Brain Bush’s Blog

Internal Challenges

  • By : Brian Bush
  • November 15, 2011
  • 4:47 pm

Hi Everybody,

It was great to have the show live from Jerusalem yesterday – to see everyone and meet new people too!

Lets talk today about the headlines, which don't necessarily speak to Iran or Gaza – but rather more of the internal challenges facing Israel.

Within Israel's Knesset there are several controversial pieces of draft legislation, regarding Non Governmental Organization's (NGO) funding and judicial appointments.

The controversy isn't limited to here in Israel though. These specific bills are very unpopular amongst the international community and could make things more difficult for Israel in mobilize support for future moves against Iran.

It is interesting… today we have seen the international community somewhat speak with unity against a military strike on Iran.

The international community has taken note of this law concerning NGO's being proposed because Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has been a vocal supporter in the legislation that's geared to dry up funding for organizations that promote human rights amongst other things.

In a democracy, that's fairly basic, but the political right sees it as subversion.

Netanyahu gains his power from the right, which has a majority in the government, although not in Israeli society, and they admittedly are pushing their agenda to rid the country of organizations that are part of a process that keep democracies accountable.

Even Israel's President Shimon Perez has said the bills are a 'digression from democracy'.

Regarding judicial appointments; here it is being called the battle over Supreme Court – and its image. In a nut shell, the 14 legal leaders that are charged to guard Israel's legal system could be shifting more to the political right.

Following a stormy discussion in the Knesset, Israel's lawmakers approved – in preliminary and first readings, two controversial laws in support of this.

Then there are major problems at Israel's hospitals as both medical residents and some senior doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions. Some doctors have suggested that they'll have no choice but to leave the country in order to work.

Then in the Army, there has been noted over the past several months a push of Jewish religious extremism. The most recent thing to pop up is a letter to the Chief of Staff (Israel's top soldier) from top reserve Generals to stop the extremism leading to the discrimination against women soldiers in the name of religion.

All this has a lot of people worried here that a trend with far-reaching consequences is taking place.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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