labor Party (aka Zionist Camp) is left.

Frankly, I believe that Yitzhak Herzog would jump at the opportunity. He must know by now that he is not the popular tribune needed to lead his party to power. He has neither the stature of an Apollo nor the tongue of a Netanyahu. He has never voiced an original idea nor led a successful protest.

Moreover, the Labor Party has never excelled in opposition. It was the party in power for 45 consecutive years before and after the founding of the state. As an opposition party it is pathetic, and so is “Buji” Herzog.

Joining Netanyahu’s government in a few months would be ideal for Herzog. There is never a lack of pretexts – we experience at least once a month a National Emergency that demands National Unity. A little war, trouble with the UN and such. (Though John Kerry this week gave an interview to Israeli TV that was a masterpiece of abject, belly-crawling self-humiliation.)

Getting Herzog won’t be easy. Labor is not a monolithic body. Many of its functionaries do not admire Herzog, consider Bennett a fascist and Netanyahu a habitual liar and cheat. But the allures of government are strong, ministerial chairs are so comfortable.

My bet: Netanyahu, the great survivor, will survive.

Uri Avnery: A boy called Bibi

Uri Avnery
May 2, 2015

THERE ARE two different opinions about Binyamin Netanyahu. It is difficult to believe that they concern the same person.

One is that Netanyahu is a shallow politician, devoid of ideas and convictions, who is led solely by his obsession to remain in power. This Netanyahu has a good voice and a talent for making shallow speeches on television, speeches devoid of any intellectual content – and that’s all.

This Netanyahu is highly “pressurable” (a Hebrew word invented almost solely for him), a man who will change his views according to political expediency, disclaiming in the evening what he has said in the morning. None of his words should be trusted. He will lie and cheat anytime to assure his survival.

The other Netanyahu is almost the exact opposite. A principled patriot, a serious thinker, a statesman who sees danger beyond the horizon. This Netanyahu is a gifted orator, able to move the US Congress and the UN plenum, admired by the great mass of Israelis.

So which of these descriptions is true?

Neither.

IF IT is true that the character of a person is shaped by his early childhood, we must examine the background of Netanyahu in order to understand him.

He grew up in the shadow of a strong father. Benzion Millikowsky, who changed his foreign name to the Hebrew Netanyahu, was a very dominant and very unhappy person. Born in Warsaw, then a provincial town in the Russian Empire, he immigrated to Palestine as a young man, studied history at the new Hebrew University in Jerusalem and expected to become a professor there. He was not accepted.

Benzion was the son of an early adherent of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, the extreme rightist Zionist leader. He inherited from his father a very extremist outlook, and passed it on to his three sons. Binyamin was the second one. His elder brother, still a child himself, called him Bibi, and the childish appellation stuck.

Benzion’s rejection by the prestigious young Hebrew University turned him into a bitter man, a bitterness that lasted until his death in 2012, at age 102. He was sure that this rejection had nothing to do with his academic qualification, and everything with his ultra-nationalist opinions.

His extreme Zionism did not stop him leaving Palestine and seeking his academic luck in the United States, where a second-rate university gave him a professorship. His life’s work as a historian concerned the fate of the Jews in medieval Christian Spain – the expulsion and inquisition. It engendered in him a very dark world view: the conviction that Jews will always be persecuted, that all Goyim (non-Jews) hate the Jews, that a straight line connects the auto-da-fé of the Spanish inquisition with the Nazi Holocaust.

During the years, the Netanyahu family went back and forth between the US and Israel. Binyamin grew up in America, acquired perfect American English, essential for his future career, studied and became a salesman. His obvious talent for this profession attracted a Likud foreign minister, who sent him to the UN as Israeli spokesman.

BENZION NETANYAHU was not only a very bitter person, who accused the Zionist and Israeli academic establishment of failing to recognize his academic stature. He was also a very autocratic family man.

The three Netanyahu boys lived in constant awe of Father. They were not allowed to make any noise at home while the Great Man worked in his closed study. They were not allowed to bring other boys home. Their mother was completely devoted to her husband and served him in every way, sacrificing her own personality.

In every family, the second child of three is in a difficult position. He is not admired like the eldest, nor indulged like the youngest. For Binyamin this was especially hard, because of the personality of the eldest.

Yonatan Netanyahu (both names mean “God has given”) seems to have been a specially blessed boy. He was good-looking, gifted, much liked, even admired. In the army, he became the commander of the revered Sayeret Matkal (“General Staff Commando Unit”) – the elite of the army’s elite.

As such he was the ground commander of the daring 1976 Entebbe commando raid in Uganda, which liberated the captive passengers of a flight hijacked by Palestinian and German guerillas on the way to Israel. Yonatan was killed and became a national hero. He was also adored by his father, who never quite accepted the qualities of his second son.

Between his father, the embittered Great Thinker, and his elder brother, the Legendary Hero, Binyamin grew up as a quiet but very ambitious boy, part Israeli, part American. He worked for some time as a furniture salesman, until he was discovered by the far-right Likud foreign minister, Moshe Arens.

Between his obsessive need to be approved by his father and to be found equal to his glorious brother, Netanyahu’s own character was forged. His father never quite appreciated him, once saying that he would make a good foreign minister, but not a prime minister.

Being his father’s son, Netanyahu incited the people against Yitzhak Rabin after the Oslo Agreement and was photographed on the speaker’s balcony during the demonstration in which a symbolic coffin of Rabin was carried around. Soon after, when Rabin was murdered, he denied all responsibility.

Rabin’s successor, Shimon Peres, failed miserably, and Netanyahu became prime minister. It was a total catastrophe. On the evening after the next elections, when it be came clear that he had lost, multitudes streamed to Tel Aviv’s central square (now named after Rabin) in a spontaneous demonstration of joy like that at the liberation of Paris.

His successor, Labor’s Ehud Barak, had no more luck. A former army Chief of Staff, admired by many and especially by himself, he compelled President Bill Clinton to convene an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference at Camp David. Barak, who was quite ignorant of Palestinian attitudes, came to dictate his terms and was shocked when they were rejected. Coming home, he declared that the Palestinians want to throw us into the sea. Hearing this, the public threw him out and elected the tough far-right general, Ariel Sharon, the founder of Likud.

Netanyahu became Minister of Finance. As such he was quite successful. Applying the neo-liberal ultra-capitalist teaching he had absorbed in the US, he made the poor poorer and the rich richer. The poor seemed to liked it.

Sharon was the father of the settlements in the West Bank. To strengthen these, he decided to give up the Gaza Strip with its few settlements, which were a disproportional drag on the army. But his unilateral retreat from the Gaza Strip shocked the rightist camp. The elder Netanyahu called the move a “crime against humanity”.

Inpatient with opposition, Sharon split the Likud and founded his own Kadima (“Forwards”) party. Netanyahu again became the leader of Likud.

As usual, he was lucky. Sharon suffered a stroke and fell into a coma, from which he never recovered. His successor, Ehud Olmert, was accused of corruption and had to resign. The next in line, Tzipi Livni, was incompetent and unable to form a government, though all the ingredients were there.

Netanyahu, the man who was kicked out just a few years earlier by the cheering masses, came back as an imperator. Again the masses cheered. Shakespeare would have loved it.

SINCE THEN, Netanyahu has been elected again and again. The last time was a clear personal victory. He vanquished all his competitors on the Right.

So who is this Netanyahu? Contrary to popular opinion, he is a man of very strong beliefs – the beliefs of his far-right father. The entire world is out to kill us at all times, we need a powerful state to defend ourselves, all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan has been given us by God (whether he exists or not). Everything else is lies, subterfuges, tactics.

When, in a famous speech at Bar-Ilan university near Tel Aviv, Netanyahu embraced the principle of “Two States for Two Peoples”, those who knew him could only smile. It was as if he had recommended the eating of pork on Yom Kippur.

He dangled this statement before the eyes of the naive Americans and let his Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, lead endless negotiations with the Palestinians, whom he despises. Whenever it seemed that the negotiations were nearing some goal, he quickly put up another condition, such us the ridiculous demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. He would not dream, of course, of recognizing the Palestinian territories as the Nation State of the Palestinian People – a people he does not really believe exists at all.

On the eve of the last election, just now, Netanyahu announced that there would not be a Palestinian state as long as he was in power. When the Americans remonstrated, he repudiated himself. Why not? As his Likud predecessor, Yitzhak Shamir, famously said, “It is permitted to lie for the Fatherland.”

Netanyahu will lie, cheat, repudiate himself, raise false flags – all for the purpose of achieving his one and only real goal, the Rock of our Existence (as he loves to say), the heritage of his father – the Jewish State from the sea to the river.

