Articles by Matan Kaminer

About Matan Kaminer

Matan Kaminer is a political activist and anthropologist. He has been active in the Israeli conscientious objection movement and Palestine solidarity work, in national and municipal electoral politics, and in organizing with migrants and refugees. He has a PhD from the University of Michigan, with a dissertation on settler-farmers and migrant farm-workers from Thailand in Israel’s Arabah region, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Haifa. Matan is a member of the board of Academia for Equality, an organization for the democratization of Israeli academia and society.

The state and us: The left between paranoia and abdication in the pandemic

Picture: Israeli riot police patrol Yefet Street in Jaffa after putting down demonstrations against police violence, 1 April 2020 (source: Matan Kaminer) The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly enhanced the charisma of the strong state around the world. In the West, the early knee-jerk characterization of East Asian responses as authoritarian and illiberal has been completely discredited as leading liberal democracies, like the UK and the US, succumb to a terrifying spiral of infection while countries like China, Singapore and Vietnam emerge relatively unscathed – not to mention the embarrassment of Cuban medical cre ..

We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism – Matan Kaminer

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? The consistent left in Israel is mostly made up of Palestinian citizens, organized in the Communist Party and its front group Hadash/al-Jabhah, the liberal-nationalist Balad/Tajama’u (who both form part of the Joint List parliamentary formation) and smaller extra-parliamentary formations like Abnaa’ el-Balad. These have generally been sympathetic to Corbyn due to his support for the Palestinian cause, but I don’t get the impression that they have been following ..

The Arabs Who Can Beat Bibi

Israel’s second election of the year has demonstrated more clearly than ever that the most important oppositional actor in the country is its Palestinian minority. Note from LeftEast editors: We re-post this article from Jacobin, where it was published on 22.09.2019 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it a habit, at times of political exigency, to incite vocally and explicitly against “The Arabs,” the 20% of Israel’s population composed of indigenous Palestinians. On election day of 2015, he famously whipped up support among his base by announcing on social media that “the Arabs are flocking to t ..

One Hundred Netanyahus

This article by Matan Kaminer, a member of LeftEast’s editorial collective, was originally published in Jacobin. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be defeated in the polls on April 9. Whether he is indicted for corruption soon or not, his method of repressing Palestinian resistance is popular — and will probably outlast him in Israeli politics. Even if Netanyahu goes to prison for the corruption offenses that the Attorney General has recently recommended he be indicted for, whoever replaces him will likely continue the same policies for as long as Palestinian resistance remains manageab ..

Quarrying the stones of Palestine

Interview with Andrew Ross Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, whose work combines scholarly inquiry, investigative reporting and activist perspectives. Much of his research concerns the built environment in sites as far afield as Phoenix, Arizona and Abu Dhabi. His latest book, Stone Men (Verso, 2019) looks at the stone industry in the West Bank and the complex role of this material in the Israeli colonization drive and Palestinian resistance. Matan Kaminer, a member of LeftEast’s editorial board and also a student of ..

Israel’s position on Venezuela – A Left Perspective

1.Has the government of Israel taken an official position regarding the situation inVenezuela? If yes, what is the position? The Israeli government has come out strongly in support of Juan Guaidó’s claim to the presidency of Venezuela. PM Netanyahu has strongly stressed that this position is in accordance with the stances of “the US, Canada, most Latin American countries and [some] European countries”. According topress reports, the announcement was delayed by a few days due to concern that it might lead to reprisals by the Maduro government against the Venezuelan Jewish community (which is pri ..

Orbán in Jerusalem: The illiberal axis tightens

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Israel last week came at a moment in which the latter’s slide into legally-sanctioned racism has taken on particularly stark colors. In the final meeting of its summer session, the Israeli Knesset enacted the “Nation-State Law,” formally enshrining the ethnic exclusivity of the Jewish state and the degraded status of its Palestinian citizens. Though the bill passed narrowly, it has met with little public push-back. In an ironic sign of the times, another new law ruling out state-funded surrogacy for gay couples has sparked middle-class revolt and declarati ..

From historical affinities to effective solidarities: Israel and Eastern Europe

In a column in Ha’aretz last year, historian and journalist Ofri Ilany pointed out to his Israeli audience a number of affinities between Israel and Eastern Europe, ranging from the culinary to the political (Hebrew). As an antidote to the Western-oriented provincialism of the Israeli liberal sphere, Ilany’s intervention was welcome, but building effective solidarities requires a sustained critical reflection on the questions he raises: in what ways is Israel continuous with the Eastern European region? In what ways is it not? And how can these similarities and differences be mobilized in the search for tran ..