Analysis News

Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Abbas just shot the Palestinian cause in the foot

    He needs the world to win independence for his nation, and in the eyes of the world, Hamas, with whom he just joined forces, is anathema. I’m truly hoping that there’s some deep strategic genius on Mahmoud Abbas’ part that I’m missing here, because I keep turning it around and I can’t escape the impression that he has shot the cause of Palestinian independence in the foot by signing a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. And just when the Palestinians seemed ready to go on the march. The world, including even Washington, blames Israel for the failure of the Kerry peace…

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  • Settlers fear prisoner release deal, extension of talks

    Netanyahu has probably spent his Passover vacation trying to reach a deal that would enable the settlers to save face and stay in the government while peace talks continue. The Right is launching campaigns to convince right-wing politicians to vote 'no.' With a little more than a week left until the formal deadline for the Israeli-American-Palestinian talks, efforts to extend the negotiations still haven't produced a breakthrough. Nevertheless, a last-minute deal shouldn't be ruled out either; often times, the most productive political maneuvering takes place when no news is reported. On the Israeli side, the best indicators – as always – come from…

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  • When the 'Times' calls for Kerry to move on, what does it 'really' mean?

    If the Grey Lady is calling for Washington to reconsider its role as enabler of the occupation, then it is indeed a new approach -- perhaps even a revolutionary one. A couple of days ago, a New York Times editorial called on the Obama administration to divert its attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process, which is failing to bring results, and onto other global issues. While congratulating Secretary Kerry and President Obama for the energy and time they have put into the process, the Times concludes that “after nine months, it is apparent that the two sides are still unwilling…

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  • The diplomatic process is not real until this government falls

    If Netanyahu was serious about talks, he would have used the first opportunity to rid the government of the settlers, before moving on to isolate the radicals in his own party. Until we see such a change, the peace process will remain mostly fake. Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth's released a poll on Passover evening examining the option that former Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon run on his own ticket in the coming elections. According to the poll results, Kahlon could win up to 10 seats, most of them from voters of Yesh Atid and Likud. This is the second election poll published…

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  • Weekly Notebook: On 'the Jews,' ‘price tag,’ Colbert and more

    New feature: A selection of Larry Derfner’s sociopolitical outbursts on Facebook for the week ending Saturday, April 12. THE GREAT COLBERT As he moves into the mainstream of the mainstream (taking over the David Letterman show), a reminder of Stephen Colbert’s unforgettable roast of George W. Bush (and the press) at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner (FB status, April 12): This is to the Bush years what Edward R. Murrow's famous TV takedown was to the McCarthy era. In 2006 it was finally sinking in on America that Bush and his wars were a disaster, and that the press had…

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  • The rejectionist: Netanyahu and the peace talks

    The Palestinian leadership changed, the political circumstances shifted, administrations came and went, but every round of talks involving Netanyahu follows the same dynamic, and ends the same way. When talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed last summer, a couple of pollsters asked Israelis whether they think Prime Minister Netanyahu actually supports the two-state solution – which, at least in theory, was the agreed-upon goal of the process. The results didn’t receive enough attention at the time: one poll, published on Channel 2’s website, found that 50 percent of the public didn’t think Netanyahu genuinely adopted the two-state solution, as…

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  • Weekly Notebook: On Bibi's lies, BDS, reality shows, and more

    New feature: A selection of Larry Derfner's sociopolitical outbursts on Facebook (and one email) for the week ending Saturday, April 5.    WHAT HAVE THEY DONE FOR US LATELY? FB reaction to commenter who asks, “What have the Palestinians done to advance peace recently?" (Sunday, March 30): Close, daily security cooperation with the IDF and Shin Bet for 10 full years. They've arrested thousands of Hamasniks. It's a key reason why terror is so low, and the only reason why you don't see massive anti-Israeli demonstrations. Palestinian forces are policing the Palestinian population areas - the cities, the villages, the…

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  • Kerry-Abbas meeting canceled; effort to extend talks faces hurdles

    The American-led peace process appears to be on the verge of collapse. The American-led peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians may not be extended after all. Following Israel's refusal to, or delay in releasing the remaining 26 Palestinian prisoners due to be freed during the negotiation period, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced in a speech in Ramallah Tuesday that he would renew the Palestinian effort to join 15 international organizations and treaties. Secretary of State Kerry, who was due to return to the region on Wednesday in order to finalize a deal to extend talks through the end of the…

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  • Ari Shavit and the failure of the Kerry process

    A public exchange has been taking place between Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken and the paper’s columnist Ari Shavit over Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state." According to Shavit's latest piece, supporting peace means forcing the Palestinians to accept Israeli preconditions, otherwise there will be no agreement. This has always been the logic of the Israeli center – we will make up our mind over what to do with the Palestinians, and they will just have to accept our decision. Otherwise, the occupation will never end. Then, as always, comes the line about Israelis being the real victims…

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  • Standing up to AIPAC means supporting Israeli dissidents

    The voice of 'pro-Israel' militarism has been ringing through the halls of Washington D.C. since the 1970s. Now, to end the occupation, American citizens must couple their opposition to AIPAC with support for anti-occupation groups in Israel. By Philip Farah In the 1970s, Israeli TV had a great program, Nikui Rosh, that was something like the country's version of Saturday Night Live. Its most famous skit was one in which Israeli leaders would start beating the drums of war, warning against threats from across the Lebanese or Syrian borders, whenever the Israeli economy was in crisis. This is an old trick everywhere:…

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  • Netanyahu’s incredible spin: How they once more speak of 'Palestinian rejectionism'

    The 'conflict of narratives' hoax wins the day. You've got to hand it to Bibi – he is the master of micro-politics. What he lacks in vision he makes up for with details. He is also becoming very good at setting the media's agenda, something he wasn’t able to do in either his first term or the first couple of years of his second term. The “Jewish State” demand has effectively cornered Abbas into a familiar position: the Palestinians will reject a generous Israeli offer, without actually being offered anything. This has turned out to be the most incredible turn of…

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  • Figures show: Peace talks and settlement construction go hand in hand

    Successive Israeli governments have argued for years that settlements are not an obstacle to peace. The data tells a different story. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed earlier this week that 2013 was a record year in settlement construction, while 2014 has seen the beginning of construction of 2,534 housing projects - a rise of 123 percent from 2013. Settlement construction took place all over the West Bank – in the so-called settlement blocs, which could be annexed to Israel in a two-state framework; in isolated settlements that are slated to be evacuated under such an agreement; on the western side of Israel’s…

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  • Good news: Obama gives the Palestinians an insurance policy

    The president's high-profile interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it extremely hard for the administration to blame the Palestinians for the expected failure of Kerry's peace initiative.   Obama’s interview with the Bloomberg news agency on Sunday, in which he basically blamed Netanyahu and exonerated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the intractability of the occupation, is a very important event, and very good news. With Netanyahu and Abbas jockeying to avoid the blame for the likely impending failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative, the Obama interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it very hard for the administration…

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