THE TROUBLE is that in this area, the Arabs are already the majority, a small majority, but one that is bound to grow steadily.

A Jewish and democratic state in the entire country is impossible. The popular joke has it that this is too much even for God. So He decreed that we have to choose two of the three attributes: a Jewish and democratic state in part of the country, a Jewish state in all of the country that will not be democratic, or a democratic state in all of the country that will not be Jewish.

Netanyahu’s solution to this problem is to ignore it. Just go on, enlarge the settlements, and concentrate on the immediate problem: install his fourth government and plan for his fifth, four years from now.

And, of course, show his father, who is looking down on him from heaven, that after all little Bibi, his second son, is worthy of him.

Uri Avnery: -There Are Still Judges...

April 18, 2015

THIS WEEK I won a dubious distinction: a groundbreaking Supreme Court judgment has been named after me.

It is an honor I would have gladly dispensed with.

MY NAME appeared at the head of a list of applicants, associations and individuals, which asked the court to cancel a law enacted by the Knesset.

Israel has no written constitution. This unusual situation arose right from the beginning of the state because David Ben-Gurion, a fierce secularist, could not achieve a compromise with the orthodox parties, which insisted that the Torah already is a constitution.

So, instead of a constitution, we have a number of Basic Laws which cover only a part of the ground, and a mass of Supreme Court precedents. This court slowly arrogated to itself the right to abolish Laws enacted by the Knesset which contradict the nonexistent constitution.

STARTING FROM the last Knesset, extreme right-wing Likud Members have been competing with each other in their efforts to castrate the Supreme Court one way or another. Some would stuff the court with right-wing judges, others would radically limit its jurisdiction.

Things came to a head when a group of far-right Likud members launched a veritable avalanche of bills which were clearly unconstitutional. One of them, and the most dangerous one, was a law that forbade people to call for a boycott of the State of Israel and, in a sinister way, added the words “and of territories held by it”.

This revealed the real aim of the operation. Some years before, our Gush Shalom peace organization had called on the public to boycott the products of the settlements in the occupied territories. We also published on our website a list of these products. Several other peace organizations joined the campaign.

Simultaneously, we tried to convince the European Union to do something similar. Israel’s agreement with the EU, which exempts Israeli wares from customs, does not include the settlements. But the EU was used to closing its eyes. It took us a lot of time and effort to open them again. In recent years, the EU has excluded these goods. They have demanded that on all merchandise “made in Israel”, the actual place of origin be stated. This week, 16 European foreign ministers called upon the EU foreign affairs chief to demand that all products from the settlements be clearly marked.

The law passed by the Knesset not only has criminal aspects, but also civil ones. Persons calling for a boycott could not only be sent to prison. They could also be ordered to pay huge damages without the plaintiff having to prove that any actual damage had been caused to him or her by the call.

Also, associations which receive government subsidies or other governmental assistance under existing laws would be deprived of them from then on, making their work for peace and social justice even more difficult.

WITHIN MINUTES after the enactment of this law, Gush Shalom and I personally submitted our applications to the Supreme Court. They had been prepared well in advance by advocate Gaby Lasky, a talented young lawyer and dedicated peace activist. My name was the first in the list of petitioners, and so the case is called: “Avnery v. the State of Israel”.

The case laid out by Lasky was logical and sound. The right of free speech is not guaranteed in Israel by any specific law, but is derived from several Basic Laws. A boycott is a legitimate democratic action. Any individual can decide to buy or not to buy something. Indeed, Israel is full of boycotts. Shops selling non-kosher food, for example, are routinely boycotted by the religious, and posters calling for such boycotts of a specific shop are widely distributed in religious neighborhoods.

The new law does not prohibit boycotts in general. It singles out political boycotts of a certain kind. Yet political boycotts are commonplace in any democracy. They are part of the exercise of freedom of speech.

Indeed, the most famous modern boycott was launched by the Jewish community in the United States in 1933, after the Nazis came to power in Germany. In response, the Nazis called for a boycott of all Jewish enterprises in Germany. I remember the date, April 1, because my father did not allow me to go to school on that day (I was 9 years old and the only Jew in my school.)

Later, all progressive countries joined in a boycott of the racist regime in South Africa. That boycott played a large (though not decisive) role in bringing it down.

A law cannot generally compel a person to buy a normal commodity, nor can it generally forbid them to buy it. Even the framers of this new Israeli law understood this. Therefore, their law does not punish anybody for buying or not buying. It punishes those who call on others to abstain from buying.

Thus the law is clearly an attack on the freedom of speech and on non-violent democratic action. In short, it is a basically flawed anti-democratic law.

THE COURT which judged our case consisted of nine judges, almost the entire Supreme Court. Such a composition is very rare, and only summoned when a fateful decision has to be made.

The court was headed by its president, Judge Asher Gronis. That in itself was significant, since Gronis already left the court and went into compulsory retirement in January, when he reached the age of 70. When the seat became vacant, Gronis was already too old to become the court president. Under the then existing Israeli law, a Supreme Court judge cannot become the court’s president when the time for his final retirement is too close. But the Likud was so eager to have him that a special enabling law was passed to allow him to become the president.

Moreover, a judge who has been on a case but did not finish his judgment in time before retiring, is given an extra three months to finish the job. It seems that even Gronis, the Likud’s protégé, had qualms about this specific decision. He signed it literally at the very last moment – at 17.30 hours of the last day, just before Israel went into mourning at the start of Holocaust Day.

His signature was decisive. The court was split – 4 to 4 – between those who wanted to annul the law and those who wanted to uphold it. Gronis joined the pro-law section and the law was approved. It is now the Law of the Land.

One section of the original law was, unanimously, stricken from the text. The original text said that any person – i.e. settler – who claims that they have been harmed by the boycott, can claim unlimited indemnities from anyone who has called for this boycott, without having to prove that they were actually hurt. From now on, a claimant has to prove the damage.

At the public hearing of our case, we were asked by the judges if we would be satisfied if they strike out the words “territories held by Israel”, thus leaving the boycott of the settlements intact. We answered that in principle we insist on annulling the entire law, but would welcome the striking out of these words. But in the final judgment, even this was not done.

This, by the way, creates an absurd situation. If a professor in Ariel University, deep in the occupied territories, claims that I have called to boycott him, he can sue me. Then my lawyer will try to prove that my call went quite unheeded and therefore caused no damage, while the professor will have to prove that my voice was so influential that multitudes were induced to boycott him.
YEARS AGO, when I was still Editor-in-Chief of Haolam Hazeh, the news-magazine, I decided to choose Aharon Barak as our Man of the Year.

When I interviewed him, he told me how his life was saved during the Holocaust. He was a child in the Kovno ghetto, when a Lithuanian farmer decided to smuggle him out. This simple man risked his own life and the lives of his family when he hid him under a load of potatoes to save his life.

In Israel, Barak rose to eminence as a jurist, and eventually became the president of the Supreme Court. He led a revolution called “Juristic Activism”, asserting, among other things, that the Supreme Court is entitled to strike out any law that negates the (unwritten) Israeli constitution.

It is impossible to overrate the importance of this doctrine. Barak did for Israeli democracy perhaps more than any other person. His immediate successors – two women – abided by this rule. That’s why the Likud was so eager to put Gronis in his place. Gronis’ doctrine can be called “Juristic Passivism”.

During my interview with him, Barak told me: “Look, the Supreme Court has no legions to enforce its decisions. It is entirely dependent on the attitude of the people. It can go no further than the people are ready to accept!”

I constantly remember this injunction. Therefore I was not too surprised by the judgment of the Supreme Court in the boycott case.

The Court was afraid. It’s as simple as that. And as understandable.

The fight between the Supreme Court and the Likud’s far-right is nearing a climax. The Likud has just won a decisive election victory. Its leaders are not hiding their intention to finally implement their sinister designs on the independence of the Court.

They want to allow politicians to dominate the appointment committee for Supreme Court judges and to abolish altogether the right of the court to annul unconstitutional laws enacted by the Knesset.

MENACHEM BEGIN used to quote the miller of Potsdam who, when involved with the King in a private dispute, exclaimed: “There are still judges in Berlin!”

Begin said: “There are still judges in Jerusalem!”

For how long?

Uri Avnery: A national unity government?

Uri Avnery
April 11, 2015

MY FIRST reaction after the election was: “Oh, no! Not a National Unity Government, please!

In my first article after the election, I devoted a large part to the danger of a “national unity” government, though at the time the possibility of such a government, based on Likud and the Labor Party, seemed very remote indeed.

