Recent attempts to form an 'anti-Bibi' bloc among the centrist parties may very well drive right-wing voters back to the prime minister's hands. One outcome of the unusually short election cycle that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu imposed on the Israeli political system – in an attempt to prevent any serious challenge to his position – is the rapid developments and changes we have been witnessing in the last few weeks. I will deal with some of those issues in this round up, but it is important to note first that nothing too major has actually happened: our poll tracker, which…Read More... | 10 Comments
Israel's foreign minister will soon be able to put his legal troubles behind him. He will then renew his quest for the premiership from a much more favorable position. Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced yesterday (Friday) that he will resign from his cabinet position due to the attorney general's decision to try him for breach of trust. Lieberman will still be the second name on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list for the elections, due to take place on January 22. This is a major step in Lieberman's effort to solve the most troubling aspect of his political career, namely,…Read More... | 11 Comments
At least two new parties could enter the next Knesset, but polls show that the most important figure - the split between the two major blocs - is surprisingly static. It's official: The coalition has decided to call early elections, which are to take place on September 4, 2012. The final confirmation of the date is expected next week, once the Likud's bill on early elections acquires the necessary Knesset votes. Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed a rather stable coalition, yet the government expected major hurdles in the coming Knesset session – most notably, the need to come up with a new…Read More... | 38 Comments
Yair Lapid left his position in Channel 2 News and announced his intention to enter politics. He is likely to split the secular vote in a way that won't allow anyone but the Likud to form the next government One of the questions that has dominated the political landscape in Israel in the last couple of years received an (almost) definite answer this week, when the most popular journalist in Israel, Yair Lapid, resigned from his post as Channel 2's Friday evening anchorman in order to enter politics. If he had it his way, Lapid would have waited for new…Read More... | 7 Comments
Hoping to boost the liberal image of country, Israel has increased efforts to use the gay community for advocacy and PR assignments. This post was updated. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first to appoint a government minister in charge of propaganda, advocacy and international public relations. Minister Yuli Edelstein has taken this position at the head of the Hasbara office so seriously that he has even asked Netanyahu to be relieved of other government duties so that he can concentrate on advocacy and propaganda. Edelstein, a member of Likud, is known for his rightwing views. Recently, he posted a…Read More... | 8 Comments
While there is plenty to be criticized about Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, his recent statements place a long-lost check and balance on a government that seems to bow to no voice of reason. For over two years, Israel has had no serious political opposition. Kadima head Tzipi Livni, who is supposed to be fulfilling this role, has maintained a mysterious radio silence for much of the last two years, as if trying to convince everyone that she is brewing up some very deep and strategic thoughts. In the meantime, Kadima has helped to advance the ultra-nationalist approach…Read More... | 11 Comments
The discourse around the Nakba law--which tries to stop public institutions from marking the Palestinian disaster, through funding cuts--feeds Israel's persecution complex. Trying to legislate history out of existence means losing touch with reality Years ago, I commented to someone that after twenty years of occupation, Israel should not have been entirely surprised by the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987. My interlocutor, an Israeli with a security and intelligence background, accused me of a broad spectrum of cognitive failings before I stood up and walked out. Then just a few days ago, a senior Israeli government official said…Read More... | 19 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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