June 1, 2015

A JEWISH STATE OR A DEMOCRACY:

Israel's Charade of Democracy (HAGAI EL-AD, MAY 31, 2015, NY Times)

[I]f the occupation has become permanent in all but its name, what about the voting rights of Palestinians?

Two months ago, on election day in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel's Arab citizens were flocking to the polls "in droves"-- a clear effort to cast the voting of one-fifth of Israel's citizens as a danger to be counteracted. That undermined basic democratic principles, but it paled in contrast to the status of the Palestinian population living next door in territories under direct or indirect Israeli rule. They have no say at all in choosing the government of the occupying power that is in ultimate command of their fate.

If you look at all the land Israel controls between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, that area contains some 8.3 million Israelis and Palestinians of voting age. Roughly 30 percent -- about 2.5 million -- are Palestinians living outside Israel under varying degrees of Israeli control -- in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They have some ability to elect Palestinian bodies with limited functions. But they are powerless to choose Israeli officials, who make the weightiest decisions affecting them.

Posted by at June 1, 2015 2:21 PM
  

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