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naftali bennett

  • West Bank murder: Leaders fail to address nature of settler violence

    The murder of a Palestinian baby has provoked condemnation from Israeli leaders across the political spectrum. Yet the harsh rhetoric masks a consistent failure by the Israeli establishment to understand the endemic nature of this kind of violence. Friday morning's “price tag” arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma, which killed Palestinian baby Ali Saad Dawabsha and left his parents and brother in critical condition, has been labeled an act of terror by nearly all Israeli and Palestinian politicians alike. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the arson “an act of terrorism in every respect,” and announced that he…

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  • The occupation is about people, not just land

    Israel keeps millions of people under a system of rules so intricate and outlandish that often the military itself fails to make sense of it. By Itamar Sha’altiel (translated from Hebrew by Noam Rabinovich) Naftali Bennett posted a photo to Facebook on Wednesday of a vase found in an archeological dig in Beit Shemesh, bearing the words “Ishba’al son of Beda.” Bennett’s point, and his conclusion, was that “a nation cannot occupy its own land.” The phrase, “a nation cannot occupy its own land,” is a right-wing slogan that is repeated ad nauseam – by Bennett and others – and it has…

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  • The economic costs of military rule

    Israelis cannot treat the occupation as something that merely affects them in the eyes in the world while their economy keeps paying a heavy price for its continuation. By Shlomo Swirski and Yarom Hoffman Dishon The social-economic cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spoken about far less than the human cost or the price Israel pays on an international level. And when the social-economic costs do get brought up, the leaders of the economy always stress that this is a relatively small price to pay that have a short-term negative effect on the market. This position only lends to the…

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  • Bennett as education minister: Less science, more Judaism

    Bennett's party website lists promoting 'love for land and [Jewish] people' as a top priority; the Education Ministry already announced that fewer classroom hours will be devoted to core subjects like math, language and history. Along with the announcement that Netanyahu finally formed a governing coalition Wednesday night came the anticipated news that Israel's next education minister will be Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party. Bennett, who already had his eye on inculcating religious-Zionist values in the nation's youth, is expected to make changes to the state curriculum in order to bring it further in line with his party's…

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  • With friends like these: How Netanyahu walked all over his closest ally

    Netanyahu's crushing victory wasn't so much over the Left, which never stood much of a chance to begin with. His true and ruthless triumph was over the Right, and especially over one man — his closest ally, Naftali Bennett.  It is difficult to describe Netanyahu’s victory in Tuesday’s elections as anything other than stunning. Stunning not so much for the fact that he had won — this much was reluctantly accepted among most observers throughout the election season. The true shock came as the sheer scope of Netanyahu’s victory was revealed - 30 seats to Herzog’s 24, dramatically strengthening the…

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  • How the 'selfie campaign' failed Israeli voters

    Digital media has dictated the agenda of this election campaign. The parties flooded the web with funny videos, hoping to go viral. Media strategists know how to make their audience laugh, but they failed to establish a meaningful discourse with the electorate. By Angela Gruber Noy Alooshe is a sought-after man these days. His Youtube remixes mash up short bits of politicians' speeches with catchy beats, creating viral music videos that make sport of the featured candidates, crossing all party lines. But instead of hating Alooshe for mocking them, he has politicians calling him up after their speeches, suggesting sound…

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  • Election preview: Netanyahu's moment of truth

    The Israeli prime minister called elections hoping to strengthen his coalition, but he underestimated the personal resentment many Israelis feel toward him. One shouldn't, however, confuse the fierce competition for power with a battle over ideas: even if Labor wins, the end of the occupation is not around the corner. When Benjamin Netanyahu decided to fire Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and send Israelis to the polls for the second time in a little over two years, many people (myself included) defined these elections as “a referendum on Netanyahu.” Final results will only be in on…

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  • [VID] The Bibi circus rolls into town

    'Anyone who isn't jumping is a leftie,' chant the settler youths at a right-wing election rally in Tel Aviv, the site of a larger anti-Netanyahu rally a week earlier. Netanyahu the ringmaster is in control of his audience, and the rally itself has the quality of a victory parade. Video by Camilla Schick They came, they saw, they cheered. Around Rabin Square Sunday evening, the streets of Tel Aviv were unrecognizable: thousands of settlers, hilltop youth and national-religious had come from across the country (and from over the Green Line) in order to attend a right-wing rally in a location usually…

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  • The silent majority of complacency: Israel's right-wing voters

    The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static. Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the…

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  • We're not stuck with Palestinians, we're stuck in our own fear

    A group of ex-generals is warning Israelis that another Netanyahu-Bennett government will mean being stuck with the Palestinians forever. But no matter what happens, Israelis and Palestinians will always be stuck with each other. "With Bibi-Bennett, we'll be stuck with the Palestinians forever." I noticed a billboard carrying that slogan the other day and was immediately appalled. It is among the most offensive and racist I've seen in this campaign — and there is no lack of competition in that department. (i.e., Lieberman just added to his "death penalty for terrorists" slogan a suggested policy of beheading Palestinian citizens of…

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  • Arab, leftist high schoolers walk out on Naftali Bennett's speech

    Bennett suggests Arabs steal Jewish property during conference for Israeli high schoolers who will be voting in their first elections. Activist says he was threatened by Shin Bet outside the event. Dozens of Arab and Jewish-leftist high school students walked out on a speech by Naftali Bennett after he suggested Arabs are car and property thieves during a conference held on Sunday at Tel Aviv University. The leaders of several Israeli political parties spoke at the conference, put on by the Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel, which was convened for Israeli high school students who will be old enough to vote…

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  • Just another exclusionary democracy in the Mideast

    This state has never truly recognized the injustices it is responsible for: the Nakba, the occupation or the poor treatment of Mizrahim. And yet, we still have an obligation to try and make this a place worth living in.  Israeli society isn't ready for a political party with "too many women," said one female political analyst on Channel 2. The country isn't ready for too many Mizrahim in its elitist Jewish parties. The country isn't ripe for more blacks or Russians. And let's not even get started on Arabs, especially at a time when everyone is arguing over who is…

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  • Blame Peres, not Bennett, for the Qana massacre

    The twisted logic of Peres' Grapes of Wrath operation was all about hitting civilian targets. That was the reason refugees sought shelter in Qana's UN base in the first place. Yigal Sarna, a journalist for Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, published a dramatic and serious accusation over the weekend against Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party. Bennett was the commander of a small IDF unit that operated inside the “Security Zone” that Israel occupied in South Lebanon during the 1996 military operation Grapes of Wrath. According to Sarna, Bennett decided on his own to diverge from his orders, got his soldiers…

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