12 | 12 | 2019

As children all over Israel headed back to school on Sunday, September 1, it’s expected that they will immediately start to feel the effects of the appointment of far-right and religious fanatic Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) leader and Yamina (To the Right) Knesset candidate Rafi Peretz as education minister.

In the high school grades, students will be taught the wording of the racist “State-Nation” law and debate “what it means to be a Jewish state.” Peretz contends that it’s very important to teach our historical rights as a sovereign state, as articulated in the law.”

Despite threats of the United States government to sanction foreign people and companies that approach President Bashar al-Assad, on Wednesday, August 28, the 61st edition of the Damascus International Fair was inaugurated, with the participation of more than 820 companies from 38 countries and about 600 from Syria.

The stand of Venezuela exhibits agricultural products, food, construction materials, manufacturing, an exhibition of photographs of the emblematic landscapes of the cities of Venezuela, video projection of the mining wealth, hydrocarbons and gas of Venezuela, tourism, traditions and cultural traditions of the Venezuelan people.

Negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Israel Teachers’ Union (ITU) resulted in an agreement on Friday, August 30, which averts a strike at elementary schools that was set to begin today, Sunday, September 1, the first day of the new school year. ITU General-Secretary Yaffa Ben-David said the agreement was “an unprecedented achievement for the teachers of the country.”

On Thursday night, 2,000 teachers demonstrated outside the Tel Aviv Museum, in an attempt to pressure the Education and Finance ministries to accede to their demands, most of which focus on pensions, the proposed reforms for special education, and conditions for teachers who work at multiple schools. Among the demonstrators were Hadash MKs Ofer Cassif and Youssef Jabareen and Hadash activists in the ITU.

A public opinion poll conducted last Saturday, August 24, revealed that 78% of Arab voters in Israel support the Joint List’s entering a coalition after the September 17 elections.

The poll, conducted by the Statnet Research Institute, a research and survey institute specializing in the Arab sector, included 160 subjects from all Arab-Palestinian communities in Israel: Muslims, Christians and Druze of a variety ages. In response to the question “Do you support or oppose the Joint List entering a coalition?,” 53% said they would support the Joint List entering a moderate-left government; 14% said they would support the Joint list joining a blocking majority; and 11% said they would enter any government coalition.

Israel’s Supreme Court banned on Sunday, August 25, a pair of senior members of the extreme-right and racist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party from running in the general elections to be held on September 17.

Justices also threw out a petition submitted by the Likud and Otzma Yehudit demanding that the high court rescind the decision of the Knesset’s Central Elections Committee (CEC) earlier this month to reject a petition disqualifying the Joint List from running in the elections.

The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) expresses its deep concern with the growing military tension in the Persian Gulf promoted by the United States of America, which brought back the threat of a new US war of aggression, this time against Iran, following the US President Donald Trump’s announcement, on May of last year, of withdrawing the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on production of nuclear energy by the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed in July of 2015, between the US, China, France, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, and Iran. The execution of this agreement was monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN organization, which was unanimous in attesting that Iran scrupulously fulfilled its part.

Maya Brand-Feigenbaum, 18, from Kiryat Tivon near Haifa, first declared her refusal to be conscripted into the Israeli army on July 14 and was subsequently sentenced to two prison terms, during which she spent at total of 27 days behind bars. After appearing before the Conscience Committee earlier this week, she was granted an exemption from military service.

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the US administration’s attempts to disrupt the Damascus International Fair

The 61st annual Damascus International Fair is scheduled to open in the Syrian capital on August 28. Its importance could hardly be overestimated for a country advancing towards stabilisation and a recovery of its economy devastated in an attack launched by international terrorism. Last year, the event was attended by officials and businesspeople from 49 countries. This year, the organisers are hoping to attract as broad a representation of foreign partners interested in cooperation with Syria.

Joint List chair, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), was interviewed by Israel’s Reshet Bet (Network B) radio on Sunday, August 25, to discuss scenarios towards and just after the September 17 general elections. Odeh told his audience that Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) chairman MK Benny Gantz is apparently aiming to form a unity government with the Likud and far-right parties after the elections. If this happens, Odeh predicted that, leading a projected bloc of 11 to 13 seats in the Kneset, he will emerge as the first Arab head of the Knesset opposition parties.

“Gantz is neither politically or intellectually ripe,” Odeh said, adding that if Gantz “had Rabin’s courage – I would have had the courage to join a blocking bloc.”

Hadash attacked far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, August 21, for refusing to condemn US President Donald Trump’s comments that Jews who vote for the Democratic Party show “great disloyalty.”

The main Zionist opposition party, Kahol Lavan (Blue & White), said Thursday, August 22, that the Joint List is not a likely candidate to join a coalition they hope to lead after the September 17 elections. Blue & White MK Asaf Zamir told that “there is no possibility for cooperation with Odeh’s list.”

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