In the world of Israel's 'anti-diplomacy,' anything is possible -- including the extremely improbable. There comes a time in every Israeli's life when he or she must undertake a great challenge on behalf of the Zionist endeavor. This morning I learned that my country has found itself at the center of a diplomatic debacle with New Zealand, and it appears that I may have to be the one to tie the bungee rope around my waist, step into the ravine of international relations, and resolve it. First, though, let us ask: how in the world does one run into conflict…Read More... | 19 Comments
Netanyahu now has the same number of seats as his main coalition partner, Yair Lapid. This leaves him at the mercy of his arch-rival, President Reuven Rivlin, if the coalition would need to be reshuffled without new elections being called. Up until mid last month, Netanyahu's coalition enjoyed a reasonably obvious hierarchy. The Likud-Beitenu list led with 31 seats; Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid followed with 19; Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home barely caught up with 12; and Tzipi Livni's Hatnua closed the list with 6. This classical enough arrangement suffered its first blow in mid- July, when Avigdor Liberman unilaterally broke…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 11 Comments
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…Read More... | 6 Comments
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…Read More... | 6 Comments
When a minority consistently feels disenfranchised and excluded, it retreats from civil society. Now is the time to ensure that Israel’s Palestinian minority and its elected representatives no longer take that route - for the sake of all citizens. By Ilan Manor Following the shameful presidency of convicted rapist Moshe Katzav, most Israelis felt that only Nobel Prize laureate Shimon Peres could restore dignity to the office of president. In the past six-and-a-half years in office, Peres not only rehabilitated the presidency, he also revitalized it and its influence. There is no greater testament to his success than the fact that…Read More... | 20 Comments
Likud MK Rivlin calls for criminal investigation into settler’s municipal election slogan. Previous campaigns warned of Arabs ‘terrorizing’ Jewish girls. By Mairav Zonszein and Michael Omer-Man A list of candidates running in the upcoming Jerusalem municipal elections is vying for (Jewish) votes with a slogan calling to “Judaize” the city. The phrase is associated with efforts by Jewish settlers to push Palestinians out of the city’s neighborhoods. “Judaize Jerusalem,” read signs for the United Jerusalem list, headed Aryeh King, a right-wing settler notorious for trying to claim land for Jews in East Jerusalem. He directs the Israel Land Fund, whose mission…Read More... | 16 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
The question is no longer about whether one state should be considered, as there is only one state which governs over two people. The question is which kind of state it will be: the left or the right-wing version. The protests a few weeks ago in the West Bank against Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, once the hope for an institutional and economic state-builder for Palestine, look like one more sign of failure for the emergence of a de facto if not de jure Palestinian state. In the lead-up to September 2011, the Palestinian state appeared poised to advance towards greater general legitimacy. Internationally, the political zeitgeist was…Read More... | 39 Comments
Secular, binational, and more: there are plenty of one-state models that can and should be discussed. But what's becoming increasingly clear to figures from both the right and the left is that the feasibility of the two-state solution must be reconsidered. By Yoav Kapshuk It is time to start a public discussion about possible and realistic arrangements for the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The importance of the discussion does not lie in reaching a consensus about a desired arrangement of one state or two states, but rather in creating an opening through which to understand…Read More... | 49 Comments
Two days ago, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari was photographed in his chambers tearing up a copy of the New Testament. Yeterday, MK Ahmad Tibi responded. I'm quite tired of MK Tibi's gimmicks and theatrics and what seems to be a constant need to get a headline. I agree with Speaker Reuven Rivlin who claims it just lowers the Knesset's "esteem" (what esteem exactly, I don't know... but still). Yet, I can't shake the feeling that if I had a picture of a man who for me epitomizes so much of the evil that has cursed this world through generations…Read More... | 7 Comments
Haaretz reports that a new bill for a Basic Law currently being debated would allow the Knesset to override Supreme Court rulings that a law is unconstitutional, by a 65-member Knesset vote, neatly killing off one of the last traces of checks and balances in Israel. It is particularly disturbing that Reuven Rivlin, Speaker of the Knesset, supports the bill, which as a Basic Law would have constitution-like status. Rivlin up until now has been one of a small group of Likud parliamentarians who could actually be counted on to preserve at least the structures of democracy, and has repeatedly…Read More... | 16 Comments
The Knesset committee in charge of organizing the torch-lighting ceremony for Independence Day has come up with this year's list of participants--and it doesn't include any Arabs. While Knesset members criticized the exclusion of minorities, the move reflects reality of life in Israel. According to Ynet, a Knesset committee's exclusion of Palestinian citizens of the state from the torch-lighting ceremony that takes place on Jerusalem's Har Herzl and marks Israel's independence drew sharp criticism from a number of Knesset members. Reuven Rivlin, Speaker of the Knesset and a member of the Likud party, remarked: In Israel, there are groups that…Read More... | 11 Comments
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- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Resource: Privatizating law enforcement in, around settlements http://t.co/S7rxvGJR5S Report by @YeshDin
How the IDF abdicates its monopoly on violence in the West Bank http://t.co/RYnK5cUP6j
Israel’s High Court upholds law that allows segregated communities http://t.co/MhCWUc6va7
The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine http://t.co/UcICEtYcz3 by @SamBahour
How all Israelis are complicit in the occupation http://t.co/z71lwQDQTv by @dahliasc
Refusal by IDF intel. reservists highlights that all Israeli social & political structures support the occupation: http://t.co/3KDXD6PaEK
The refuseniks from IDF intelligence unit 8200 show that all Israelis are implicated in the occupation: http://t.co/3KDXD6PaEK by @dahliasc