But, looking at the figures, I had a gnawing suspicion: this looks like something that will end with a Likud-Labor combination.

Now, suddenly, this possibility has raised its head. Everybody is talking about it.

All my emotions rebel against this possibility. But I owe it to myself and my readers to examine this option dispassionately. Though pure logic is a rare commodity in politics, let’s try to exercise it.

IS A “national unity government” good or bad for Israel?

Let’s look at the numbers first.

To form a government in Israel, one needs at least 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Likud (30) and Labor (24) have 54 between them. It can be assumed that Binyamin Netanyahu almost certainly wants to renew his party’s historic alliance with the two orthodox factions, the Ashkenazi Torah Party (6) and the Oriental Shas (7) – together 67, quite enough for a stable government.

Netanyahu seems to be determined to add Moshe Kahlon’s new party too (10), as a kind of subcontractor for the economy. Together an imposing 77.

Who would be left outside? First of all, the Joint Arab Party (13), whose new leader, Eyman Odeh, would automatically assume the title of “Leader of the Opposition” – a first for Israel. No Arab has ever held this title, with all its prestige and privileges.

Then there is Meretz (5), reduced to a small leftist voice.
And then there are the two extreme rightist parties: the one of Naftali Bennett (reduced to 8) and the even smaller one of Avigdor Lieberman (now a mere 6).

Somewhere in between is the star of the previous elections, Yair Lapid, (now reduced to 11).

The initial prospect seemed to be a far rightist coalition, consisting of Likud, the two orthodox parties, the two far-rightist parties and Kahlon – altogether 67. (The orthodox refuse to sit with Lapid in the same government.)

These then, with minor variations, are the two options.

WHY DOES Netanyahu prefer – as it now seems – the National Unity option?

First of all, he detests his two co-rightists – Bennett and Lieberman. But you don’t have to like someone in order to take them into your government.

A far more important reason is the growing fear of Israel’s isolation in the world.

Netanyahu is now engaged in a ferocious fight against President Obama. He opposes the Iranian deal with everything he has. But this deal is also underwritten by the European Union, Germany, France, Russia and China. Netanyahu against the entire world.

Netanyahu has no illusions. There are hundreds of ways Obama and the European Union can punish Netanyahu. Israel is almost totally dependent on the US as far as weapons are concerned. It needs the US veto in the UN, and US subsidies also come in handy. The Israeli economy is also heavily dependent on European markets.

In this situation, it would be nice to have Isaac Herzog on board. He is the ultimate fig-leaf, a nice liberal leftist as foreign minister, son of a president, grandson of an Irish chief rabbi, well mannered, European looking, English speaking. He would pacify the fears of the world’s foreign ministers, cushion Netanyahu’s rough edges, prevents diplomatic crises.

Labor in the government would also block the deluge of anti-democratic bills which accumulated in the last Knesset. It would also halt the planned onslaught on the Supreme Court, Israel’s last bastion against the barbarians. The leading group of Likud extremists make no secret of their intention to castrate the Court and to enact the bills they hold in store.

Labor might also mitigate the economic policies of Likud, popularly known as “swinish capitalism”, which have made the poor poorer and the ultra-rich even ultra-richer. Housing might become affordable again, the decline of the health and education systems mighty be halted.

The prospect of becoming ministers again makes the mouths of some Labor functionaries water. One of them, Eytan Kabel, a close ally of Herzog, has already published a statement totally supporting Netanyahu’s Iran policy, raising many knowing eyebrows.

The Labor Party has yet to take a critical position towards Netanyahu’s Iranian stand. It only criticizes – halfheartedly, if not quarterheartedly – the Prime Minister’s attacks on Obama.

ON THE other side, what’s so wrong about a National Unity Government?

Well, first of all, it leaves the country without an effective opposition.

In order to function, democracy needs an opposition that develops alternative policies and provides a choice at the next elections. If all the major parties are in the government, what alternative forces and ideas can provide the necessary choice?

A cynic may remark here that the Labor Party was not much of an opposition anyway. It supported last year’s superfluous Gaza War with all its atrocities. Its ally, Tzipi Livni, has dragged the Palestinian negotiations on and on without coming an inch nearer to peace. Labor’s opposition to the rightist economic policies was feeble.

Truth is, Labor is not built for opposition. It was in power for 44 consecutive years (from 1933 to 1977, first in the Zionist Organization and then in the new state). To be “governmental” is deeply ingrained in its nature. Even under Likud governments, Labor was never a determined and effective opposition.

But for Leftists, the main objection to a Unity Government is exactly what may induce Netanyahu to install it: because it provides the big fig leaf.

Labor in the government will blunt all foreign criticism of Netanyahu’s policies and actions. Israeli Leftists, who despairingly pray for foreign pressure on Israel, such as an all-inclusive boycott (BDS) and pro-Palestinian UN resolutions, will be disappointed. To get such a campaign moving, you need a far-right government in Jerusalem.

Under the National Unity umbrella, Netanyahu can continue to enlarge the settlements, sabotage the Palestinian Authority, conduct endless negotiations that lead nowhere, even make war from time to time.

After four such years, the Labor Party may cease to be an effective force in Israeli politics. Some might think that this is a good thing. With this degenerating force out of the way, a new generation of political activists may have a chance to eventually create a real opposition party.

PERHAPS THE decision on this will not be shaped in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, but in Las Vegas.

I have a lurking suspicion that in reality Netanyahu takes his orders from Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson owns Netanyahu as much as he owns his casino in Macau or the US Republican party. If he wants to install a Republican president, in order to add the White House to his portfolio of assets, he needs to widen the chasm between the Obama administration and the Israeli government. This might cause US Jews to flock en masse to the Republican banner.

If this suspicion is true, Netanyahu will not really woo the Labor Party, but only use it as a trick to beat down the price his prospective far-right partners are demanding.

TWO JEWS are on a cruise.

In the middle of the night, one of them wakes the other: “Quick! Get up! The ship is sinking!”

The other only yawns. "What do you care? Is it your ship?

Israeli citizens in favor of a Palestinian state

Israeli petition in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state

We the undersigned citizens of Israel, who wish for it to be a safe and thriving country, are worried by the continued political stalemate, the occupation, and the settlement activities that lead to further confrontations with Palestinians and quash any chances for compromise. It is clear that the prospects for Israel’s security and existence depend on the existence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Israel should recognize the state of Palestine and Palestine should recognize the state of Israel, based on the June 4,1967 borders. Your initiative for recognition of the state of Palestine will advance prospects for peace and will encourage Israelis and Palestinians alike to bring an end to their conflict.

