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Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Ultra-Orthodox paper photoshops women out of gov't portrait

    Yom-LeYom, the official weekly of the Shas party, published the traditional group portrait of the cabinet and the president this morning — with one notable amendment: Ministers Miri Regev (Culture), Ayelet Shaked (Justice) and Gila Gamliel (Immigrant Absorption and, you guessed it, Gender Equality) were all airbrushed out. Here is the original: And here is the Shas version: Although there is no specific instruction in Jewish law that bans pictures of women, many ultra-Orthodox publications err on the side of caution so as not, um, lead their readers into temptation. Haredi media famously censored pictures of the Charlie Hebdo solidarity…

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  • Segregation in Israel does not begin or end on buses

    Whether or not the plan is scrapped, the fact is that Israel is a country where senior ministers propose and implement segregation — and keep their jobs. There is something disturbingly disingenuous about the 12 hours of furor that erupted over the segregation — and subsequent “desegregation” — of a handful of Israeli bus lines Wednesday morning. When Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the “unacceptable” segregation scheme suspended, a sigh of relief could be heard sweeping through mainstream Jewish Israel. [tmwinpost] Democracy lives to see another day; the separation barrier once again kept segregation from infiltrating the Green Line. The bus…

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  • A dark tale from Netanyahu Nation

    Assassinations, lies and conspiracy theories.  If you want to know about the right-wing culture that rules Israel today, the following isn't a bad illustration. Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday that Netanyahu's pick for director-general of the Communications Ministry, Shlomo Filber, wrote an article in the settler publication Nekuda after the Rabin assassination blaming the Shin Bet for the murder, which is sort of the Israeli right's answer to Holocaust denial, that's how popular a conspiracy theory it is. (Filber, along the way, was Netanyahu's chief of staff in his first term, and headed the Likud campaign in the last election.) [tmwinpost]…

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  • Isaac Herzog, leader of the non-opposition

    Many people are describing opposition leader Isaac Herzog's maiden speech in the 20th Knesset as the speech that could have won him the election. But is he offering an alternative that's any better than Netanyahu? By Samah Salaime Mabrouk on you, the new government تشوفو على وجهها الخير – may it bring only good things. That's how we, the naïvely optimistic Arabs, congratulate people on new things. Regardless of what we feel, we know how to congratulate. But let's not spend any more time on the new government. Sooner or later, Israel's 34th government will join its predecessors in the…

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  • What to expect from Netanyahu's fourth government

    The new government, which could  survive longer than most observers expect, intends to resume the implementation of the Prawer Plan, aimed to force the Bedouin Palestinian population in the "unrecognized villages" into a narrow territory.  Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth government was sworn in in the nick of time. Due to last-minute controversies over cabinet positions, President Reuven Rivlin and the family members of the new ministers had to wait a couple of hours for the special Knesset session to begin. Alongside the coalition negotiations, prolonged to the very maximum allowed by the law, Thursday night serves as a reminder of the difficulties Netanayhu…

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  • To win, the Israeli left needs to learn from Bibi

    Like Netanyahu, who harped on Iran, ISIS, and the Arab citizens voting in droves, the left has a bunch of fears that it can stoke and channel in its favor. All it needs to take its gloves off and go down to business. By Elie Podeh The Knesset election results have put the left on the defensive. It has since had to explain why it lost, and the blame was placed on the usual suspects: An ineffective campaign, a lack of charismatic leadership, abandoning peripheral and low-income populations, demographic trends in Israeli society, and more. The truth of the matter…

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  • The real reason Netanyahu has the High Court in his crosshairs

    The government's plan to curb the High Court’s authority distracts from the fact that on most of Israel’s discriminatory and anti-democratic laws and policies, the two institutions see eye to eye. By Amjad Iraqi In recent weeks, the Israeli media has reported on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to propose new legislation that would grant the government more authority over the selection of High Court justices, as well as limit the court's judicial review power. The plan has been blocked by center-right Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon as a condition for joining the new coalition, but Likud and its far-right partners have…

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  • Every day is Holocaust Day in Israel

    Netanyahu talks about Iran every single day. Today was the one day he shouldn't have.  Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. But if someone had landed here from another planet, they wouldn't necessarily catch on. They might find it hard to  commemorate the Jewish lives taken in Europe during World War II, and instead be preoccupied with Iran's nuclear program. On Thursday night, as businesses closed throughout the country, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum. Standing on the podium, among the few survivors that are still alive, he took the opportunity to talk about Iran, and…

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  • Stop calling us 'Israeli Arabs'

    The phrase 'Israeli Arabs' is meant to divide us from the rest of the Palestinian people. Thankfully, more and more young Palestinian citizens are no longer scared to openly confront their own Pharaoh and reclaim their story. By Rami Younis "So explain it to me again," Amanda repeated. "How can it be that while Israel celebrates its independence, or whatever they call it, there is no public discussion on the occupation? Or the fact that Israel has been controlling another nation for nearly 50 years? The hypocrisy is staggering!" Now try explaining Israeli society's denial and blindness to a friend from…

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  • Netanyahu's hypocrisy about intervening in other countries' affairs

    What would happen if a foreign country started lobbying for bills in the Israeli Knesset, going so far as to seek the insertion of specific clauses into them? The Right in Israel isn’t the biggest fan of foreign countries getting involved in its affairs. It’s true when it comes to the European Union providing shelter for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, or supporting human rights organizations that challenge aspects of Israeli legislation in Israeli courts, or Netanyahu’s unproven allegations that European states funded campaigns to increase Arab voter participation in hopes of ousting him as prime minister.…

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  • America’s choice on Iran: Obama’s peace or Netanyahu's war

    If Bibi, the Israel lobby and the GOP stymie this historic nuclear deal, it will be very bad for Israel, America and America’s Jews. Anybody who thinks Obama has won, that Israel and the Israel lobby and the Republicans are just going to concede the Iran nuclear deal without a fight, could not be more wrong. For the Israeli and American Jews involved, this is the supreme cause of their lives – preventing another Holocaust, as they see it. The framework agreement announced last Thursday looks to them like Munich. These are the terms they use. For the American gentile…

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  • Sorry Israeli leftists, I've got no sympathy for you

    Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…

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  • Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What's next?

    Something indeed changed in the Israel-U.S. relationship, the question is what actions will the U.S. take and how Netanyahu reacts — from the Security Council to Gaza. I just got back from the annual J Street conference. The atmosphere was very different from the 2013 conference. Back then it was all about the Kerry mission. This year, talk of peace was replaced by a certain state of shock from Netanyahu’s victory at the polls. Most of the conference participants get their information about those elections from the American media, which was in turn fed by the Israeli media, which presented…

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