recent Israeli election

Winners and Losers in the Most Recent Israeli Election

More than a week after the most recent Israeli election, Israelis are still trying to find a way to make sense of what happened—and, no less important, what didn't happen. Based on the results, it is reasonable to assume that incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be reasonable and will not concede that he cannot form a majority. He will probably drag Israel into another election, the fifth in five years, likely to be held in the summer or early fall. According to Israeli law, a new Knesset will be sworn in, and the current government will continue as an interim government until a new one is formed—or not—after the next round. However, before these elections recede into the previous ones’ not-so-distant memories, it is worth examining who the winners and the losers are and what...

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The Black Bus

By Symi Rom-Rymer Anat Zuria has made her career exploring the stories of religious women on the margins of their world.  Her latest work, The Black Bus, a selection at the recent New York Jewish Film Festival, is no exception.  In this probing documentary, Zuria focuses her attention on the wrenching displacement of Sara Enfield and Shulamit Weinfeld, two young women who have left the Jerusalemite haredi world of their upbringing.  They may have physically left their ancestral community but they struggle to fully escape its influence.  Einfeld, divorced with two young children, is a writer whose blog, A Hole in the Sheet, lays bare her experiences as an ultra-Orthodox woman.   Weinfeld is a photographer and law student who left her family only weeks before the shooting of the documentary. What the film does best is allow...

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The Hidden Israel

By Symi Rom-Rymer A chubby young African boy dressed head-to-toe in an Israeli police officer’s uniform looks defiantly into the camera.  A teenage girl in a pink room solemnly faces the camera under her hijab.  A transvestite clad in a rhinestone studded bra and panties dances with abandon in a Jerusalem night club.  These are the faces of another, less visible Israel.  Their stories and struggles are often overshadowed by the sexier tales of relentless violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  But for one night, African guest workers and their children, Arab Israelis, members of the transgendered community and other marginalized groups are the center of attention. The Envisioning Justice exhibit featuring Israel's marginalized groups was part of a social justice-themed benefit for the New Israel Fund, a New York-based non-profit organization that focuses on civil society and...

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