He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series. By Menachem Klein Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004. For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders…Read More... | 13 Comments
The election tie between Likud and Herzog's Zionist Camp came as a shock to supporters who had gathered in Tel Aviv. Almost defiantly, they followed what became the night's mantra: Nothing is decided yet. We haven't lost. By Angela Gruber First, there was a party. When the results of the exit polls kept rolling in, the supporters of the Zionist Union at the Convention Center in the north of Tel Aviv waved their flags, chanted slogans and started jumping. For a moment, it seemed like the actual results didn't matter that much. Then it started to sink in. There was…Read More... | 1 Comment
The 'Zionist Camp' needs the Arab parties in order to form a government. Its decision to vote for disqualifying Zoabi makes that support less and less likely. The Central Elections Commission on Thursday disqualified MK Haneen Zoabi and candidate Baruch Marzel from running in Israel’s upcoming elections. The decision is not final without the approval of the Supreme Court, which is not expected to uphold the disqualification. The Zionist Camp, comprised of the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s party, reversed its already-reversed position and joined the majority in voting to disqualify Zoabi. Only six votes were cast against disqualifying the…Read More... | 14 Comments
Two years ago Herzog adamantly stated that the Labor party principally opposes disqualifying any Knesset candidates. Now, in what appears to be the groundwork for joining a Netanyahu government, he and Tzipi Livni want to stop Haneen Zoabi from running for office. The Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s joint list, “The Zionist Camp,” announced this week that they will support a request to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi and Kahanist settler Baruch Marzel from running in upcoming Knesset elections. The motion to disqualify the Balad MK is expected to pass by near consensus in the Central Elections Committee — with the…Read More... | 15 Comments
An interview with the latest addition to Tzipi Livni's 'Zionist Camp,' on the heavy price Israel will pay if it can't solve the Palestinian conflict, how much Russian and Mizrahi immigrants have in common, and whether the Labor/Livni list will consider forming a new government with Netanyahu. In the Israeli electoral system, party heads often times reserve spots on their parliamentary slates for candidates of their choosing — usually representing geographic regions, people of certain ethnic origins or for women. It would be a big mistake to reduce Ksenia Svetlova to the “Russian candidate” of the Zionist Camp, the joint list comprised…Read More... | 14 Comments
For the first time, the Knesset could have a sizable political bloc that is '100 percent for equality, 100 percent against occupation.' The joint Arab slate should use this to not only challenge the right-wing’s discriminatory agenda, but to expose the center-left’s distorted idea of democracy. Last week, the four main political parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel announced their agreement to run as a joint slate in the upcoming elections. Although there is popular support for the decision, Palestinian citizens are uncertain of what the slate can achieve. Personal conflicts, ideological differences and other disputes will make it difficult for the parties to stay together…Read More... | 5 Comments
Both Netanyahu and Livni are leveraging their international influence for electoral gain: Netanyahu in Congress and Livni at the United Nations. And, will the real Zionist camp please stand up? Elections are almost always referendums on the incumbent, and an incumbent always has an advantage against any challengers. One of those advantages is the ability to demonstrate leadership and to exploit platforms unavailable to his or her challengers, i.e. speaking before a joint session of Congress. Such advantages tend not to be fair, or even legal in some cases. In Israel, for instance, there are laws that prevent public servants…Read More... | 23 Comments
While Israel's behavior has managed to antagonize many European countries, some former Soviet states have yet to take a stand against the occupation. That may just change soon enough. By Inna Michaeli The vile and repugnant behavior of Avigdor Liberman and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs toward Sweden (one of my favorite countries) has re-lit a spark of optimism. At least among those of us who hope that international pressure will force Israel to end the occupation. When it comes to international relations it isn't the human rights violations or war crimes that cause antagonism toward Israel. Rather, it is the…Read More... | 5 Comments
Liberman launched his election campaign under the slogan 'Ariel to Israel, Umm al-Fahm to Palestine,' once again signaling his willingness to expel Palestinian citizens from the country. The only difference? This time around he is being flagged as a moderate. Every time Avigdor Liberman opens his mouth to speak, one can smell hate and fear-mongering. In a speech during his election campaign launch Thursday morning, Liberman went a step further in his racist and inciting speech against Israel's Arab citizens. While his Yisrael Beiteinu party is being investigated for a major corruption scandal, Liberman is pulling out his most powerful…Read More... | 76 Comments
Herzog and Bibi’s political interests and the fragmented Knesset that is likely to emerge after the elections might force Likud and Labor into a power-sharing deal. Avigdor Liberman and President Rivlin already support the idea. The Israeli Labor Party, which will participate in the upcoming election under the banner of “The Zionist Camp,” held its primaries this week. Former party leader Shelly Yachimovich won second place (first place is reserved for party leader Isaac Herzog); Stav Shafir and Itizik Shmuli, two of the leaders of 2011’s social protest movement, were elected in top places. Altogether the list leans a bit…Read More... | 15 Comments
As they head into elections, Netanyahu, Livni, Herzog, Lapid and Yishai can agree on one thing: even after nine military operations in 14 years, the only solution to the conflict with Gaza is another war with Hamas. By Yonatan Mendel Election season is upon us, which means that the country's best copywriters and campaigners are likely gathering with elected officials in meeting rooms in order to come up with a concise and clear message for the citizens of Israel - one that will inspire them to vote for those very same elected officials, and the brighter future they promise. Politicians and…Read More... | 15 Comments
By warning that a Palestinian UN resolution might strengthen Netanyahu, Kerry is actually suggesting that Palestinians can influence Israeli elections — just not in the direction Washington was hoping for. The United States is trying to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions seeking an end to the occupation under the pretense that it could strengthen right-wing political parties in Israel’s upcoming elections, according to a report in Foreign Policy on Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a gathering of European diplomats that Tzipi Livni — who recently departed the far-right Netanyahu government to join forces with the centrist Labor…Read More... | 3 Comments
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”…Read More... | 35 Comments
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The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
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