Abd Elkader Kanani, Research Student
Abed Kaboub, Jurist
Abraham B, Yehoshua, Novelist, Israel Prize, Bialik Prize, Brenner Prize
Achinoam Nini-Noa, Musician, Israel’s representative at the Eurovision 2009, Galileo Gallilei
Medal, Critics first prize at 56th San Remo
Ada Efody, Accountant
Ada Ravon, Lawyer
Adam Keller, Journalist
Adam Uriel, Visual arts
Adeeb Awad, CEO, Advertising & Media
Adi Drori, editor
Adi Rosenthal, Tourism Advisor
Adina Aviram, Dr Head of Molecular laboratory in Hematology
Ady Yarkon, Retired
Aharon Gefen, Education
Ahuva Bar’am
Alex Levac, Photographer, Israel Prize Recipient
Alex Massis, Film Producer
Ali Alasad, Advocate, PhD
Alice Krieger, Public Relations
Alina Edmonds, Teacher
Aliya Strauss, BA English Teacher
Aliza Dror, Psychotherapist
Alkalay Shraga, CEO
Alla Shainskaya, PhD
Allen Minitzer, Executive
Alon Confino, Professor of History
Alon Garbuz, CEO of Tel Aviv cinematheque
Alon Harel, Professor of Law
Alon Liel, Former Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Ambassador
Amana Cohen
Amar Salame ,Certified Nurse BA
Amatzya Ido, Translator
Amatzia Weisel, Professor of Special Education
Ami Weinstein, Industrialist, founder of “Shivion”
Amikam Cohen, PhD, Biologist
Amir Agbaria, Doctor
Amir Badran, Advocat
Amir Orian, Art Director
Amir Segal, Physicist
Amir Student, Entrepeneur
Amir Yaari, Agricultural Engineer
Amira Ityel, Family Therapist Educ. Counselor MA
Amira Katz-Goehr, PhD lecturer and tranlsator
Amira Openheimer, Clinical Psychologist
Amiram Goldblum, Professor of Computational Chemistry, Founder of “Shivion”
Amira Ityel, Family and Couples consultant
Amira Or, Psychologist
Amit Leshem, Peace Projects, Coordinator
Amnon Fruchtman, Physicist
Amnon Lipzin, Tourism
Amnon Sagiv, School Master
Amnon Werner, Sociologist, Kibbutz member near Gaza
Amos Goldberg, Professor of Jewish History
Amos Gvirtz, Peace Activist
Amos Ityel, Mechanical Engineer
Amos Oz, Novelist, Israel Prize, Prince of Asturias Prize, Legion D’honneur, Goethe prize, Heine Prize
Amotz Agnon, Professor
Amram Ashuach, Kibbutz member
An bar, BA
Anat Biletzki, Professor of Philosophy
Anat Frankel, Education consultant
Anat Langer-Gal, CEO of Middle East in the Negev Institute
Anat Levin, Language Editor
Anat Matar, Academic
Anat Morahg, Musician
Anat Natasha Camran, Counselor
Anat Noy, CEO Marketing
Anat Rimon-Or, Lecturer
Anat Tueg, Text editor
Aner Preminger, Cinema Professor and Filmmaker
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, Peace Activist and NGO director
Anita Bardin, Social worker
Annelien Kisch-Kroon
Anuar Hasan, Art
Arad Eldad, M.A
Arie Arnon, Professor of Economics
Arie Geronik, Lecturer
Arie Plat, Community Consultant
Arie Stern, Pensioner
Ariel Hanaor, PhD, Civil Engineering
Ariel Niezna, MBA, Lebanon border Settlement
Ariela Shir, Writer for Children
Ariella Be’eri, Ben-Yishai Lecturer, PhD
Arik Shapira, Composer, Professor of Musicology, Israel Prize
Arnon Avni, Graphics, Kibbutz Nirrim – Gaza Border
Arnon BenYair, Teacher
Aryeh Burstein, Teacher
Arza Apelroit, Dr.
Agi Mishol, Poet
Asaaf Akram, Metal Contractor
Assaf Moskowitz
Assaf Yacobovitz, Clinical Psychologist, MA
Asher Fisch, Musician, International Conductor and Pianist
Avi Berg, Social Activist
Avi Glezerman, Dr, Corporate, Executive
Avi Mograbi, Film Director, Konrad Wolf Prize
Avidan Efody, Engineer
Aviel Hadari, Teacher
Avihai Steller, Researcher
Avihu Ronen, Historian, Dr.
Avinoam Ben-Shaul, Professor
Avinoam Koren, Song writer
Avishai Margalit, Israel Prize, Professor of Philosophy
Avital Burg, Author/Artist
Avital Spivak, Lecturer
Avital Toch, Peace activist
Avner Ben-Amos, Professor of History
Avner Cohen, Lecturer
Avner de Shalit, Professor of Political Science
Avner Giladi, Professor
Avner Gvariahu, Human Rights Activist
Avner Katz, Professor, Artist
Avner Mart, Inventor
Avraham Burg , Former Chair of the Israeli Parliament and Head of Jewish Agency
Avraham Frank, PhD, Education
Avraham Oz, Professor
Avram Katz, Artistic graphics
Avshalom Kaveh, Writer
Aya Breuer, Translator
Ayelet Lerman, Artist
Azriel Nativ, Farmer

Barry Morahg, Producer
Baruch Minke, Professor, recipient of Prince of Asturias Prize for Science 2010
Baruch Shalev, Co-Chair of Peace Making Social Workers
Baruch Velleman, Social worker
Bat Sheva Shapira, PhD, Editor
Beate Zilversmidt, Publisher
Ben Edlund, Chef
Ben Rafael Miriam, Clinical Psychologist
Ben Tzion Munitz, Professor
Ben Wayner, Informal Education
Ben Yeger, Therapist and Peace Activist
Benjamin Arbel, Historian
Benjamin Heifetz, Teacher
Benny Natan, Professor
Beny Gefen, Farmer
Benzi Keren, Industrial and Management Engineer
Bernard Avishai, Professor
Boaz Gork , Lawyer
Boaz Levin, Artist
Boris Lederman
Bosmat Gal, Dr
Bruria Beker, Education, Culture
Buma Inbar, Peace Activist

Carlos Ghindelschi, Clerk
Carmi Ashboren, NGO strategic consultant
Carole Hoffman, Dr, librarian
Chaim Gans, Professor of Law
Chana Ullman, PhD CLinical Psychologist
Chava Lerman, Ceramics
Chaya Offek, Musician
Chen Alon, Theatre Director, PhD
Chen Biran Aldema, Therapist
Christoph Schmidt, Professor of Philosophy
Claire Oren, Teacher
Cobi Sonnenschein, Professor of Physics
Colette Avital, Ambassador
Colman Altman, Professor of Physics

Dafna (Laura) Kaminer
Dahlia Amit, Translator
Dahalia Treibich, Artist
Dalana Rahamimov, Health Insurance center
Dalia Golomb, Teacher
Dalia Sachs, Dr.
Dan Bavli , Lieutenant Colonel (res.)
Dan Ben Zakai, Farmer
Dan Bitan, Research
Dan Flohr, Engineer
Dan Goldenblatt, Co-director of IPCRI
Dan Haddani, Colonel (Res.)
Dan Jacobson, Professor
Dan Miodownik, PhD, Political Science
Dan Wardinon, CEO
Dana Avidar, Education
Dana Bar Ner, Lawyer
Dana Lotan, Social Media
Dana Yehezkel, Psychologist
Dani Shofla, Programmer
Daniel Bar-Tal, Professor, Political Psychologist
Daniel Biton, Student
Daniel Eilat, MA
Daniel Gavron, Author
Daniel Haklai, Lawyer
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize, Professor
Daniel Lazare, Kibbutz Member
Daniel Levanon, PhD, Scientist
Daniel Shek, Former Israel’s Ambassador to France
Daniela Gordon, Psychologist
Daniela Yoel
Daniella Halevi, Architect
Danniel Qeletti, Writer
Danny Karavan, Artist and painter, Israel Prize recipient
Danny Rosin, M.D.
Danya Eliraz, Dancer
Daphna Joel, Professor
Daphne Banai, Educational Consultant
David Adler, PhD, Poet
David Blanc, Professor of Mathematics
David Grossman, Writer
David Harel, Israel Prize, EMET prize, Professor of Computer Science
David Lehrer, CEO of the “Arava” Instititue
David Mahalel, Professor
David Moshevitz, Lawyer
David Nevo, Tel Aviv Univ. Professor
David Palma, Poet
David Senesh, Dr, Psychologist
David Tartakover, Israel Prize, Artist
David Willner, Teacher
David Zisenwine, Professor
David Windholz, Social Psycologist
David Zonsheine, Software Engineer
Deborah Bernstein, Professor
Dina David, MA
Diana Shai
Diana Shoef, Producer
Dikla Ben-Shaul, Psychologist
Dimitry Shumsky, Dr
Doreet Hopp, PhD
Dorian Levin, Artist
Dorit Eldar, PhD, Lecturer
Dorit Solomon, Teacher
Doron Golan, Artist
Doron Lieber, Agriculture
Dov Koller, Teacher, History and Politics
Dubi Avigur, Secular Rabbi
Dubi Feldman, CPA
Dudy Tzfati, Professor
Dvora Barkay, Psychotherapy
Dvora Oreg, Consultant to Social Change NGOs
Dvorah Shainok, Retired teacher
Dvora Shlomi

