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  • On Gaza, differences between Labor and Likud are superficial

    When it comes to Israeli policies, Labor likes to paint itself as the complete opposite of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. That is, unless we're talking about Gaza. By Aaron Magid In the wake of the 2013 elections, Israel's Labor Party was consistently critical of Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister. Just last month, Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog slammed Netanyahu for isolating Israel from the international community. “Netanyahu speaks [but] the world doesn’t listen,” exclaimed Herzog. Yet during the recent conflict in Gaza, the Labor Party’s usual critical approach towards Netanyahu shifted dramatically, with influential Labor lawmakers sounding eerily similar to…

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  • Israel 2013: Netanyahu preaches the lessons of Rabin's murder

    And nobody objects. I was listening on the radio to the prime minister's speech in the Knesset on Wednesday for the 18th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) of the Rabin assassination, and it just struck me how far we’ve come in this country. Bibi Netanyahu is now preaching to Israel the lessons of Rabin's murder. And nobody says anything. Members of the Rabin family sitting in the Knesset, whatever they were thinking, didn’t say a word. Neither did the MKs of the Labor Party or Meretz, or MK Ahmed Tibi or anybody else who lived through that time and understands…

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  • Livni’s comeback could be the last chance to topple Netanyahu

    It's an extreme long shot. Probably impossible. But Tzipi Livni's comeback may be the only way left to change the balance between the blocs, especially if  she and Labor’s Shelly Yachimovich distance themselves from each other A few thoughts on Tzipi Livni’s comeback, announced yesterday. This move, mocked by everyone all over the map, is actually the only chance the Left has. A Hail Mary of sorts. Right now, and judging by the Haaretz poll published today, it’s a move destined to fail. The gloomy data even says the left-wing bloc is actually shrinking more, and that Livni “only” grabs…

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  • On Palestinian issue, 'alternatives' to Netanyahu hold similar positions to PM

    Labor leader Yacimovich asks not to be called a 'lefty' and shows hospitable face to the settlers, while Yair Lapid rejects compromising on the issue of Jerusalem. The heads of the two leading parties to the left of Netanyahu have made statements on the Palestinian issue this past week which place them very close to the prime minister. Yair Lapid, leader of the newly formed Yesh Atid party, declared that it is possible to keep all of Jerusalem in Israeli hands, if and when a Palestinian state is formed. Shelly Yacimovich of Labor gave an interview to the settler website…

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  • King Bibi, the last King of Zion

    King Bibi, as TIME Magazine recently crowned him, the fiercest Zionist to ever lead Israel, will go down in history as the one who brought Zionism to its knees   TIME Magazine published a lengthy item on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, with a close-up photo of him on the cover so huge it left just enough room for the headline: “King Bibi.” It was a Hasbara official’s wet dream. No hard-hitting questions; but rather soft, caressing queries. As the cover said, the feature claimed to ask, yet not answer, the question of “Will Bibi make peace?” Well, for…

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  • Rick's Weekly Wrap: Home front is shaky, but Bibi's eye is on UN

    Welcome one and all to our weekly excursion to the silly zone. Lots going on this week, an embarrassment of riches, from which our diligent tour planners here at the Weekend Holyland Wrap have labored long and hard to pick the most adjudicating for your reading pleasure. By Rechavia "Rick" Berman We'll get to the whole "Oh noes! Da Palestinians Gonna Declare Statehood" horror picture show in a bit, but first some domestic stuff: The Labor Party held its primaries this week, to decide who will have the task, the glory and the doom of leading it as it attempts…

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  • Amir Peretz and the Moroccan stigma

    There are legitimate reasons not to want to see Knesset member Amir Peretz win back the leadership of the Labor Party. He was out of his depth as defense minister during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when he distinguished himself by ranting that “Hassan Nasrallah will remember the name Amir Peretz!” As Labor leader, he seemed to think he was still running the Histadrut national union; the sort of cocky declarations that fire up workers sounded like empty boasts coming from a candidate for prime minister. (In Monday’s Labor primary, Peretz finished in an effective tie with Knesset member Sheli…

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  • The battle over Labor: Who gives a hoot?

    If there’s anything more pathetic than leadership battles in a dead political party - it’s leadership battles between two guys who don’t even have a chance of winning the leadership of that dead party. One can only wonder what Haaretz was thinking when they gave their lead headline - twice! - this week to Wikileaks documents about remarks said by one loser of a politician about another loser of a politician. Isaac Herzog is no doubt one of the dullest, most ordinary, monotonous, uninspiring politicians this country ever gave birth to. To fully understand just how big a yawn Herzog…

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  • British parliament debates Israeli military tribunals

    The British Labour party is now debating what the Israeli labor party refuses to acknowledge, the horrific treatment of Palestinians in Israeli military courts. I have covered the military court system extensively on this website in relation to the repression of the Palestinian popular unarmed struggle. Amira Hass’s article  in today’s Haaretz points to positive developments in the UK that could raise international awareness and create pressure on Israel to start behaving like a civilized Western country. Another member of her faction(British Labour Party), Richard Burden, added: "I thought that the area (West Bank) had lost its capacity to shock…

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