More and more, members of Israel's ruling parties are matching their public statements to the reality they are implementing every minute on the ground: Israel's opposition to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state and a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict. Economy Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett is the latest MK to join a robust list of Israeli government coalition members who have publicly stated that the two-state solution is dead and that the notion of a Palestinian state is a thing of the past. Although it's no new position for him, Bennett is making it clear that no…Read More... | 59 Comments
Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won't serve in the next Knesset. The Likud, Israel's ruling party the last four years, and the one expected to win the next elections according to every poll I have seen since 2009 (!), held its primaries on Sunday and Monday. The outcome was somewhat expected but is still stunning, and more than anything, it reveals the deep change Israel is going through. The top of the ticket will be held…Read More... | 32 Comments
When the pogromchiks from Jerusalem go to court, they'll have a strong case, saying they only did what was expected of them. Israel officially condemned last week the fact Jewish terrorists attacked a Palestinian vehicle with Molotov cocktails, wounding six of its passengers. Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly had an envoy call Palestinian President Abbas, and promised him Israel would put those responsible on trial. If Abbas is buying this, given Israel's record regarding the price-taggers, then I have some juicy bridges to sell him at very reasonable prices. This attack took place on Thursday afternoon. Several hours later, a gang of…Read More... | 12 Comments
UPDATE: At the end of the Knesset hearing Tuesday, MK (Kadima) Yulia Shamalov Berkovtich said that "All human rights activists should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building," referring to a facility now being constructed in the south to hold African refugees. She referred to those aiding refugees as "hypocrites" that incite against Jews. After the controversy in which Likud MK Miri Regev denied (documented) footage of her calling Sudanese a "cancer," National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari defends use of the term at Knesset special hearing. On Tuesday morning, the Knesset Committee on Internal Affairs and the Environment…Read More... | 27 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi [Raam-Taal] tweeted this status on Friday: I oppose the entrance of infiltrators from Eritrea because they are coming to work instead of the Palestinians, but if they are here, they should be treated in a humane way, and not with the barbarity of (MK Danny) Danon and (MK Miri) Regev Some Israeli liberals on Twitter attacked Tibi for the first part of the sentence, and he later said that he should have not used the term "infiltrators" but instead refer to the Africans as immigrants who seek work. Eritrean citizens comprise most of the Africans who…Read More... | 39 Comments
The rioting last night in south Tel Aviv against African migrants – some of them asylum seekers – was another one of those moments that paralyzed me with a mixture of disbelief, horror and sorrow. The photos of smashed windows were reflexively associated in many Jewish minds with Kristallnacht, as many people on social networks pointed out. One photo of Likud MK Danny Danon standing on a platform exhorting the masses to expel the strangers in their midst was reflexively associated in my mind with Benjamin Netanyahu "on the balcony" circa 1994 or 1995. In those notorious demonstrations, Netanyahu famously…Read More... | 16 Comments
On the eve of November 7, 1938, following the brutal expulsion of his family to the Polish border, a 17-year-old Jewish youth, Herschel Grynszpan, walked into the German embassy in Paris. He was carrying a recently-purchased pistol in his pocket. Grynzszpan asked to see an official, was brought to the office of Third Secretary Ernst vom Rath, pulled out his gun and pumped five bullets into him. Grynszpan's act was a protest against Nazi Germany's policies towards its Jews. Tragically, as so often happens when persons are reduced to representations of people or regimes, Grynszpan shot the wrong man: vom Rath…Read More... | 39 Comments
This post was originally published on Peter Beinart's Open Zion blog (@ The Daily Beast), as part of a debate regarding the fate of the two-state solution. This piece by Jerry Haber, on the same issue, is worth reading as well. And if you have the stomach for it, here is rightwing MK Danny Danon (Likud), who wants to annex most of the West Bank without giving the Palestinians voting rights. _______________ In the wake of a unity deal between the Likud and Kadima, which resulted in one of Israel's largest coalitions in history, some claimed that there is a chance…Read More... | 36 Comments
The Knesset is outlawing Nazi references, but stupidity is still legal. [Likud MK] Danny Danon - דני דנון I held an emergency meeting in the Knesset on the Thailand travel warning for Israeli tourists. The Counter-Terrorism Bureau clarified that there are still high alerts. I decided to send a public letterthrough Chabad and other Israeli tourist connections, warning all Jews and Israelis traveling in Thailand. "Israeli hikers can help in identifing potential terrorists, and to asisst in this I distributed a sketch of the terrorist who is currently roaming freely in Thailand."Read More... | 10 Comments
Why waste all this energy on small victories against the powerful right? Let them hit the wall. Hard. The social networks today were all abuzz with a big victory for the left over the right. Bank Leumi, the largest bank in Israel, was forced to freeze a charity campaign when customers discovered that money they raised could have gone to Im Tirtzu, an extreme right wing political group. My colleague Dahlia Scheindlin has a post here explaining the issue in depth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the party on Twitter and Facebook. To be honest - I just wasn’t that impressed.…Read More... | 13 Comments
Likud MK Ophir Akunis defends his aggressive anti-democratic legislation in Channel 10 interview: "Joe McCarthy was right about everything" It's amazing how just a few words of criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who voiced fear for Israel's democracy and women's rights yesterday, can really make some people show their true face, as you'll see below. Likud MK Ophir Akunis was interviewed today on Channel 10's "London and Kirshenbaum." If it were up to Akunis, who helped propose the law to limit funding for NGOs and is a very close ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, an Israeli McCarthy…Read More... | 9 Comments
Today, exactly 64 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 to end the British Mandate in Palestine and partition the territory, giving international legitimacy to the establishment of a Jewish nation-state somewhere in Palestine, as well as the notion of two states for two distinct nationalist identities, one Jewish and one Arab, with Jerusalem to be placed under international administration. In honor of this anniversary, the World Zionist Organization decided to hold a celebratory "reenactment" of the day today at 1:30pm in front of the Jewish Agency building in central Jerusalem, in order to "recreate the joy…Read More... | 21 Comments
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