The reaction in Israel to viral videos showing IDF “weakness” shows Israelis only care about what they look like in the West Bank, and not why they’re there to begin with. But of all the reactions, Israel’s Foreign Minister had the last laugh once again. It’s been a bad week for us occupiers. Caught by the natives with our pants down. Twice! First, there was this embarrassing moment in Hebron when IDF soldiers were sourrounded by Palestinian police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s29jtLfVE4 But then came the worst, when Palestinians from the village of Kaddum threw stones on soldiers and the latter - are…Read More... | 43 Comments
The political parties, along with media, will sell a story of a tight battle, but the Likud-led majority is as stable as it was four years ago. A quick breakdown of the upcoming elections, expected to take place in roughly ninety days. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday evening his intention to hold early elections in roughly three months. Elections were due to take place in November 2013 in any case, but Netanyahu estimates that he will have trouble passing next year's budget in the current Knesset. The following is an excerpt from Netanyahu's statement tonight: Today, I finished a round of…Read More... | 14 Comments
Despite criticism at home and even from Defense Minister Barak, Netanyahu doubles down against the American president, on the eve of a close election. The public rift between the American administration and Israel is deepening: earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched an unprecedented attack against the administration, stating that "the world has no right to stop us" (from attacking Iran). It was clear that the quote was directed at President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, as Netanyahu was referring to the American refusal to declare a "red line" that would lead to an American strike on Iran if crossed.…Read More... | 13 Comments
The rhetoric of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister stands at odds with what seems like a growing recognition that Israel will not attack the Iranian nuclear facilities on its own. There is an absolute consensus in the Israeli security establishment that striking the Iranian nuclear facilities now, without the support or the approval of the United States, is complete madness. Despite a massive campaign on this issue, the public is still split – with a slight majority for those opposing the war - and so is the political system. Under these conditions, which haven’t really changed in the last…Read More... | 2 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of playing the American political game. It seems that his friend Mitt Romney is now involved in Israeli politics, having cancelled a meeting with Labor head Shelly Yachimovich at the last minute. Labor Minister: 'Romney may have been misled by political players in Israel.' A meeting between the Republican nominee and the Labor leader, Shelly Yachimovich, was cancelled last minute by Romney's staff, despite having initiated it and repeatedly confirmed it until today. According to Haaretz, a probable reason for the cancellation was a request from Prime Minister Netanyahu, who sees Yachimovich as…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israel's top-selling newspaper reports that Netanyahu hasn't convinced inner council to back war; his latest attempt to rig the game has only hurt him more. Yedioth Ahronoth is reporting some very good and surprising news on the Iran front: Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't have a majority in the inner council of his government for an attack. In the eight-minister "octet," an unofficial body sometimes called the "security cabinet" or "inner cabinet," it's tied 4-4, with PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in favor of war, and Interior Minister Eli Yishai and ministers-of-whatever Moshe "Bugi" Ya'alon, Dan Meridor and Benny…Read More... | 6 Comments
The New York Times published a laudable, bold editorial this weekend that highlights a number of creeping threats to Israeli democracy. The article is vital for reaching audiences who really care about Israel's future. After three years of onslaught on Israel's democratic foundations (which were already deeply flawed), the situation is now urgent. Every day, truly scary signs of under-the-radar McCarthyism can be seen – just this morning Haaretz reported on the attempt to oust an official (Hebrew) in the Education Ministry responsible for civics education, who has come under a right-wing witch-hunt, despite protests by both left- and right-leaning colleagues. The legitimization…Read More... | 9 Comments
After only 70 days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mega-coalition shrank back to 66 members of Knesset yesterday. Kadima, the Knesset's biggest party, decided to leave the government over the failure to reach an agreement on national draft reform. A few takeaways: 1. The entire maneuver that resulted in the national unity government was a mistake by the prime minister, who had been about to announce elections on September 4, and win them easily. Currently, elections are scheduled to take place in October 2013, but common wisdom says they will happen six to nine months from now, in the winter or spring…Read More... | 7 Comments
A leading Israeli defense reporter writes that Barak and Netanyahu have decided to attack Iran before November, and only IDF chief Benny Gantz can stop them. I say even he can't. Channel 10 defense reporter Alon Ben David, who's been covering the Israeli security establishment for about 20 years and is as plugged in up there as anyone alive, writes in Haaretz today that the only person who can stop an Israeli attack on Iran before the November 6 presidential election is IDF chief Benny Gantz. This is an extremely newsworthy op-ed because Ben David is not a pundit, he's a top-drawer reporter (also writing for the "Bible" of military affairs, Jane's Defence…Read More... | 20 Comments
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…Read More... | 31 Comments
The instantly-famous Time's breastfeeding cover has turned into an internet meme, which was also used to criticize Israel's new government deal. Via Holes in the NetRead More... | 2 Comments
By Roni Schocken Congratulations to Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz. I've been fond of Mofaz for a while now. Ever since he served as defense minister in Ariel Sharon's government during the disengagement from Gaza, Mofaz has been building himself up as a serious politician and perhaps even a statesman. It was during the disengagement that Mofaz morphed into a political dove, and despite the takeover of Israeli politics by the right-wing settler movement, he has stood his ground. Then in 2009, during a period of political stagnation, he introduced a gutsy plan for a peace process and when asked,…Read More... | 10 Comments
Close to 1,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv Tuesday night to protest the coalition deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima head Shaul Mofaz, under the slogan: "The entire nation is the opposition." The protest was reportedly put together by organizers of last summer's J14 "social justice" protests and there were smaller demonstrations also held in Jerusalem and Beer Sheva. Protestors expressed shock and anger over the fact that Mofaz led the opposition party into the government just days after announcing he would never join Netanyahu's government, and accused both the prime minister and Kadima chairman of being liars and "shady dealers," more interested in their…Read More... | 2 Comments
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