For Israel's ruling party, Zionism was first and foremost about settlements and security rather than religious salvation. The growing interest in the Temple Mount, however, reflects a complete transformation of Israeli politics as we know it. Welcome to the end times. By Tomer Persico The attempted assassination of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, to whom I wish a speedy recovery, comes at the height of a growing trend among the Israeli public. It is a trend that finds clear expression amongst the ruling Likud party, and one that Glick was a leading advocate of. In recent years the Temple Mount movements…Read More... | 16 Comments
The real aim was to annihilate anything within marching distance of the border - including, it turns out, a hospital housing elderly patients and international activists there to protect them. When he launched his war on Gaza 10 days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his military commanders to "take the gloves off." Yesterday, they put on brass knuckles. Shedding even the pretense of "precision" - a lie that has so far left at least 45 Palestinian children dead - Israeli tanks and warships shelled Gaza indiscriminately ahead of a ground incursion that Netanyahu claimed was aimed at destroying tunnels along the border…Read More... | 41 Comments
The past 15 years have seen a revival of Jewish extremist movements seeking to upend the status quo around the Temple Mount in the name of multicultural ideals. Betty Herschman says failing to see through this veneer could lead to the enflaming of one of the world’s most combustible hotspots. By Betty Herschman The current intensification of religious extremist activities on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is not a new phenomenon, but rather the ultimate realization of a slow, decades-long crusade. The story behind today’s mounting pressures - from increased attempts to ascend and pray on the Mount to legislative challenges to…Read More...
The conflict over Jerusalem's Temple Mount has been a sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for nearly 15 years. But as time goes on, it becomes clearer that the zero-sum game between Muslims and Jews is but a grim reflection of the reality of the occupation. By Nicholas Saidel Imagine religious Jewish and Muslim pilgrims praying together at a shrine venerated by both communities. Imagine Jewish and Muslim custodians of the shrine working cooperatively to preserve the site and its religious artifacts, and to ensure that all who come for worship can do so freely and without fear for their safety. This…Read More... | 12 Comments
The settlement movement registered major victories this year on various fronts. Its representatives are reaching new heights in politics, the judiciary and the media. One out of five residents east of the Green Line is a settler. The expansion of settlements continues unabated, and - most importantly - settlers are in full control of the Israeli national narrative. In 2012, as more and more observers declared the death of the two-state solution, the settler became the new normal. By Lisa Goldman and Mairav Zonszein For decades, the settler movement and Israel’s secular, largely Ashkenazi urban elite have been playing a game of…Read More... | 37 Comments
Moshe Feiglin is one of the Likud party's most extreme members, and one of its most clear and systematic ideologues. He is the head of the party's 'Jewish Leadership' group, and the 23rd name on the Likud-Beitenu list for the next Knesset elections. The following is an attempt by religion researcher Tomer Persico to assess Feiglin's views on popular sovereignty and democracy. By Tomer Persico The coming elections in Israel will introduce many new faces to the Knesset. Unless something very surprising happens, among those will be Moshe Feiglin, who heads a group called Jewish Leadership and has for the past…Read More... | 18 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
An attempt to infiltrate Likud with leftist voters is both immoral, impractical, and liable to backfire The leftist swamp is abuzz in the last few days following an initiative (Hebrew) by Gil Kidron, who wants 10,000 leftists to join the Likud party in order to change it from within. So far, he says, he's managed to convince 400 leftists to register themselves as Likudniks. Kidron, who makes no bones of the fact he is mimicking Moshe Feiglin and his Manhigut Yehudit (“Jewish Leadership”) faction, tried to convince me to join. He failed, so I’ll take the time to explain why. To…Read More... | 14 Comments
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The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
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