10 | 12 | 2018

Likud MK Yoav Kisch has sent a letter to Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri asking him to reject the request authorizing a salary for new Deputy Haifa Mayor Raja Zaatry (Hadash). Kisch’s letter comes as the far-right racist backlash to Zaatry’s appointment continues to gain momentum. Zaatry, is the head of the Haifa branch of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI).

Israeli occupation forces demolished on Wednesday, December 5, an elementary school in al-Simiya area, north of the southern West Bank town of al-Sumo’, and south of the city of Hebron, a local activist told the Wafa Palestinian news agency. Mohannad al-Masalma, PR coordinator for the West Bank area south of Hebron, said that an Israeli bulldozer demolished the “al-Tahadi 13” (Challenge 13) school with no prior notice and, before its destruction began, the immediate vicinity was declared a closed military area.

In a meeting with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis was introduced on Monday, December 3, to the leader of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), who also held talks with Left parties while in Rome.

MK Odeh told the leader of the Roman Catholic Church: “I bring with me a present: two rocks from the villages of Ikrit and Biram.” In 1948, Israeli soldiers uprooted from their homes the residents of Ikrit and Biram, two predominantly Christian villages in northern Galilee, “until the security situation makes possible their return.” In 1951, Israel’s High Court ruled that the villagers should be allowed to return “so long as no emergency decree” against this is issued. The government hastened to issue such a decree against the Ikrit evacuees, and two months later, the Israeli army blew up the houses in that village. In 1953, it similarly demolished the houses of Biram. Only the churches of the two villages were left standing. Two years later, the lands of Ikrit and Biram – 16,000 and 12,000 dunams respectively – were expropriated by the Israeli regime.

Tens of thousands of women and men, Jews and Arabs participated in a general strike across Israel on Tuesday evening, December 4, declaring a “state of emergency” to protest the far-right government’s inaction towards violence against women.

The strike, which included demonstrations, direct actions, and vigils for women who have been murdered, took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, in universities across Israel, as well as in Arab cities and villages. The day’s events culminated in a mass rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.

Communist Party of Israel leading activist, MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash – Joint List) head of Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, has called upon the public in Israel to join today’s (Tuesday, December 4) nation-wide women’s strike to protest violence against women, in particular after a recent upsurge that included the murders of two teenage girls last week.

The Tudeh (Iranian communist party) is calling on the public to support two important strikes that are going on in Iran.  The strike of the sugar workers against the Hart Tappah Sugarcane Complex, which began in early November, has involved major street demonstrations in the city of Shush, in Khuzestan Province in the west of the country.  Demands include the release of two people arrested in the strike, and the nationalization of the privately owned company.

Protests will be held next week during the visit to Israel by Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on December 11-12. The neo-facist Salvini, who leads the far-right Northern League, is known for his racist positions on immigration and his opposition to accepting asylum requests. Salvini also stirred protests when he vowed to take actions to expel all the Roma people living in Italy.

The Hadash fraction in the Histadrut has called upon the labor federation to join a strike supported by dozens of women’s groups for next Tuesday, December 4, to protest the social plague of violence against women. The Chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality MK, Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash – Joint List), has also called upon the public in Israel to join the nationwide protest.

A mass demonstration will be held today, Friday, November 30, in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod (al-Ludd in Arabic) in the center of the country after governmental authorities demolished a three-story building owned by Arab-Palestinians during the course of this week, leaving the families living there homeless.

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