Eden Fuchs, Freelance Consultant
Edit Doron, Professor
Edna Gam, Dr. Psychotherapist
Edna Hakham-Baskin, Editor, MSc
Edna Kadman Teacher
Edna Morduch, Psychotherapist
Edna Nahum, Producer
Edna Raz
Edna Zaretsky Toledano, Group Facilitator, Sociologist
Edward Eddy Kaufman, Professor of Political Science and Conflict Management
Efraim Davidi, Dr, Lecturer
Efrat Ben-Ze’ev, Anthropologist
Ehud Eliav, Economist
Efrat Weil-Amit, Movement Therapy
Ehud Bandel, Rabbi
Ehud Hrushovski, Professor of mathematics
Ehud Spieser, Student
Einat Gutman, Combatants for Peace
Einat Gutman, Yoga Techer
Eitan Kalinsky, Teacher
Ela Alterman, Stage Director
Ela Greenberg, Academic
Elad Ronen
Elana Wesley, Human Rights Activist, Translator
Elchanan Reiner, Professor
Eli Bareket, Video Editor
Eli Caufman, History Writer & Journalist
Eli Diner, Artist
Eli Kalir, Lawyer
Eli Meshoulam, Lawyer
Eli Netzer, Poet-Writer-Editor
Eli Safran, Tour Guide, Sasa – Lebanon Border
Eli Shmueli, Neurobiologist
Eli Tavor, Mechanical, Engineer
Eli Yassif, Professor
Elie Barnavi, Historian & writer/professor, former Israel’s Ambassador to France
Elie Hoz, Tourism
Elisha Shpiegelman, Journalist
Elizabeth Freund, Dept of English
Elizabeth Goldwyn, Professor
Elka Bitan-Gal, Piano teacher/M.A
Emanuel (Mano) Shaked, Brigadier-General (Res)
Emma Rosenkovitch, Recherche biologique
Eran Goren, Programming developer
Eran Lev, Lawyer
Eran Shuali, PhD student
Erella Talmi, Musician and Writer
Erez Keller, Computer Programmer
Erez Krispin, CEO, Gurusfeet.com
Eric Yellin, Peace/Technology
Ester Levanon Mordoch, Dr.
Ester Levinger,Professor of Art history
Eti Grifel, Chef
Eva Jablonka, Professor
Eyal Oron, Lawyer and Internal Auditor
Eyal Raviv, Founder mepeace.org
Eylon Bavli
Eynel Wardi, Dr.
Ezra Mendelsohn, Professor, Bialik Prize
Fawaz Hussein, Author, CEO Education Dept, Hurfesh Lebanon Border

Gaby Lasky, Attorney
Gad Ben Ari, Businessman
Gad Friedman, PhD
Gad Kaynar, Professor of Theatre Studies
Gady Costeff, Business - MBA
Gadi Kenny, Business and Peace Activist
Gadi Stahl, Polymer & Plastics Chemistry
Gadi Sternbach, Vintner & Restaurateur
Gaily Clements
Gal Rosen, Student
Galeb Magadli, Former Minister of Culture and Sports
Galia Golan, Professor, Former head, Dept. of Political Science
Galit Hasan-Rokem, Professor of Hebrew Literature and Folklore
Gani Bloch-Tamir, Actor and Singer
Gavriel Arbiv, Student
Gavriel Yitzhak Meir, Musician
Gavriel (Gabi) Salomon, Israel Prize, Professor of Education
Gera De Shalit, Advocate
Gershon Baskin, PhD, Head of IPCRI Institute
Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Professor of Psychology
Gershon Sa’ar, PhD candidate
Gideon Lifshitz, Teacher
Gideon Shelach-Lavi, Archeologist
Gideon Spiro, Journalist, Human Rights and Peace Activist
Gidi Peled, Industrial Development
Gidon Medina, Professor
Gil Rimon, Entrepreneur
Gil Talmi,Film Composer
Gila Svirsky, Peace and Human Rights Activist
Gilad Paz, Advocate
Gilad Silbert, Dr. Chemistry
Gilad Zamir, Lawyer
Gili Veread, Early education Counselor
Gili Zimhoni, Architecture
Gina Ben David, Therapist and Performance artist
Giora Baram, Industry Worker
Giora Segal, Teacher and Educator
Giora Teltsch, Management consulting
Gonen Daskal, ME system Engineer
Guga Kogan, Journalist
Guy Hirshfeld

Hadar Ron, Architect
Hadas Feller, Freelancer
Hadassah Haskale, Poet, Psychologist
Hagai Ginsburg, Professor
Hagit Goldstein, Industry Worker
Hagit Lobel Hagai, Social Worker
Haim Baram, Writer and Journalist
Haim Hayet
Hamutal Peled, Teacher
Hamutal Tzamir, Lecturer
Hana Choresh, MA Psychology
Hanan Kisch, Professor of Petrology and Mineralogy
Hanna Aviram, Researcher
Hanna Barag, Peace and Human Rights Activist
Hanna Friedman, Founder of PCATI
Hanna Naiman, Nurse
Hanna Regev, Teacher
Hannah Safran, Dr. Of History
Harai Golomb, Professor
Hassida Shafran
Hava Halevi, Gardener
Haya Heller-Degani, PhD
Haya Nir, Fashion
Hedva Adiri, Chief Librarian
Henia Flohr, Teaching Coordinator
Herschel Ben Ami, Peace Activist
Hilda Wengrowef, PhD, Dance Therapist
Hillel Bardin
Hillel Schenker, Co-Editor of Palestine-Israel Journal
Hillel Schocken, Professor, Architect
Hubert Law-Yone, Professor of Architecture and City Planning
Husri Taufik, Accountant

Idan Ofgang, Independent
Idan Segev, Professor of Brain Research
Idit Avidan, BA
Idit Scwhartz, Medical Dr.
Idit Zertal, Professor of History
Idith Harel, Social Worker and Family consultant
Ido Amihai, PhD Researcher
Ido Lam
Ido Sokolovsky Programmer
Iftach Shavit, Film Editor
Igor Caplan, Engineer
Ilan Baruch, Former Ambassador to S. Africa & Zimbabwe
Ilan Saban, Dr., Senior Lecturer of Law
Ilan Sadeh, Professor of Computer Science
Ilan Shtayer, Historian
Ilana Margalith, PhD (Social work), Lawyer
Ilana Pardes, Professor
Ilana Segal, Musician
Ilana Shapiro, P.C.O.
Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg, PhD, Nutritionist
Inbal Arnon, Professor at Hebrew University
Inbal Ben Ezer, Conflict resolution
Irene Lewenhoff, Nurse
Iris Dotan Katz, Clinical Psychologist
Iris Lerman, Psychologhist
Iris Milner, Professor of Literature
Iris Parush, Professor
Irit Sela, Editor
Iris Stern, Social Psychologist
Irit Ben Ezer, Psychologist
Irit Halperin, Therapist
Irit Hakim, Artist
Irit Segoli, Art
Irit Shamgar, Teacher
Isaac Yanni Nevo, Professor of Philosophy
Ishai Menuchin,Human Rights Activist, Dr.
Ishay Landa, Dr., Historian
Israel Pesach
Israel Shafran
Israel Yuval, Professor
Itamar Shachar, PhD candidate
Itzhak Galnoor, Professor of Political Science, former head of Civil Service
Itzhak Levav, Professor, Psychiatrist
Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld, Mental Health services research

Jacob Barnai, Professor
Jacob Katriel, Professor
Jacob Schiby, Teacher
Jacob Shoef, Producer
James Lebeau, Rabbi
Jehoash Hirshberg, Professor of Musicology, Emeritus
Jennifer Mizrachi, Therapist
Jochanan Benbassat, Professor of Medicine
Joel Freudenberg, Farmer
Joel Klemes, PhD Biologist
Jonatan Zait, Student
Jonathan Joel
Joseph Neumann , Professor of Biology and Philosophy
Joseph Shevel, Institute Manager
Joseph Zeira, Professor of Economy
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Joshua Sobol, Playwright
Judith Cooper-Weill, Author and Translator
Judith Korin, Director, Theatre
Judith Tamir, Alexander Technique
Judy Auerbach, PhD
Judy Orstav, LECTURER
Julia Horvath, Professor

Karin Lindner, architect
Karin Michaeli, Editor
Kate Rosenberg
Karlos Lewinhoff Journalist
Klipper Noa, Teacher
Kobi Peterzil, Professor
Kobi Yakobovich, Teacher
Koby Sheffy, PhD

Lana Remez, Teacher
Larry Lester Reporter
Latif Dori, Secretary of the Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue
Lee Shaish, PhD Biologist
Levi Spectre, PhD
Liat Ben-Rafael
Liat Segal, Marketing Teacher
Lilia Peter, Journalist
Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor of theatre studies, Tel Aviv U
Lior Almagor, Packaging Technologist
Lior Amihai, NGO Worker
Lior Kay Avishay, Social Worker for community transformations
Lior Tamam, Advocate
Liora Di Nur, Legal Advisor
Liora Glatt Berkovitz, lawyer
Liora Preis, Spiritual Support
Louis Williams, Retired book translator

