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PS 217 Day 16: Israel. “Yiheye Tov,” Lyrics by Yonatan Gefen Music by David Broza

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yiheye tov lyrics by yonatan gefen music by david broza http www youtube com watch v siphetttlca
“Yiheye Tov,”Lyrics by Yonatan GefenMusic by David Broza

“I look out the windowand it makes me very sad,Spring has left;Who knows when it will return.The clown has become a king;The prophet has become a clown;And I have forgotten the way;CHORUSBut I am still here.All will be better, yes -all will be better.Sometimes I breakBut this night,O this nightI will stay with you.Children wear wingsAnd fly off to the armyAnd after two yearsThey return without answers.People live with stressLooking for a reason to breatheAnd between hatred and murderThey speak about peace.

And all will be better…

Yes, above in the heavensClouds learn to fly,And I look upAnd see a hijacked plane.A government of generalsDivide the landscape,To what is theirs and ours,And we know not the end.And all will be better…I look out my window -Maybe it will come,Maybe it has come,Yes it has come -A new day.Here comes the prince of Egypt.O how I rejoiced for him.There are pyramids in our eyesAnd peace in his pipeAnd we said let’s complete it,And we’ll live as brothersAnd he said let’s go forward.Just get out of the territories.And all will be good…We will yet learn to live togetherBetween the groves of olive trees;Children will live without fearWithout borders, without bomb shelters.On graves grass will grow,For peace and love,One hundred years of warBut we have not lost hope.I look out the windowPerhaps a new day will come.”

timeline of israeli politics
Timeline of Israeli Politics
  • 1948: Israeli independence and war
  • 1967: 6-day war; acquisition of the occupied territories
  • 1973: Yom Kippur war, a scare for Israel
  • 1977: Likud triumph in the Knesset
  • 1979: Peace with Egypt
  • 1982: Invasion of Lebanon
  • 1984-1992: Government of National Unity
  • 1989: First intifada
  • 1991-1995: Peace negotiations with PLO; peace with Jordan
  • 1992: Labor returns to power
  • 1995: Rabin’s assassination/Peres takes over
  • 1996: Netanyahu and Likud take power in 1st direct PM election
  • 1999: Barak and Labor take power; second attempt at peace negotiations
  • 2000: Pull out of Lebanon
  • 2000: Sharon visits the Haram al-Sharif; second intifada erupts
  • 2001: Sharon becomes PM in National Unity govt
  • 2002: West Bank barrier planned
  • 2005: Pull out settlers from Gaza; Sharon establishes the Kadima party
  • 2006: Sharon suffers a stroke; Ehud Olmert becomes PM as head of Kadima
  • 2008: Tzipi Livni takes over as head of Kadima; holds early elections
  • 2009: Likud wins elections and Benjamin Netanyahu becomes PM again
  • 2013: Likud Yisrael Beitenu wins elections; Netanyahu remains PM with new coalition
israeli political institutions
Israeli political institutions
  • Knesset (Parliament)
    • 120 seats (small) for 4-year terms
    • Has the most power in Israeli politics
    • Prime Minister emerges from leading party—most likely to form a government and exercises executive power
  • President
    • Figurehead president (currently
      • Shimon Peres)
  • Courts
    • Mixed secular and religious courts
  • Electoral System
    • National, closed-list PR system
    • Very close representation of voter preferences in Knesset seats—but what about governments?
    • Low electoral threshold (1%, then 1.5%, now 2%)
    • Short lived experiment with directly elected Prime Minister in 1996—Netanyahu
  • Knesset
the israeli party system
The Israeli party system
  • Party system
    • Principal characteristics:
      • Extremely fragmented
      • Historically stable competition between two main centrist Zionist parties
      • The question of the Israeli center: recent innovation with Kadima as a “bridging” party and then newer parties
    • Israel as a “party state”—politics is done through parties, and parties are usually quite strong at responding to their constituencies
    • Challenges of coalition politics
  • Principal party orientations and leaders
    • Likud: Binyamin Netanyahu
    • Labor: Ehud Barak—now Shelly Yachimovich
    • Kadima: Ariel Sharon, then Ehud Olmert, then Tzipi Livni
    • Yisrael Beitunu: Avigdor Lieberman
    • Yesh Atid: Yair Lapid
    • Habayit Hayehudi/Jewish Home: Naftali Bennett
  • Smaller parties
    • Left-wing, liberal parties (like Shinui “change”, Meretz “vitality”)
    • Orthodox religious parties (like Shas—Sephardic; National Union—advocates transfer of Palestinians out of Israel)
    • Arab parties (like Hadash—far left-wing/anti-Zionist, Balad)
    • Hatnuah-Tzipi Livni at it again!
key party leaders
Key party leaders
  • Tzipi Livni
  • previously Kadima;
  • now Hatnuah
  • Binyimin Netanyahu
  • Likud
  • Avigdor Lieberman
  • Yisrael Beiteinu
  • Yair Lapid
  • Yesh Atid
  • Naftali Bennett
  • Habayit Hayehudi
january 2013 israeli legislative election results
January 2013 Israeli Legislative Election Results

Total Number of Seats in Knesset: 120

key israeli political issues
Key Israeli political issues
  • The nature of the state
    • What is a Jewish state?
    • European vs. Middle Eastern state
  • Absorption and integration of immigrants
    • Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic Jewry, with very different cultures
    • Where do new immigrants live and how are they incorporated?
  • Security and national defense
    • How to defend the state in the possibility of international attack
    • Massive numbers of citizens with military experience
    • Perceived threats from Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas
  • Relationship with Arab populations
    • Arab population within Israel and in the occupied territories—what rights should they have?
  • International relations
    • Balance of peace and balance of threat with Arab states
    • Ensure appropriate allies for support (active courting of the US)
  • Economic development
    • Create a sustainable economy that thrives in the areas of agriculture, technology, tourism
political culture and religion
Political culture and religion
  • Key elements of political culture
    • Zionism is non-negotiable
    • Deep attachment to land and ties to the Biblical past
    • The world is against us, “siege” mentality
    • Egalitarianism and democracy?
  • The role of Judaism in the state
    • Only about 20% of Israelis think of themselves as particularly religious
    • Rise of the role of elite religious figures
    • Role of halakha (Jewish law) in many aspects of society
      • Does halakha contradict democracy?
working group exercise
What are the top three economic challenges facing Israel?

If your working group was Israel’s government, what policies would you propose to address these challenges?

Which domestic coalitions would support your proposals and which would oppose them? Why?

Working Group Exercise
lecture terms april 15
Lecture terms—April 15

Ashkenazi vs. Sephardim

Kadima Party


2013 Israeli Elections


Menachem Begin

Yitzhak Rabin

Binyamin Netanyahu

Ariel Sharon


Proportional Representation

Closed List System

Labor Party

Likud Party