A ‘Local Call’ poll shows a broad range of areas where Jews and Arabs see the benefits of cooperation. But that doesn’t mean Jewish Israelis are ready to let Arabs hold positions of power, namely joining the government. The surprising bit: most Arabs would support their parties joining an Israeli government.
The 2019 Israeli elections will be determined on the issue of how many right-wing parties pass the 3.25% threshold and what their relative strength will be vis-à-vis the left bloc. Who are the rightwing parties, how did the religious and ultra-religious parties become “the natural partners” of Netanyahu's ruling Likud party, and what is the subtle interplay between them in view of the 2019 elections?
Based on international comparisons, Israel is in a 'good' spot in the middle. The number of women in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, reached a record high last year, but even then they accounted for only 30% of all Knesset Members (34 out of the 120 Knesset members). The first quarter of 2019 catches Israel at the height of an election campaign. However, it is already projected that following the elections the number of women Members of Knesset will be even lower. And, as everyone knows, the head count tells only part of the story.
April 9, 2019, is the date set for elections to State of Israel’s 21st Knesset. These elections are important and challenging from many aspects, but this article will focus mainly on the perspective of the Arab minority within the Israeli citizenry. This group constitutes approximately one fifth of the state’s citizens and approximately 16.5% of eligible voters.
A prerequisite for democratic rule is a realistic chance of power change. The path to power change in Israeli politics, the widely held belief suggests, is passing through the centrist parties. Is being a ‘centrist’ party merely a strategic position on the Left-Right axis? What does this position mean ideologically? Why is power change that comes from the center short-lived? And what does all this entail for Israeli democracy, in the context of the 2019 election?
"You have hurt the image of public service and public faith in it. You acted in a conflict of interests, you abused your authority while taking into account other considerations that relate to your personal interests and the interests of your family. You corrupted public servants working under you." These statements encapsulate the allegations in the severe draft of charge – or charge pending hearing – the Israeli attorney general sent Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on February 27, 2019.
With the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in 2017, Itach-Maaki initiated a process aiming to create a civil society action plan for the implementation of SDGs in Israel, focused on the mitigation of poverty and inequality, advancing peace and gender equality and a society that is better for its diverse members. The process will include two phases in the year 2017 and will continue through 2018.
Last December, the Israeli Government decided to establish a governmental committee to create a National Action Plan in the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The resolution calls on UN member states to protect women from violence, increase the participation of diverse women in decision-making bodies, and for the prevention of armed conflict. This video and the text that follows tells the story of the journey of civil society NGOs to create an Action Plan for Israel.
On May 12 the Adva Center partnered with the Heinrich Boell Foundation in the sponsorship of a conference "The Program for Gender Mainstreaming in Local Councils". The conference was organized jointly by the Adva Center and Injaz Center at the Na LaGaat Center in Jaffa. The purpose of the conference is to share insights, challenges and success stories resulting from women's civic actions in their localities. The conference was attended by women from 21 localities, both Jewish and Arab, from all over the country. (Video and Pictures)
Dr. Sarai Aharoni discusses the exceptional status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (which is one of the longstanding issues on the UN agenda) as one of the intriguing puzzles of current global feminist politics. Could it be that the situation of Palestinian women and girls under Israeli occupation is the most extreme breach of the Beijing Platform of Action? (From the HBS Gunda-Werner-Institute)
Feminist Rereading is never enough to correct the harms done to women by the subordination suffered and engendered by religious texts. And only a state, dedicated to universal, human rights, can best mitigate the effects of those harms.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence of 1948 specifically refers to Israel as “The Jewish State”, while simultaneously guaranteeing “the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex”. This assumed legal standing through the delegation of personal status to religious authorities (for the majority of the country’s citizens, to the monopolistic control of the orthodox Chief Rabbinate). Since, from the outset, matters of marriage and divorce in the Jewish tradition discriminate against women, aspects of gender inequality have been embedded into the structure of the state.
The Israeli government announced that it is establishing a team to formulate a working plan to advance UN Resolution 1325 in Israel. The resolution calls for women’s equal inclusion in all aspects of decision-making, especially around issues of peace and security. is this a sign that gender awareness is spreading in Israel? (Lilith Blog)
On December 14th, the Israeli Government made an extraordinary announcement of a new plan for promoting gender equality in the country. The plan constitutes a truly revolutionary change in approaches to the elimination of gender inequities.The decision introduces gender mainstreaming tools that take into account gender perspectives and implications in policy-making with a view to increasing opportunities for women in all spheres. The need for bold new ways to deal with festering gender inequities has highlighted the essentially gendered structures of society in Israel, making the struggle for gender equality into a central social issue which requires all-embracing societal solutions (The Times of Israel).
“We can only imagine how government ministers would give official statements saying that instead of investing in war, investments will be made to promote joint ventures of social welfare, education, environment and many more”. Heinrich Boell Foundation’s partner Itach Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice has been working to promote such a vision for the past years. Adv. Anat Thon Ashkenazi analyses how UNSCR 1325 on Women Peace and Security is relevant to the current situation in Palestine and Israel.
In the aftermath of the 1948 war, a significant number of Arab-Palestinians found themselves within the borders of the newly established State of Israel. They are a homeland minority within a State whose declared identity they do not share and, while they hold Israeli citizenship, they hold a distinct national identity.
The results of the elections to the 19th Knesset hold a potential for a significant change in the gender thinking of Israel’s legislative body. Out of 120 parliamentarians, 27 women will be serving in the Knesset - the largest number of women MKs since the establishment of the state. What are the necessary conditions for bringing this potential to fruition? Anat Saragusti outlines the gender dimension of the Knesset election results.