Malka Dvir, Teacher
Malka Gerber, Teacher
Malka Lindner, PhD in Science
Marcelo Yarkoni, Int Sales Manager
Marcia Greenman, Lebeau Educator
Marianna Barr Writer and Translator
Mati Kroin
Maya Bailey, Theatre and Cinema
Maya Savir, Novelist
Maytal Lochoff, Arabic Law, literature and language
Meir Gotlieb
Meir Margalit, Dr
Meir Peleg, Musician
Menachem Brinker, Israel Prize, Professor of Literature and Philosophy
Menachem Fisch, Prof. of Philosophy
Menachem Golan, IT Engineer
Menachem Klein, Professor of Political Science
Marcia Greenman, Lebeau Educator
Meyran Haim, Graphic Designer
Micah Leshem, Professor
Micha Hopp, Professor of Epidemiology
Michael Benyair, Former Attorney-General
Michael Eden, Attorney
Michael Kaminer, Film Editor
Michael Kovner, Painter
Michal (Milli) Katz
Michal Zeira, Corcos Economist
Michael Keren, Professor of Economy
Michael Sfard, Lawyer, Human Rights
Michael Toch, Professor of History
Michaela Rahat, MSc education
Michal Barak, Education
Michal Belikoff, MSc Michal Brody-Bareket, lecturer
Michal Gamlieli, glass art
Michal Goldberg, Clinical Psychology
Michal Hochberg, Social Worker
Michal Mazor, Scientist
Michal Nitzan
Michal Paneth Peleg, Blogger & Text Editor
Michal Preminger, Psychologist
Michal Pundak Sagi, Therapist
Michal Ronel, Mental Health
Michal Schechter, Internet
Michal Schonbrun, Women’s Health/ MPH
Michal Wertheim
Michal Zilka, Project Manager
Micky Fisher, Nurse
Mika Ginzburg, PhD
Mika Schuster, Wood restoration
Mike Arad
Miki Cohen MA in Music education
Miky Fisher, Teacher
Miki Kratsman, EMET Prize, Photography
Milli Katz, Graffiti Artist Media
Mili Mass, Dr, Social Worker
Mira Awad, Artist
Mira Edelstein, Resource Development
Mira Hermoni, Artist
Mira Livne, Occupational Therapist
Mira Zacai Soprano, Prof. of Music, Gramee Award, PM award
Miri Barak, Translator
Miriam Barnai, Banker
Miriam Ben Baruch
Miriam Frank, Peace Activist
Miriam Makin, Farmer
Miriam Patya, Microbiology
Miriam Tal, Theatre Specialist
Mooky Dagan, Musician
Mordechai Bar-On, Dr of History, Former Brigadier-General and Member of Knesset
Mordechai Dudai, PhD in Biology
Moriel Rotman, Writer
Moshe Glick
Moshe Haas, Musician
Moshe Hazan, Proessor
Moshe Ivgy, Actor Moshe Kotler, Biologist
Moshe Levin, Hi Tech
Moshe Maoz, Professor of Middle-East History
Moshe Rotschild, Independent
Moshe Zimmerman, Professor
Moshe Zuckermann, Professor
Mossi Raz, Former MK, Chair of Peace Organizations Forum
Motti Lerner, Playwright
Motty Perry, Professor of Economy
Michael Persico, Physician
Muhamad Diab, PhD, Co-Chair of Peace Making Social Workers

Na’aman Hirshfeld, Historian
Nabil Saad, Academic
Nachi Alon, Clinical Psychologist
Nadav Bigelman, Student
Nadav Weiman, Instructor, High School
Nadia Raz, Music student
Naftali Raz, Educator & Tour guide, Chair of Massad
Nakad Nakad, Lawyer
Naomi Benbassat, PhD, Psychologist, Ein-Habsor – Gaza Border
Naomi Chazan, Former MK, Professor of Political Science
Naomi Raz, Early Childhood Educator
Naomi Sussmann Academic research
Naphtali Ringel
Naomi Shaanan, Human Resources administration
Nava Dgani, Translator
Nava Sonnenshein, PhD, CEO of School for Peace
Neal Laufer, Dr Paychiatry
Nehama Hillman, Art Consultant
Nestor Portnoy, Nurse
Neta Efroni
Neve Gordon, Professor
Nili Belkind Ph D, ethnomusicology
Nili Fisher, M.A.
Nir Harel, MFA/Artist
Nira Kedar
Nira Keren, Teacher
Nirit Assaf, Dr.
Nirit Haviv, Human Rights NO - Machsom Watch
Nirit Veiga, Strategic management consulting
Nissim Calderon, Professor of Litrature
Niva BenYair
Niva Segev, Kibbutz Beeri – Gaza Border
Noa Burstein, Musician
Noa Harris, GBV
Noa Hershkovitz, Economist
Noa Michaeli, Lawyer
Noa Shoval, Dr.
Noam Sonin, Business Development
Noam Zohar, Professor
Noemi Givon Givon, Art Forum
Noga Efrati, Senior lecturer, MidEast History
Noga Engelstein, Clinical Psychologist
Nomi Erteschik-Shir, Professor Nomika Zion, “Other Voice”, Sderot – Gaza Border
Nora Orlov, Translator, Poems translator
Nura Resh, PhD, Sociology
Nurit Badash Management & Public Politics
Nurit Budinsky, Mathematican
Nurit Gazit MBA
Nurit Lotner, Social Worker & Therapist
Nurit Peled Elhanan, Sacharov Prize, Professor of Education
Nurit Rinot, Dr. Psychology
Nurit Schleifman, Dr Nurit Shoor
Nurit Tolnai, Mindfulness workshop facilitator

Oded Efrati, Engineer
Oded Goldreich, Professor, Scientist
Oded Hon, Lawyer Social activist
Oded Lifshitz, Journalist – Nachal-Oz – Gaza Border
Oded Niv Hotelier
Ofer Bronchtein, President, International forum for peace
Ofer Cassif, Dr
Ofer Prag, Films
Ofira Henig, Theater Director
Ofra Ben Artzi,Teacher
Ofra Danon, Art
Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni, Professor
Ofra Kats, Goldsmith
Ofra Tene, house wife
Oliver Kraigher, Surgeon
Omri Afek
Omri Feinstein, IT Programmer
Omri Lernau, Surgeon
Oren Yiftachel, Professor
Ora Ardon, Writer,editor,journalist
Oren Sh, Video Engineer
Orit Adam, Clinical Psychologist
Orit Dekel, Assistant to VP
Orit Friedland,Translator & Editor
Orit Shochat, Journalist
Orit Tenne, PhD Student
Orly Feldheim, Film maker
Orly Morag, PhD - science education
Orna Glinka, Computers
Orna Lavi, ART
Ortal Beeri, Organization developper
Osnat Bar-Or, Lawyer, PhD
Ovadia Ezra Dr.

Paul Heger, Dr. PhD
Pepe Alalu , Member of Jerusalem Council
Peter Harris Dr.
Pilz Dan, CEO
Pnina Feiler, Nurse

Ra’anan Alexandrovich, Film Director , the Gatekeepers
Raaya Rotem, Teacher and Lecturer
Rachel Afek, Peace and Human Rights Activist
Rachel Elior, Professor of Jewish Studies
Rachel Kaminski, Yoga Teacher
Rachel Landshut, Artist
Rachel levkovitz, Management
Rachel London Katz, Sculptor
Rachel Naparstek
Rachela Hayut, Teacher
Racheli Bar-or, Psychotherapist
Racheli Merhav Landscape architect
Raffi Lipkin, Computer Engineer
Rafi Eshet Orthopedic expert
Rakefet Milika, Psychologist
Ram Ben Moshe, Academic Editor
Rama Yacobi
Rami Ashkar, Banker Rami Ben Ari, CEO in High Tech Company
Rami Elhanan, Peace Maker
Rami Goldstein, Engineer
Rami Heled, Translator
Ran Cohen, Former Minister of Industry & Trade
Ran Hassin, Professor of Hebrew
Ran Keidar, Retired Leut. Colonel
Raphael Falk, Professor
Raphi Meron, Dr., Economist
Reut Ginj, Films
Reuven Choshen, Business Consultant, M.Sc.
Reuven Eden, Veterinary surgeon
Reuven Gerber, PhD, lecturer & Jewish Philosophy
Reuven Holzer, Electronic Engineer
Reuven Israeli
Revital Sela, Translator
Revka Wittenberg
Rika Cohen, CEO of an NGO
Riki Ben-Ami, Teacher
Riki Levi, PhD student
Rimon Lavi, Paychologist
Riva Bachrach, D"r Clinical psychologist
Rivka Machlion MSw, Social Worker
Rivka Nir
Rivka Sallum, CEO of an NGO
Robi Guttman, Information Specialist
Rolly Rosen, Consultant
Ron Arzi, Industry
Ron Barkai, Professor
Ron Gerlitz CEO “Sikkuy”
Ron Hoz, Professor
Ron Issar Student
Ron Naaman, Professor
Ron Shahar, Professor
Ron Weiss, Economist
Ronen Leshem, Software developer, M.A.
Ronen Shamir,Lecturer
Roni Hammermann, PhD
Roni Hirshendon, Artist
Roni Segoly, CEO
Ronit Matar, Anthrpologist
Ronit Matalon, Novelist
Ronit Pan, Certified Art teacher
Rony Efrat, Theatre and Translator
Rony Pisker, Teacher, Theatre
Rotem Hann, Social Worker
Rotem Levin, Med Student
Rotem Telem, Dr.
Ruben Frankenstein, Lecturer Jewish studies
Ruchama Marton,Psychiatrist
Ruhama Shoulsky, Graphic Designer
Ruth Barkai-Tune artist
Ruth Butler, Professor
Ruth Duek, Clinical Psychology
Ruth El-Raz, M.A. Social Work
Ruth Frumkin, Nurse
Ruth Hacohen Pinchover, Professor of Musicology
Ruth Kedar
Ruth Maor, Naturopath
Ruth Rosenthal, Artist
Ruth Tirosh, Biblical Researcher
Ruth Zakovich, Editor and translator
Ruth Zimmermann-Shahar, Medical Doctor and Dental Surgeon
Ruthie Pragier, Psychologist
Ruthy Efody
Ruthy Schoken-Katz, Director
Ruthy Yarkoni, Teacher
Ruthie Pragier, Psychologist
Ruti Kantor, Designer

