Remember about tonight's event in Sydney with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Online ticket sales have closed, but you can buy a ticket at the venue. Doors open at 7:30pm.

Israel Refocused: Violence Returns to Israel

In this edition our focus is on the violence that has once again returned to the streets of Israel. We’ve included a summary of events, together with insights and perspectives from respected journalists and authors including Ari Shavit and Roger Cohen.

As a Diaspora community we have watched this retaliatory cycle of violence and fear unfold with a sense of heartbreak. Yet, we can take hope from the organisations and individuals in Israel that are working to bring Jews and Palestinians together to work towards a long-term political solution.

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Israel Refocused: On racism felt by the Ethiopian community, and the new Israeli government

In this edition of Israel Refocused we bring you some important information about the Ethiopian community’s protests from a couple of weeks ago. With time to absorb its significance we’re able to more fully understand the extent that the community feels discrimination and racism on a daily basis.

Hamutal GouriOf course, Israel’s new government has been sworn in with some controversial characters taking the reins of important ministries, and, as it does most years, the Yom Yerushalayim march has created headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In NIF news, next week we’re excited to bring Israeli feminist activist Hamutal Gouri to Australia, together with Limmud-Oz. You can see her sessions at Limmud here, as well as a number of other great sessions that you might find interesting. (You can buy tickets for Limmud on their website.) Hamutal is also speaking in Melbourne at Shira Hadasha on Saturday June 13th.

B’shalom,

Liam (Executive Director) and Dani (Project Officer)

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Israel Refocused: Coalition building in Israel, and some great resources for your Pesach seder

The results from Israel’s elections two weeks ago are becoming clearer -- Benjamin Netanyahu has been tasked with forming a coalition, and all signs point to it having a rather narrow right-nationalist-Orthodox composition.

However, as we wrote last week, elections are but one part of any democratic society. Indeed, many of the issues that came to the fore -- including an increase in an increase in polarisation, racism, and incitement -- are now sparking new conversations inside Israel, and solving them will require strong cooperation with civil society, and continued investment from Diaspora Jewry.

Of course, we are also embarking on Pesach, the holiday when freedom is explored and re-explored each year. For those of you attending a seder, we’ve also included some interesting materials you might like to include to complement your celebrations.

Chag sameach v’kasher,

Liam Getreu
Executive Director

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Israel Refocused: Next month's Israeli elections

In just over a month there will be an election in Israel. This edition of Israel Refocused offers you a reflection on the issues, parties and candidates involved, through the lens of NIF’s core values of democracy, equality and peace.

We have also included a number of tributes to the David Landau z”l who passed away a couple of weeks ago. David was a former editor of Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post, and visited Australia for NIF Australia in 2011.

Finally, if you missed it two weeks ago, you can view video of our event with Bernard Avishai on our YouTube page.

B’shalom,

Liam Getreu (Executive Director) and Dani Miller (Project Officer)

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Israel Refocused: Proposed Laws a Threat To Israel's Democracy

Our thoughts are dominated by the shocking and horrific attack in Jerusalem this week. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and we send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded. Violence can never be the solution and leads only to more violence.

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Israel Refocused: Israel’s High Court orders closure of refugee detention centre

Welcome to the fourth edition of Israel Refocused!

The first issue explores the High Court's decision that the Holot Detention Centre represents a violation of human rights and has ruled that it be closed. Right wing members of the Netanyahu Government have opposed the decision on the basis that those incarcerated there are not asylum seekers but illegal infiltrators and are devising strategies to circumvent the judicial ruling.

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Israel Refocused: The shift to a diplomatic process - or not...

Gaza event

The effects of what became one of Israel’s longest wars — the loss of life, especially civilian life, destruction and hatred which has permeated both Palestinian and Israeli societies — are beginning to emerge.

We have brought together a number of articles and interviews which highlight the role that human rights organisations play in a time of war; some interesting views on possible diplomatic approaches; and some commentary about the change which will be required in Israel to address some of the major social conflicts and divisions that emerged or became more apparent during the war.

Last week, we hosted an event with three of our partners in Israel, B’Tselem, NIF and Shatil under the title, “The Gaza conflict: human rights lessons, and the day after”. You can watch video of the event on our website.

Liam Getreu (Executive Director) and Dani Miller (Project Officer)

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Israel Refocused: Mourning the loss of Israel’s youth

Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad ShaarNews came through early yesterday morning our time of the devastating murder of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaar. We echo the statement issued by NIF in Israel and America:

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Israel Refocused: New “Jewish-trumps-democratic” legislation

Welcome to the first NIF Australia “Israel Refocused” e-mail news update.

We are going to send these e-mails to you periodically to keep you up to date with some of the news that's happening in Israel, particularly in our focus areas: human and civil rights, women's issues, religious pluralism and tolerance, and leadership training.

Hopefully we can share some news stories you may not otherwise have seen -- the aim of these emails is to complement news out of Israel you already consume, rather than replace it.

Happy reading, and if you have any feedback, or want to suggest an item for the next edition, feel free to get in touch with us at info@nif.org.au.

Regards,

Liam (Executive Director) and Dani (Project Officer)

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