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Sixty People Attend Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Upcoming Israeli Election

by Rhonda Spivak March 20, 2019

On Thursday, March 7 the Jewish Federation along with Congregation Etz Chayim, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Rady JCC, and Winnipeg Friends of Israel held an Israeli Election Town Hall at Shaarey Zedek synagogue. About  60 community members attended the event and heard the thoughtful remarks of Dr. Tami Jacoby, a political studies professor from the University of Manitoba, who is both Canadian and Israeli. Jacoby gave extensive background to the upcoming Israeli election on April 9th.
Jacoby began by saying that there are "big picture items" and "small picture items" and the  "the first big picture item" on the political agenda is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . She indicated that Israel has  sought "security," as well as  "democracy" and keeping its "Jewish identity."
"Without a resolution [of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], Israel won't have security on its borders," Jacoby said. She added that Israel has been able to manage its security through establishing a security fence along the West Bank and  also  establishing a security fence along the Gaza border, and also having "great work by security forces" .
She said that the "Palestinian issue hasn't been brought up at all," and added that "It's as if it's been ignored."
"I don't think Israel can move forward without a solution," she stated. Jacoby pointed out that there's talk of a one state solution. The Israeli extreme right wants this solution (which means to them a state only for Jews, as do some Israeli Jews on the left.(which means that the number of Palestinians could ultimately overtake the number of Jews and Israel would cease to be a homeland for the Jewish people.) At times the Palestinians have put forth the concept of a one state solution, which extremist Palestinians see as a state free of Jews.
"I've always been a supporter of a two state solution," Jacoby noted. However, "the Palestinians have bifurcated," in that Fatah rules the West Bank and Hamas rules Gaza. There is no one "single address" for the Palestinians when it comes to negotiating. 
Turning to the "next big picture issue", Jacoby also noted that "Likud has been in power for 18 years...That's a long time." She added, "My view is that parties should rotate in and out of power." If a party is in power too long, "we see corruption," Jacoby pointed out, which we're seeing now.
The next "big picture item," according to Jacoby, is Iran's nuclear program which is "concerning." Iran "continues to be an active threat to Israel," and it supports Hezbollah.
Jacoby also stated as a "big picture item"that "Israel's image in the world for the last 10 years has been bad," adding that "Israel has to do something to improve its image in the world."
Jacoby then spoke about some "small picture" items, and began by noting that the Left in Israel "has disintegrated" because of the refusal of Palestinians to come to the table to negotiate.The question, therefore is "Can you build  a viable opposition to the right wing ? 
In Jacoby's view the 2nd small picture item is the indictments against Netanyahu. Jacoby raised the question of whether there is substance to them or whether this is all a witch hunt as Netanyahu claims. 
The 3rd small picture item Jacoby addressed is the representation of Women. She noted "There is no woman in the first  five positions of Likud's slate. According to Jacoby, there are many more female candidates on the left. She also
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.