Daily Archive: March 11, 2017

Mar
11

Bezalel Smotrich: Israel’s far-right demagogue, drawing fringe beliefs to the centre | Emma Graham-Harrison

He has transformed himself from radical activist into a mainstream politician with an extremist manifesto

Bezalel Smotrich has backed segregated maternity wards separating Jewish and Arab mothers, called for government reprisal attacks on Palestinians and once organised a homophobic “Beast Parade” protest against Gay Pride. He is also a member of Israel’s Knesset, a confident polemicist and increasingly prominent political figurehead for the country’s ascendant far-right.

Like the far-right European and American politicians who have upended the political order further west, his stock in trade is drawing fringe beliefs into the political mainstream, shifting the centre of debate.

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Mar
11

Boycott won’t heal our divide, Israeli star tells fellow artists

Isolating Israel will ‘give prejudice and hatred a louder voice’, says musician and peace activist David Broza

One of Israel’s leading cultural figures, the singer-songwriter David Broza, has spoken out against new calls for an artistic boycott of Israel. Ahead of a rare British concert next month, the Grammy award-winning Broza has reaffirmed his commitment to playing with musicians from a wide range of backgrounds, and argued that it is shared musical experience, not boycotts, that offer the best hope of moving entrenched political views.

“I am an anti-boycott person. If we start avoiding each other, how will these walls ever come down?” Broza said this weekend, at home in Tel Aviv, as he began to prepare for the concert in London on 27 April. “I understand that a boycott is a nonviolent response, and I respect that, but I want to say that there are other ways.”

Related: Over 100 artists announce a cultural boycott of Israel | Letters

We need to communicate if we are not to leave it to the voices of doubters, of prejudice and hatred.

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Mar
11

After Brexit, Israel senses a chance to boost trade with UK

It is hard to sell fruit into the EU, but when Britain leaves it could become a big market for Israeli agriculture and for its burgeoning cyber-industries

From a hilltop in Masa’ada on the Israeli side of the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, Faried al-Said Ahmed surveys his cherry and apple trees 80 feet below. Barbed wire surrounds the steep hillside, preventing people entering a minefield planted when the Six-Day War ended 50 years ago.

Currently, the trees are bare. Cherry-picking season is May and June, while 45,000 tons of apples will leave this co-operative farm after they ripen in September and October.

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