Analysis News

Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Netanyahu's status quo strategy: Thwarting a Palestinian state

    The Americans got it wrong. By seemingly doing nothing but trying to preserve his seat in power, the Israeli prime minister is in fact advancing a process that makes a Palestinian state an impossibility. By David Zonsheine In his Atlantic article on the growing crisis between Jerusalem and Washington, Jeffrey Goldberg quoted American officials slamming Netanyahu, one now-famously called him “chickenshit.” The substance of the criticism was that he lacks the “guts” to strike Iran and is only interested in “protecting himself from political defeat.” Beyond the damage Netanyahu and his government are causing Israel in the international community –…

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  • 'Chickengate:' In the confrontation between Bibi and Obama, Palestinians are only a sideshow

    The rift between Washington and Jerusalem has to do with the changing American interests in the Middle East and internal Israeli politics, not with an end to the occupation.  In a story in The Atlantic Tuesday, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg cited a White House official calling Netanyahu "chickenshit," blaming him for lack of political vision or guts. Relations between Jerusalem and Washington have reached the lowest point he can remember, Goldberg wrote. This was the top story in the Israeli media this morning. Even the pro-Netanyahu, free tabloid Israel Hayom quoted Goldberg. In his response, Netanyahu maintained the confrontational tone, saying…

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  • Most Jewish Israelis oppose Palestinian state, new poll shows

    No poll is perfect, but this one happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government's policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground. A large majority of Jewish Israeli citizens (74 percent) oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, according to a new poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank. The organization also found that 76 percent oppose a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem. The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, dividing them along their personal political orientation. Three hundred and four identified themselves as right wing,…

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  • Defense Minister Ya'alon: I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict

    Moshe Ya'alon is telling it like it is: What you see now in the West Bank and Gaza is Israel's solution.  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon gave a few holiday interviews to the Israeli media. Ya'alon, who has been Netanyahu's closest partner in the coalition since the Gaza war, was fairly open when he spoke about the Palestinian issue, and a couple of his answers were especially telling. When asked by the pro-Netanyahu paper Yisrael Hayom whether he sees in Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace, Ya'alon not only rejected the idea, but went on to dismiss the mere…

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  • Israeli settlements, U.S. policy: The gap between values and actions

    The only thing odder than Netanyahu's "un-American" comment is the White House's response. Although the latest Israeli announcement of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem drew the usual verbal slap on the wrist from the U.S., the media didn’t make much of it – until, that is, when Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to call that criticism un-American on American TV. The White House of course felt compelled to respond. On Monday Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest called Netanyahu’s choice of words “odd” – another in a series of adjectives that U.S. government spokespersons pull from their thesaurus to show their dismay…

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  • A couple of Netanyahu's not-so-white lies to Americans

    In the past week or so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a couple of talking points that diverged from the truth, but few people called him out on it. 1. In a meeting with the Jewish Federations of North America in New York last Tuesday,  the prime minister fielded a question regarding the state's practice of sending asylum seekers to detention facilities in the desert, sometimes for unlimited periods of time. This has been the first time the prime minister commented since a recent ruling by the High Court that ordered the detainees to be released. "There is no asylum…

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  • Dissent in Israel: On the margins, yes, in the mainstream, no

    Regarding the controversy over Mairav Zonszein's 'New York Times' op-ed: An ongoing climate of fear and suspicion is not conducive to ‘vibrant democracy.’ It is unfriendly to left-wing protest over security matters.    Since my colleague Mairav Zonszein published her ballbuster op-ed “How Israel Silences Dissent” in the New York Times several days ago, there’s been – what a surprise – a backlash. There was one substantive counterpoint to the article, though, by self-described leftist Noah Efron in Haaretz, who wrote that the instances mentioned by Zonszein of threats, sanctions and violence against opponents of the Gaza war also disturbed…

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  • Accusing Israel of ‘genocide’: Major fail

    And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…

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  • What to expect from Netanyahu at the UN

    In the past three years we've gotten crocodiles, Medieval villains, cartoons and unnaturally pointy pearly whites. What should you expect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say in his speech to the UN on Monday? Seven words: Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. Okay, he'll probably say a few more things than that: Iran. (It will be interesting if Netanyahu accidentally completes his logic game and concludes that if ISIS = Hamas, and Iran = Hamas, then it must hold that ISIS = Iran. Spoiler alert, Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post last week that, "The biggest threat without question is…

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  • Refusal by elite IDF reservists angrily dismissed as 'political'

    Following the public refusal of 43 reservists of the IDF's 8200 intelligence unit, politicians and other veterans of the unit have openly denounced the reservists, viewing their refusal as an unacceptable politicization of their army service. Political leaders both from the government and the opposition condemned 43 reservists from Israel’s prestigious 8200 intelligence unit who stated their refusal to take part in intelligence-gathering activities that, they claim, deepen Israel’s military rule over Palestinians. Unlike the issue of refusal during Protective Edge, which was hardly noticed or covered during the war, the 8200 letter grabbed headlines over the weekend, appeared on most major news Internet sites,…

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  • IDF's 'start-up nation' reservists refuse to serve the occupation

    One of the most striking points in the unprecedented refusal letter is the forceful argument that Israel’s policies vis-a-vis Palestinians are simply unrelated to defense –and they are a matter of choice. Forty-three members of the IDF's prestigious and secretive Unit 8200 have signed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating their refusal to serve in reserve duty related to military governance over Palestinians. The document, made available by Ynet, expresses their opposition in blunt language (my translation): We who came out of Unit 8200, men and women reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part…

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  • Israel's watershed moment that wasn't

    Liberals abroad seem to think that for Israel, Operation Protective Edge was a turning point -- a wake-up call telling this country that it couldn’t keep going on like this, from war to war to war with no chance for peace. +972 speaks to a number of powerful figures in Prime Minister Netanyahu's inner circle, past and present, to hear their vision of where Israel is headed following the latest Gaza war. On the first weekend after Operation Protective Edge ended in a cease-fire, I drove down to Sderot, the original rocket-plagued Gaza-border town and a stronghold of the ruling…

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  • The victors of the Gaza war were also the losers

    Who came out of the Gaza war the victors, and who were the losers – or, rather, who lost more and who lost less? By Talal Jabari Another ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza ­– this time costing more in terms of life and property than the last time. It will probably cost less than the next time; 2016 if the trend stays constant. At the end of any battle, it makes sense to step back and look at the bigger picture. You want to assess who won and who lost – or at least who lost more and who…

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