Israel's Cabinet Crisis and the Political Economy of Peace

by Joel Beinin | published June 19, 2000

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak postponed this week's cabinet meeting from Sunday to Tuesday in an effort to resolve the crisis prompted by the Shas Party's announcement that it is leaving his government. Shas (Sephardi Torah Guardians), with 17 seats in the Knesset, is Israel's third largest party and the second largest in the current government after Barak's Labor/One Israel. It is an ultra-orthodox religious party whose supporters are mainly poor and working class Jews whose families came to Israel from Middle Eastern countries (Mizrahim).

News Not "Fit to Print"

Fighting the Lebanon War: Hizballah and the Press

by Jennifer Loewenstein | published February 23, 2000

Israeli-Syrian Talks: Back In a Deep Freeze

by Ghassan Bishara | published February 1, 2000

Israel's terms for peace with Syria as revealed in the Israeli-leaked American document speak of a military redeployment with the settlements remaining in place. While Syria is responding favorably to Israeli demands for normalization and security, Israel's ideas are more a road-map for permanent occupation than a plan for a reasonable peace agreement.

Petition Charges Israel with War Crimes

The Case of the Qana Massacre Survivors

by Laurie King-Irani | published December 8, 1999

Spatial Fantasies

Israeli Popular Culture After Oslo

by Rebecca L. Stein
published in MER216

Rivka, the tragic protagonist of Amos Gitai's new film Kadosh, is unable to conceive a child. Her anxiety is acute. The ultra-Orthodox community of Me'ah She'arim in West Jerusalem, in which Rivka lives with her husband Meir, is known to ostracize its barren women. Seeking spiritual guidance, she leaves their home one evening to pray. The camera follows Rivka as she walks through the darkened streets of Me'ah She'arim, then cuts to her arrival in the spacious, well-lit courtyard of the Western Wall. Hands pressed against the stones, she seeks salvation.

Assessing Israel's New Government

by Joel Beinin | published July 6, 1999

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak presents his coalition government to the Knesset he will receive a vote of confidence from 75 of its 120 members. Seven parties, some with incompatible positions on key issues, support the new government. In addition to Barak's One Israel list (Labor Party plus Gesher and Meimad, 26 seats), the coalition includes the Sephardi-orthodox SHAS (17 seats), the dovish-secularist MERETZ (10 seats), the politically ambiguous Center Party (6 seats), whose leaders include ministers in the previous Likud government; the secular-Russian immigrant Yisrael ba-`Aliyah (6 seats), the pro-settler National Religious Party (5 seats), and the ultra-orthodox United Torah Judaism (5 seats).

Interpreting Israel's 1999 Election Campaign

by Joel Beinin | published April 16, 1999

The current election campaign in Israel is often portrayed as a struggle over the future of peace with the Palestinians. But according to Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, "this great debate is over."[1] Most Israelis believe a Palestinian state is inevitable and that even a Likud government will accept some form of Palestinian political autonomy.

Acts of Refusal

An Interview with Rela Mazali

by Joel Beinin
published in MER231

Rela Mazali, an Israeli writer and feminist peace activist, is a founder of New Profile, a group challenging the militarization of Israeli society and opposing the occupation. Joel Beinin, an editor of Middle East Report, spoke with her in Herzliya, Israel on January 6, 2004 and continued the conversation by e-mail in May 2004.

Your work with New Profile has focused on the relationship between gender and militarism in the context of the occupation. Can you tell us about the status of this relationship, and the historical evolution of feminist anti-occupation activism?