Sagi Frish, Student
Sahar Tueg, Student
Sami Alkalay, Marketing & Advertisements
Sami Ohayon, Theatre Director
Sara Carmeli Communication
Sara Helman, Dr Sara Fischman, Dr.
Sara Shilon, Executive
Sarah Levine, Artist
Sari Raz Nutritionist
Sariel Beckenstein
Saul Arolozoroff, Mechanical Engineer
Schwartz Idit, Dr. Physician
Sephi Lipkin, Computers
Shachaf Polakov, Photographer
Shachar Camran, Restorator
Shai Benjamin, PhD
Shai Davidovich, Student
Shai Gilad, Business
Shaked Stoler, Independent
Shalma Orr, Teacher
Sharon Vaknin, Artist
Shay Davidovits, Student
Shay Shohami, Adv.
Shelagh Shalev Dharmacharya
Shimmy Belikoff MSc Industry & Management Faculty
Shimon Ben Ari, Manager
Shimon Diga, Human Resources
Shimon Levinson
Shir Darwin Regev, Woodworking
Shir Hacham, Teaching Assistant Tel Aviv University
Shir Hermeche, Student
Shirley Racah, Public Policy
Shlomi Hadar
Shlomi Tazir, Computers
Shlomit Breuer, Curator
Shlomit Kedem, Translator & Editor
Shlomit Levy, Gardener
Shlomit Peled, Psychologist
Shlomit Steinitz, Librarian
Shlomit Simon, Social-Worker
Shlomit Yarkoni, Social Activist & Organizer
Shlomo Kav, Student
Shlomo Regev, Nonviolence Teacher
Shlomo Nitzan, Agricultural advisor
Shmulik Merzel, Education
Shon Gam
Shosh Arar, Real Estate Shosh Arlozoroff, MBA
Shosh Goldstein, Industry
Shoshana Fink, Psychologist
Shoshi Inbal, Communication
Shraga Hocherman, Professor
Shuki Rosenboim
Shula Wardinon, CEO
Shula Wilson, Psychotherapist
Shulamit Volkov, Prof Modern History, Member of the Israel Academy of Science, Recipient, Friedrich Gundolf Prize, German Academy of Languages and literature
Shulti Regev
Shuy Eilok, Educator
Shva Halevi, Student
Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Professor
Silvia Pitterman, Machsom Watch volunteer
Silvio Gutkowski, Psychiatrist
Sima Sason, Peace activist
Sinai Peter, Theater Director
Snait Gissis, Dr, History of Science
Sofie Livio, Microbiologist
Stanley Ringler, Rabbi, social and political activist
Sue Schachter, Kibbutz Member
Sunny Gordon Bar, Dr., Psychologist
Susie Becher, Editor

Tahel Kaminski
Tal Antabi, Teacher
Tal Grinberg, Teacher
Tal Harris, Former Executive Director of “OneVoice Israel”
Tali Cohen, Photographer and Curator
Tali Dayag Perlman
Tali Ilan, Art Teacher
Talia Ariav, Student
Talia Krevsky, Compromise Trainer
Talila Stan, Astrologer
Talma Bar-Din, Feminist Activist
Talmon Silver, Computers
Tamar Abu Moch, Secretary
Tamar Carmi, Interior Architect
Tamar Eden
Tamar Gozansky, Economist, Former Member of Israel Knesset
Tamar Green, Student
Tamar Halfon, Psychology
Tamar Hess, PhD in Hebrew literature
Tamar Katriel, Academic faculty
Tamar Luz, Accountant
Tamar Paz, Pensioner
Tamar Portnoy, Lecturer
Tamar Verete, Lecturer
Tamara Sarfatti PhD, History
Tami Gross, documentary filmmaker
Tami Nozani, third cycle
Tami Razi, PhD Lecturer, History
Tasa Hagiti, Artist and designer
Tatiana Shnitke, Editor
Teddy Fasberg, Student
Theodore Ariel Amar, Teacher
Tikva Bracha, PhD, CEO of Human Rights NGO
Tikva Tabachnik
Tommy Dreyfus, Professor
Tova Buksbaum, Clinical Psychologist
Tova Rosen, Professor
Tsilli Goldenberg, Teacher
Tuvia Metzer, Banker
Tzachi Nevo, Designer
Tzachi Weiss, Dr Senior Lecturer
Tzipora Banai, Teacher
Tzvi Kesse, Organization Consultant

Udi Gur, Teacher
Uri Avnery, Former Member of the Knesset, Journalist
Uri Ben Assa, general manager
Uri Ben Eliezer, Professor
Uri Kantor
Uri Katz, Professor of Biology
Uri Milstein
Uri Noy Meir, Theatre
Uri Ponger, Architect
Uri Rubinstein, Photographer and Light Designer
Uriel Segal, International Symphony and Opera Conductor
Uri Weltman, Teacher
Uri Zaki, Fellow, the Emile Zola Chair
Uzi Maurer, Engineer

Varda Helled, Dr., Pediatrician
Vardit Shalphi, Theatre
Vered Ashboren, Psychoanalist
Vered Bitan, Graphic Designer
Vered Tzang, MBa
Victor Treschan
Vivian Silver, Social Activist; Kibbutz Beeri – Gaza Border
Vitaly Markov, Research Student

Yaakov Oshman, Professor, Aerospace engineering
Yaakov Sharett, CEO of Moshe Sharet NGO
Yael Agmon, Farmer
Yael Ashuah, Teacher
Yael Bassis-Student, Consultant in Gerontology
Yael Bechor, Meditation
Yael Dayan, Former MK & Writer
Yael Liber, Education consultant and superviser
Yael Medini, Literature Editor
Yael Nadler, Shmueli Education Ministry
Yael Sadan, Microbiologist
Yael Shalem, Finance Manager
Yafa Ben Knaan, Teacher
Yair Doari
Yair Gramse, Analyst
Yair Inov, Economist
Yair Lavi, High Tech Industgry
Yair Tzaban, Former MK and Minister of Health
Yaniv Belhassen, Ph.D
Yaron Harel, MD, Pediatric Intensive Care physician
Yaron Hirsch, Shahar Teacher
Yaron Kaplan
Yaron Kochavi, Customs Agent
Yasmin Amer
Yeela Raanan, Dr., Lecturer of Public Policy, Kisufim–Gaza Border
Yehoshua Kolodny, Israel Prize, Professor of Geology
Yehoshua Ratz Teacher, Political Science, MA
Yehoshua Rosin, Agronomist
Yehuda Raschal, Businessman
Yehuda Sebok, Manager
Yehuda Shaul, Student
Yehouda Shenhav Professor of sociology
Yehuda Shubinsky, Engineer
Yehudit Elkana, Dr
Yehudit Frankel, Clinical Biochemist
Yeudit Kafri Meiri, Writer and Poet , PM literature prize
Yifat Dzigan
Yifat Solel, Civil Rights Lawyer
Yigal Ben- Efraim, Archeologist MA
Yigal Cohen, Peace Activist
Yigal Vishinsky, Veterinary Doctor
Yigal Yahav
Yigaal Livnat, Civil Engineer
Yishay Kalmanovich, Musician and Linguist
Yishay Mor, Consultant
Yitzhak Frankenthal, Rabbi
Yizhar Gil, Or Art Psychotherapist
Yoav Becher, Publisher
Yoav Harpaz, Engineer
Yoav Hass, Peace Activist
Yoav Peck, Organizational psycologist
Yoav Shemer-Kunz PhD Political Science
Yoav Steinberg, IT programs developer
Yoav Yorkevich
Yochanan Ron, Dr. Musicology
Yoel Mintzer, Carpenter
Yona Ben-Tal, Engineer
Yona Pinson, Professor, Art History
Yona Shwartzman, Social Worker
Yonatan Weinstien, Film director
Yonathan Shapir, Professor of Physics
Yoni Ascher, Lecturer
Yoram Bilu, Israel Prize, Professor
Yoram Talmon, MD
Yori Kandel, Ideological Department Coordinator, Kibbutz Movement
Yosef Hassin, Agriculture consultation
Yossi Amitay, PhD, Middle East Studies, former Director of the Academic Center in Cairo
Yossi Dahan, Law Professor
Yossi Efody
Yossi Guttmann, Professor
Yossi Kaufman
Yossi Sarid, Former Minister of Education & Member of Knesset
Yotam Cohen, Opera singer
Yotam Cohen, Restaurant CEO
Yael Novak, Human Rights
Yudith Oppenheimer, CEO of an NGO
Yuri Liahovitzki, Historian, Dr.Historian
Yuval Dor, Professor
Yuval Eylon, Lecturer
Yuval Halperin, Language Editor
Yuval Limon, CEO
Yuval Lotem, Teacher, Film studies
Yuval Rahamim, Chair of NGO
Yuval Roth, Carpenter
Yussef Abu Warda, actor

