Political maneuvering scores headlines in Israel and abroad. The New York Times reported this morning on a "growing rift" between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The disagreements between the two regarding the strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and the government's attitude towards the American administration have found their way into the public sphere, with proxies for both sides attacking each other on every possible issue, from policy to personal character. So, the strongest political alliance Israel has known in years is coming to an end? Don't be so sure. Despite the obvious differences in their political approach…Read More... | 2 Comments
They serve as Netanyahu's echo chamber, they divert attention from the real issues at hand and they disguise political desperation as internet-activism. Memes shouldn't be more than inside jokes, but nowadays they seem to lead the conversation. On Thursday night, Ami Kaufman posted on this site a collection of memes dealing with the Looney Toons bomb Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used during his UN speech. Posted before any other local or international news source, it was one of the most successful items our site ever had (over 3,000 likes and counting). But did these memes aid the public debate, or truly criticize…Read More... | 15 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or should I say Bib E. Coyote?) had a lot of people worldwide holding their stomachs with laughter as he held his Looney Tune ACME bomb above the UNGA podium. The Israeli meme artists, as usual, were quick to respond. Here are a few (I may update as the creativity surges):Read More... | 34 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his much-anticipated speech at the United Nations General Assembly today. He started off by leaning casually on the podium and surveying the people in the hall. At one point he punctuated his speech with the idiomatic expression, "Yeah, right!" He gratified his fans on Twitter by lubricating their virtual drinking game with several much-anticipated references to the Holocaust (#drink!), radical Islam (#drink!) and - most of all - Iran (#drink #drink #drink). In fact, Iran inspired Netanyahu to draw a diagram so that his simple-minded audience would understand how close that state was to developing…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israeli exceptionalism continues. Iran is not allowed to go nuclear but it is perfectly okay for Israel to remain nuclear: that's the message Israel sends the world as it opposes a U.S.-backed conference about a nuclear-free Middle East. Here's what I wrote in March about the issue in The New York Times' Room for Debate: Might Israel attend the meeting about a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East in Finland? Certainly. Just like it has "participated" in the peace process — with no real intention of making concessions. In both cases, there are no consequences for Israel sticking to its agenda. So why would…Read More... | 10 Comments
By Eyal Clyne (From Hebrew: Ofer Neiman) "The Iranian government is so heavily invested in the nuclear project, that if it were to give up this flag, it would mean nothing less than political suicide […] Iranian leaders have publicly chained themselves to this issue, to the extent that now it's a matter of political survival. One cannot just raise one's hands in surrender after years of investment and sacrifice… but for a fair package deal, which will acknowledge their rights, they will compromise… If they will be offered a decent way out, which can be brought to the [Iranian]…Read More... | 19 Comments
The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed by Islamic anti-American fanaticism. By now there's no need to point out the right-wing, anti-Muslim bad guys in the story surrounding Tuesday's attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Mitt Romney is one of those heavies, and the Egyptian Copt and American hardass in California who made the film "Innocence of Muslims," along with all those who promoted it on YouTube, are the others. (By now it should also be known that there was no "Israeli-American real-estate developer" named Sam Bacile behind the movie, nor was it financed…Read More... | 29 Comments
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems to have miscalculated with his latest attempt to bait President Obama and manipulate the results of the U.S. elections results. On Monday, Netanyahu leveled what the New York Times described as "unusually harsh public comments about Israel's most important ally," regarding the Obama administration's policy on Iran. Speaking in English one day after Secretary of State Clinton said the United States was "not setting deadlines" regarding military action against Iran, Netanyahu said: The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who…Read More... | 18 Comments
Following Larry Derfner's post, I wondered whether Israel could close down its reactor and keep some of the nukes it is said to have, perhaps as a first step on the road to a nuclear-free Middle East. I asked Dr. Avner Cohen whether it's possible to keep the bombs without an active reactor (according to foreign sources, Israel is said to have between 100 and 400 nuclear bombs). Here is his immediate response: Theoretically, it's possible to hold a simple nuclear weapon – meaning a "Nagasaki" (Plutonium) bomb and even a "Hiroshima" (enriched Uranium bomb) for a [long] period of…Read More... | 1 Comment
The campaign to get Americans in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, on which I have reported extensively, has recently released a new video. While the last video they put out incited against Arab Americans, this one essentially endorses an Israeli strike on Iran, the targeted assassination of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and implies that Israeli Air Force soldiers may embark on a "historic mission from which they may never return." http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xYeZE1SjgVI You may have noticed that the narrator in the video uses the term "from time immemorial," intentionally connoting the 1984 book From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish…Read More... | 6 Comments
Iran didn't start the Mideast nuclear arms race - Israel did. Nearly all the frightening forecasts of what life would be like with a nuclear Iran strike me as being hollow. I'm not worried about Iran nuking Israel - because the Iranians don't want to commit suicide. I'm not worried about Iran giving nukes to terror organizations that would nuke Israel - because Israel's second-strike capacity, with its estimated 200 nuclear bombs, would devastate the Islamic world and the Islamic world knows it. I'm not worried that Iran's "proxies," such as Hezbollah and Hamas, would feel free under an Iranian "nuclear…Read More... | 41 Comments
All political pundits in Israel are touting the same line this weekend: Barak is splitting from Netanyahu. The defense minister opposed the prime minister's tone and messages towards the American administration, doesn't think that Israel must attack during "the political window of opportunity" (i.e. before the presidential elections), and has given up hope that Netanyahu will add him and his party members to the Likud list for the next Knesset. Proxies to Barak also quoted his "frustration" over the lack of progress or interest Netanyahu has showed in the diplomatic process. According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Barak was said to believe that…Read More... | 10 Comments
VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA -- The Canadian government has became the latest country to crack down on the Islamic Republic of Iran, announcing a cut in diplomatic relations. The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, in Russia's Far East port city for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Week, issued the following statement before departing for India: Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada. Canada’s position on the regime in Iran is well known. Canada views the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security…Read More... | 16 Comments
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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