Archives For Politics

Israel deported a human rights workers this week after a drawn out appeal process after the Ministry of Interior refused to renew his work visa in May 2018. 

With a long history of support for the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions), Omar Shakir was hired by Human Right Watch to be the Israel and Palestine country director. He continued his anti-Israel activity after he took the job until the Ministry of Interior refused to renew his visa under a controversial 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support a boycott of Israel.

Shakir appealed his work visa refusal all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court, but the court sided with the Ministry of Interior and the deportation date was enforced on Monday.

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Following last week’s announcement by the United States that Israeli settlements do not violate international law, thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank protested on Tuesday as part of a “day of rage.”

In Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, protesters threw stones at Israeli forces and, on Tuesday night, Palestinians from Gaza fired two rockets at southern Israel. One rocket was shot down by Iron Dome and the second landed in an open field.

The rockets triggered alert sirens in southern Israel sending residents running for shelters again. The attacks followed several days of relative calm.

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Israel’s attorney general made a bombshell announcement on Thursday, leveling criminal charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three separate cases, as the country still remains at an election impasse with no government. 

This is the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister has faced indictment on criminal counts. Netanyahu described the charges as a politically motivated “attempted coup.”

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to “continue to lead Israel… in accordance with the law.” He may legally continue as prime minister and would only have to step down if convicted.

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Israel has less than a week to go until elections that will determine the next government and yet, according to polls, Israelis are more apathetic than ever. 

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dogged by allegations of corruption and a growing mistrust among secular Israelis who are ruffled by his alliance with religious parties, no clear leader has risen up to pose a real challenge to the Likud party leader. Even his main rivals, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party and Ehud Barak of the Independence party are garnering little excitement among voters.

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Tensions on the northern border escalated this week when Hezbollah launched a missile into Israel that narrowly missed a military vehicle on Sunday in the town of Avivim.
 
The Israeli soldiers were not injured, but the attacks sent residents of the north into lockdown, just as thousands of children were returning to school for the first time after summer vacation. Israel faked an evacuation of wounded soldiers with fake blood and a helicopter lifting the allegedly injured soldiers to a Haifa hospital. 

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