Israel's Foreign Ministry is going after Israeli human rights and anti-occupation activists overseas. Doing so will only make things worse for Israel. By Ilan Baruch It's been less than a month since Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely instructed Israeli embassies abroad to explain to the nations of the world that the land of Israel is ours in its entirety. Global hostility toward Israel, she insisted, does not stem from the occupation or settlements. [tmwinpost] Now, we have learned that she instructed the Israeli embassy in Switzerland to attempt to cancel a “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Zurich. The exhibition presents…Read More... | 115 Comments
Junior MK Oren Hazan, who rose in the ranks at breathtaking speed to become the country's deputy speaker of the Knesset, is now being accused of running a gambling operation, procuring call girls and using crystal meth. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) was suspended from chairing parliamentary sessions Tuesday morning after a Channel 2 exposé alleged he was involved in running a gambling operation; procuring and paying for call girls for his clients; and even using crystal meth — all as recently as last summer. The suspension puts a looming question mark over the most rapid and…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel's two biggest newspapers didn't hesitate to copy-paste a press release from the Foreign Ministry, turning a small London organization into 'Hamas in Europe.' By Yoni Mendel I often hear Israeli friends and co-workers belittle the Arab-speaking media in Israel. Especially due to the fact that many Arab media outlets in Israel don't actually employ journalists, and that any piece written in good Arabic for one of the more popular Arab news sites will likely be published without any changes. [tmwinpost] I thought about it yesterday as I took the train from Tel Aviv to Haifa, while leafing through Yedioth…Read More... | 1 Comment
Netanyahu has more paths to the Prime Minister's Office than Herzog, but also more party leaders who oppose him personally. Seventy-one days ahead of Israel’s general elections, two major stories are dominating the political news cycle: the showdown between Shas’s former leaders – Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai – and the corruption affair involving senior politicians from Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Both Shas and Liberman lost some ground in last week’s polls, while Yishai’s newly formed party is coming close to passing the Knesset threashold, currently at 4 seats (3.25 percent of the votes). Netanyahu’s Likud party held its…Read More... | 17 Comments
By Lisa Goldman and Dahlia Scheindlin (This article has been updated. See the addendum below.) In a recent New York Times op-ed, a prominent American academic posits that the time for implementing a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is now past. Ian Lustick, a professor of comparative politics at University of Pennsylvania, argues that after 20 years of failed negotiations, the two-state paradigm is a proven failure. The Americans, Palestinian Authority and Israeli government cling to what he calls the “two state illusion” out of vested interests that have nothing to do with the facts on the ground. It…Read More... | 66 Comments
While a third of the Knesset joins the pro-settlement caucus, one member of the coalition warns of a 'South African' future. The Israeli political conversation has a strange sense of déjà vu these days: on Wednesday, during a panel organized by the think-tank Molad, Knesset Member Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid warned that if Israel fails to disengage from the West Bank, it will face a similar fate to that of Apartheid South Africa. “The occupation,” said Shelah, “corrupts Israeli society. It corrupts the army, corrupts Israeli justice, Israeli media, Israeli psyche and Israeli language." Facing Shelah at the panel…Read More... | 4 Comments
The new Netanyahu coalition will give settlers and their supporters more executive power than any previous government in Israel has until now. With the Housing and Industry ministries in their hand, and political ally Moshe Ya’alon as the new defense minister, the settlers are very pleased by the new Netanyahu government. Head of the Samaria region (the northern West Bank) Gershon Mesika told the Ynet news site: "On the face of it, it does look like a wet dream – Ya'alon on defense and Ariel on housing is something which carries great potential, but in these things you can't foretell what will happen."…Read More... | 3 Comments
The prime minister's Likud-Beitenu party has yet to present a platform for the upcoming elections, and if one is to be published, it most likely won't include any reference to a future Palestinian state. Education Minister Sa'ar: 'it is time to sober up from the idea.' Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not intend to ever carry out the evacuation of West Bank settlements, and that the Bar Ilan speech, in which he accepted in principle the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state, was meant to please the world and corner the Palestinian…Read More... | 9 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
Those who attacked Palestinians in central Jerusalem claimed they wanted to prevent them from speaking to Jewish girls. The fear of interracial relations once found only in the fringes of the right are now turning into a legitimate, mainstream political issue in national-religious circles. Jerusalem Police are still carrying out arrests of suspects – mostly teenagers – in Friday's shocking attack that took place in the city's center. A few dozen Israeli Jews beat up three Palestinians, leaving one gravely injured and still hospitalized. According to several testimonies, the attackers also tried to interfere with medical treatment being provided to the wounded. At…Read More... | 35 Comments
Knesset member joins other rightwing leaders in call for annexing West Bank, one state solution. One of the well known figures in the settler movement, Knesset Member Uri Ariel from the radical rightwing National Union Party, is publicly calling for a one-state solution as an alternative to the construction of a Palestinian state, the independent news site Srugim reported. Ariel is calling on Israel to annex the West Bank immediately and give all Palestinians living there the status of residents in Israel, similar to those of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which was annexed to Israel in 1967. According to the…Read More... | 20 Comments
Why waste all this energy on small victories against the powerful right? Let them hit the wall. Hard. The social networks today were all abuzz with a big victory for the left over the right. Bank Leumi, the largest bank in Israel, was forced to freeze a charity campaign when customers discovered that money they raised could have gone to Im Tirtzu, an extreme right wing political group. My colleague Dahlia Scheindlin has a post here explaining the issue in depth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the party on Twitter and Facebook. To be honest - I just wasn’t that impressed.…Read More... | 13 Comments
The Glenn Beck circus at the Knesset today had it all: Ecstatic fans who pushed and shoved to meet him; a theatrical as ever Beck, pounding on the table and yelling "Amen"; MK Arieh Eldad saying the occupation must end (the Islamic occupation of Israel) and even some chit-chat and shaking of hands with one of Israel's most famous Kahanists, Baruch Marzel. The attendees and MKs couldn't get enough of him, and not one would dare miss the opportunity to kiss the feet of the Holy Beck My Glenn Beck experience had quite a strange start to it. When I…Read More... | 37 Comments
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The Iran Deal
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