18 | 07 | 2019

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Sunday, March 17, 2019, that Communist candidate Dr. Ofer Cassif, and the lists Hadash-Ta’al (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Arab Movement for Change) and Balad-Ra’am (National Democratic Assembly – United Arab List), will be permitted to run in Israel’s April 9 general elections.

Syrian-Druze residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights took to the streets on Saturday, March 23, to protest US President Donald Trump’s pledge to recognize Israel’s sovereignty there.

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy, and longstanding international consensus, when he posted a Tweet on Thursday, March 21, in which he wrote that it was time to accept Israel’s widely contested claim of sovereignty over the strategic plateau.

The United Nations Humans Rights Council voted Friday, March 22, to adopt a report accusing Israel of war crimes for its handling of Palestinians protests on the border with Gaza Strip. Twenty-three countries voted to in favor of the measure, with nine opposing it. Another 14 countries abstained, while one was absent.

CODEPINK is appalled at President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will be unilaterally and falsely declaring the occupied Golan Heights to be Israeli territory. On Thursday, March 21, Trump tweeted, “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

The Golan Heights is internationally recognized as being Syrian land despite having been illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 and formally annexed in 1981.

Israeli authorities announced, on Tuesday, March 19, that a security closure will be imposed on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip for a period of four days bracketing the Jewish festival of Purim (Thursday and Friday of this week). The four-day closure, to be imposed only on Palestinians from the territories, but not on Israelis traveling to an from these areas, started at midnight local time between Tuesday and Wednesday and will end at midnight between Saturday and Sunday).

The World Federation of Trade Unions, on the behalf of its 95 million members in 130 countries on the five continents, is strongly opposing the fact that Greek private and public companies have expressed their interest in constructing and expanding the Israeli metro/tram Green Line, inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.

Communist candidate Dr. Ofer Cassif, today said he believes the decision to ban him from participating in the upcoming general election is fueled by the right-wing’s desire to eliminate Jewish-Arab cooperation.

Speaking to Middle East Monitor, Cassif said the Central Elections Committee deliberately targeted him in its decision to ban him from contesting the upcoming election on April 9 because of the potential for Jewish-Arab cooperation that his candidacy represents. “Of course the main victims of the right-wing’s policy are the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” he explains, “but civil society, the media, the courts and academia are also coming under attack by the fanatic right-wing.”

“Israel’s Central Elections Committee is a political body that operates in overt contradiction of the law and court rulings in order to humiliate Arab candidates,” said Atty. Hassan Jabareen, general director of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

Jabareen was responding to the committee’s disqualification last Wednesday, March 6, of leading Communist activist, Dr. Ofer Cassif, from the Hadash-Ta’al list, as wells as its barring the entire National Democratic Assembly (Balad) – United Arab List (Ra’am) from running in the April 9 parliamentary elections in Israel.

A week after the Attorney General’s decision to indict far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, several surveys conducted by the Israeli media indicate a reversal in the neck and neck race between the blocs, with 61 seats now predicted for the center and left, as opposed to 59 for the right.

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