Ze’ev Back, Tour Guide in Israel
Zeev Degani, PhD
Zeev Sternhell, Professor of History, Israel Prize Recipient
Zeev Zamir, Manager
Zehava Grunfeld, Child Specialist
Zelda Harris, Public Relations
Zivit Abramson, Dr of Philosophy
Ziyona Snir, Academic documentation
Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Human Rights Activist
Zohar Ofir, Tourist Guide
Zohara Hadad, Psycotherapist
Zvi Bentwich, Professor of Medicine
Zvi Schuldiner, Senior Lecturer
Zvi Tauber, Professor

Uri Avnery: Israel´s Salvation Front

Uri Avnery
March 28, 2015

THE 2015 election was a giant step towards the self-destruction of Israel.

The decisive majority has voted for an apartheid state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, in which democracy will slowly disappear.

The decision is not yet final. Israeli democracy has lost a battle. It has not yet lost the war.

If it does not draw the lessons, it will lose the war, too.

All the justifications and alibis of the Israeli left are useless. It’s the bottom line that counts.

The country is in existential danger. Not from the outside, but from the inside.

An Israel Salvation Front is needed now.

We have no other country.

FIRST OF ALL, the full extent of the debacle must be acknowledged and full responsibility must be taken.

The leaders who lost must go. In the struggle for the life of the state, there is no second opportunity.

The struggle between Isaac Herzog and Binyamin Netanyahu was a match between a lightweight boxer and a heavyweight.

The idea of a National Union government must be rejected and roundly condemned. In such a government, the Labor Party would again play the contemptible role of a fig leaf for the policy of occupation and oppression.

Now a new generation of leaders is needed, young, energetic and original.

THE ELECTION pitilessly exposed the deep chasms between the different sectors of Israeli society: Orientals, Ashkenazis, Arabs, “Russian”, orthodox, religious and more.

The Salvation Front must encompass all sectors.

Every sector has its own culture, its own traditions, its own faith(s). All must be respected. Mutual; respect is the foundation of the Israeli partnership.

The foundation of the Salvation Front needs a new authentic leadership that must emerge from all sectors.

The State of Israel belongs to all its citizens. No sector has exclusive ownership of the state.

The huge and growing gap between the very rich and the very poor, which which largely parallels the gap between the ethnic communities, is a disaster for all of us.

The salvation of the state must be based on a return to equality as a basic value. A reality in which hundreds of thousands of children live under the poverty line is intolerable.

The income of the upper 0.01%, which reaches to the heavens, must be brought down to a reasonable level. The income of the lowest 10% must be raised to a humane level.

THE ALMOST total separation between the Jewish and the Arab parts of Israeli society is a disaster for both and for the state.

The Salvation Front must be based on both peoples. The chasm between them must be eliminated, for the good of both.

Empty phrases about equality and fraternity are not enough. They lack credibility.

There must come into being a sincere alliance between the democratic forces on both sides, not only in words but in actual daily cooperation in all areas.

This cooperation must find expression in frameworks of political partnership, joint struggles and regular joint meetings in all areas, based on respect for the uniqueness of each partner.

Only a permanent joint struggle can save Israeli democracy and the state itself.

THE HISTORIC conflict between the Zionist movement and the Palestinian Arab national movement now threatens both peoples.

The country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is the homeland of the two peoples. No war, oppression or uprising will change this basic fact.

If this conflict continues without end, it will endanger the existence of both peoples.

The one and only solution was and is their co-existence in two sovereign states: a free and independent State of Palestine side by side with the State of Israel.

The two-state solution is not a recipe for separation and divorce. On the contrary, it is a recipe for close co-existence.

The 1967 borders, with mutual agreed changes, are the basis of peace.

The co-existence of the two states in the joint homeland does necessitate frameworks of partnership at the highest level, as well as open borders for the movement of people and goods. It also needs solid security arrangements for the good of both peoples.

Jerusalem, open and unified, must be the capital of both states.

The painful tragedy of the Palestinian refugees must find its just solution, agreed upon by the two sides. This solution will include return to the Palestinian state, a limited symbolic return to Israel and the payment of generous compensation by international funds to all.

Israel and Palestine shall work together so as to achieve a return of Jewish property left in Arab countries or the payment of generous compensation.

The State of Palestine will keep its affinity with the Arab world. The state of Israel will keep its affinity with the Jewish people in the world. Each of the two states will have sole responsibility for its immigration policy.

The problem of the Jewish settlers in Palestine will find its solution in the framework of agreed border changes between the two states, the inclusion of some settlements in the Palestinian state with the agreement of the Palestinian government and the re-settlement of the rest of the settlers in Israel.

Both states shall cooperate in the creation of a democratic regional partnership, in the spirit of the “Arab Spring”, while resisting anarchy, terrorism and religious and nationalistic fanaticism throughout the region.

The masses of Israelis and Palestinians will not believe in the chances of peace and co-existence if there is no real and open partnership between the peace camps of both peoples.

To establish such a partnership, organizations and individuals of both sides must start right now to conduct joint political action, such as constant consultation and joint planning on all levels and in all areas.

THE JEWISH character of the State of Israel finds its expression in its culture and its affinity with the Jews throughout the world. It must not express itself in its interior regime. All citizens and all sectors must be equal.

The democratic forces within the Jewish and the Arab public must join hands and work together in their daily actions.

International pressure by itself will not save Israel from itself. The salvation forces must come from within.

World-wide pressure on Israel can and must assist the democratic forces in Israel, but cannot take their place.

BASIC VALUES do not change. However, the ways of talking about them with the public must change.

The old slogans are ineffective. The values must be re-defined and re-formulated in up-to-date language, in line with the concepts and language of a new generation.

The two-state vision was defined after the 1948 war by a small group of path-blazers. Since than, huge changes have taken place in the world, in the region and within Israeli society. While the vision itself remains the only practical solution of the historic conflict, it must be poured into new vessels.

There is a need for political unity, a unifying salvation front that brings together all the forces of peace, democracy and social justice.

If the Labor Party is able to re-invent itself from the bottom up, it can constitute the basis of this camp. If not, an entirely new political party must be formed, as the core of the Salvation Front.

Within this front, diverse ideological forces must find their place and engage in a fruitful internal debate, while conducting a unified political struggle for the salvation of the state.

The regime within Israel must assure complete equality between all Jewish ethnic communities and between the two peoples, while safeguarding the affinity of the Israeli-Jewish public with the Jews in the world and the affinity of the Israeli-Arab public with the Arab world.

The situation in which most of the resources are in the hands of 1% of the population at the cost of the other 99%, must come to an end. A reasonable equality between all citizens, without connection with their ethnic origin, must be restored.

There is no social message without a political message, and there is no political message without a social message.

The Oriental Jewish public must be full partners in the state, side by side with all other sectors. Their dignity, culture, social status and economic situation must be accorded their proper place.

The religious-secular confrontation must be postponed until after peace is achieved. The beliefs and ceremonies of all religions must be respected, as well as the secular worldview.

The separation of state and religion – such as civil marriage, mass transportation on Shabbat – can wait until the struggle for existence is decided.

The protection of the judicial system, and above all the Supreme Court, is an absolute duty.

The various associations for peace, human rights and social justice, each of which conducts its laudable independent struggle in its chosen field, must enter the political arena and play a central role together in the unified Salvation Front.