Monday, January 12, 2009

Updates From Israel

In the midst of the continued military operations against Hamas in Gaza, there are a few stories today which caught my attention and are, I believe, incredibly important to discuss

The first was passed to me by a friend working for the Jewish Agency in Israel.

The story is by an American Camerawoman living with her husband in Sderot, a city which has been the target of continuing rocket attacks originating from the Gaza strip.

In the piece, the difficulties of living under the constant threat of random rocket fire are explained from a very personal perspective, and one can understand why the rocket fire is considered to be an act of 'terror'.

Please read that piece here.

The second story comes from Israel's Left leaning newspaper, Ha'Aretz, and reports on the banning of Arab political parties in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The justification given by those who supported and passed the measure is that the Arab parties have been inciting violence, meeting with enemy nations, and supporting terrorist groups.

The last political party to be banned was Kach, in the 1980's and advocated the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel.

At the same time, this action is a strong blow to Israel's assertion that it is a democratic state. Despite the fact that Arabs affiliated with non-Arab parties aren't effected by this, the ban is still a move which should be widely condemned, and questioned by those who support a free, democratic, and secure Israel.

The article does not explain whether new Arab parties, not affiliated with the actions of the recently banned parties, would be allowed to participate.

Read that story here

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