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naftali bennett

  • Bennett is not the problem

    American administrations have a tendency to blame the 'radical' settlers for torpedoing peace missions. The real problem, however, is with the 'moderates' who are complicit in maintaining the status quo.  There is a lot of talk in some circles about Naftali Bennett’s appearance at the Saban Forum last weekend (video below). Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home party and is the star of the Israeli Right, took to the stage with former special envoy to the peace process Martin Indyk. Bennett essentially declared that Israeli will never accept the two-state solution, that there will be no more “land for peace”…

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  • Moshe Kahlon for prime minister of Israel

    I’m planning to vote for Meretz, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, I’ll vote for him. I was talking a couple of days ago about the upcoming elections with a friend from work, a middle-class, American-born Ashkenazi immigrant with a Ph. D. in political science. He told me he was voting for the left-wing, largely Arab Hadash party. I asked who he would vote for if, on election day, which is tentatively set for March 17, the “wild card” in the race, ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, had a chance to become the next prime minister.…

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  • Israel's elections: A referendum on Netanyahu

    The coalition is falling apart, and the Knesset is likely to agree on early elections soon. Current polls suggest we are heading toward a fourth Netanyahu government, which will be even more right wing than the current one. Netanyahu’s third government has reached its end. New elections, which seemed likely when the Gaza war ended, are practically inevitable at this point. UPDATE: The Knesset's parties agreed to hold the elections on March 17, 2015. The two central pillars of the government – Netanyahu’s Likud party and Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (comprising 18 and 19 seats, respectively, out of…

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  • Jerusalem posters call to ban Arab workers

    Posters reading "Jews only employ Jews" were spotted near the entrance to Jerusalem Friday, three days after two Palestinians killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Above the slogan in smaller letters, at the top of the Israeli flag-shaped poster, it reads: "Biblical law determines" and at the bottom it reads: "Did you know?! The terrorists that committed the massacre in Har Nof - were employed in the synagogue and its surroundings." One of the attackers indeed was reported to have worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue. Whoever crafted the racist message grounded it in…

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  • Netanyahu government’s true colors are shining through

    Even as the flames spread from Jerusalem into the West Bank and back over the Green Line, Israeli leaders are showing no restraint in their statements and actions. It feels like they just don’t care anymore. These are tough, disgusting times in Israel/Palestine. The flames in Jerusalem, which were ignited well before the recent war in Gaza, seem to be climbing higher every day, spreading to the West Bank and inside the Green Line as well. The recent events also seem to be bringing out some of Israeli leaders' true color. Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the Israeli public security minister (something equivalent…

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  • Far-right group to IDF soldiers: If you feel threatened, shoot Arab in head

    Lehava, the right-wing, anti-miscegenation group whose main activity is to incite against Arabs as a way of dissuading Jewish Israeli girls from dating them, has taken its incitement beyond intermarriage and into the realm of security. A new poster on its Facebook page encourages Israeli soldiers to act trigger happy when it comes to Palestinian protestors. It reads: Soldier! Stones and firebombs can kill you! Do you feel your life is in danger? Pick up your weapon and put a bullet through the murderer's head. It's better to sit in jail than die. 'Kill or be killed' [quote from Sages] IDF soldiers and…

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  • No one left for Bibi to blame – except, of course, Abbas

    Israel is in a crisis – the heaviest Palestinian street violence in a decade, the threat of a full-blown third intifada – and here’s how Netanyahu is managing it: by seizing on the last available scapegoat. Outside of the Netanyahu government and its supporters, does anyone believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is inciting the rioting and terror in East Jerusalem? Does anyone think the gunmen and killer drivers and adolescent stone-throwers are taking their cues from Ramallah’s 79-year-old bureaucrat-in-chief? Conversely, does anyone think that if Abbas were to call publicly and repeatedly for an end to…

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  • What to expect from the Israeli Right after Protective Edge

    Progressive forces in Israel need to be prepared: The Israeli Right has yet to exhaust all of its options for dealing with the Palestinians. The alternatives to Netanyahu's status quo involve moves toward a Greater Israel and full segregation based on extreme nationalism and hatred. By Mati Shemoelof (translated by Rotem Nir) If there is one thing we should have learned from the past couple of months, it’s an appreciation of just how high the stakes are in Israel. The Israeli Zionist Left is not capable of leading this country to serious change; change will only come when the Right betrays its…

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  • 'Captive soldier would have been better off if we shot him'

    New testimonies emerge from soldiers who believe that the capture of a soldier is too strategically risky to be allowed, at any price. The real risk that the botched rescue operation was trying to avert, however, could well be more political than strategic.  There has been some controversy during the war about the meaning of the Hannibal Directive, a once-classified order meant to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers by enemy forces - notoriously, by allowing Israeli troops to fire in their direction, even at risk of injury or death to the captive. Some have taken the interpretation of the…

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  • Not just escalation: A frightening new era of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel

    Attacks by Jewish hooligans on Arabs, unprecedented incitement by right-wing politicians and clashes between Israeli Police and Arab youth. We've been here before, but never like this. By Ron Gerlitz This article is written at the height of an extensive, violent escalation in the Jewish-Arab conflict, both within Israel and between Israel and the Palestinians in the territories and the Gaza Strip. Regarding the events inside Israel, it is important to note the dramatic difference between the events of October 2000 and those of the past week. In October 2000, it was Arab citizens of Israel confronting the police. In…

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  • Israeli right demands punitive measures against Palestinians following abductees' murder

    Palestinian teenager killed in clashes in Jenin while Israeli Air Force strikes over 30 targets in Gaza. Hamas still denies involvement in the deadly kidnapping. In response to the murder of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped two weeks ago, the Israeli Air Force struck 34 targets in Gaza Tuesday night, while four rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli army killed 16-year-old Yusef Abu Zaga in Jenin after it entered the city to make arrests. Israel's High Court approved the destruction of the home of Ziyad Awad Tuesday morning. Awad is standing trial in military court…

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  • Lame duck, not nuclear duck: Netanyahu's staggering defeat

    The slow crumbling of Netanyahu's political prestige reached its nadir on Tuesday, when his own heir apparent Gideon Sa'ar turned against him to elevate arch-rival Reuven Rivlin to presidency.  Reuven Rivlin's victory in the presidential elections on Tuesday was a resounding one, but nowhere near as resonant as Benjamin Netanyahu's defeat - a domestic political defeat to match his 2013 failure to stop Iran-U.S. rapprochement, which yanked the rug out from under his foreign policy. Rivlin and Netanyahu weren't running against each other. Quite the contrary, Rivlin was the candidate of Netanyahu's own party, Likud, adored by the party's rank-and-file…

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  • Israeli leaders' obscene reaction to the Brussels murders

    Netanyahu, Bennett and Liberman used the most horrible sort of anti-Jewish attack as a shield against criticism of their anti-Palestinian policies. Right-wing Israeli leaders get away with such shameless political exploitation of Jewish tragedies, and no one calls them on it. Their use of the Holocaust is of course an old story; the new one is the way they've capitalized on the murders of four people, including a Tel Aviv couple, at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday. Prime Minister Netanyahu said the killings were caused by “ceaseless incitement against Jews and their state. On European soil, tales and…

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