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Aluf Benn

  • Consensus wisdom: The boycott of Israel is working

    The only way to stop its spread is to end the occupation, say a growing number of prominent voices (none of whom, by the way, support the boycott).   From reading my digital mail, I see that a lot of people who say they oppose the occupation also oppose the boycott against Israel, and not only on moral grounds, but for practical reasons as well. It won't work, they say, it won't convince anyone, it'll have a boomerang effect by making Israel even more intransigent. I've made my arguments against the moral objections to the boycott (here, here and here),…

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  • Press freedom in Israel: Democracy in the age of self-censorship

    More worrying than the institutional instruments that enable censorship are the multiple forms of self-censorship that are deeply ingrained in the journalistic practices and conventions of Israeli media. By Ido Liven As the Hebrew proverb goes, "be a tail among lions rather than a head among foxes." In Freedom House's latest report, Israel's state of press freedom demonstrates just that. In the organization's 2012 report, Israel scored 30 on a scale of 10 to 97, putting its press freedom status at the bottom of the better “free” category. In the 2013 report, released on May 1, the country lost one point,…

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  • Tragedy, farce and denial in Kiryat Malachi

    The three Israelis killed on Thursday were innocent - but the State of Israel is not.   Where is the house that got hit with the rocket, I asked the guy behind the counter of a snack bar in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday. Go to the third traffic circle and make a left, he said.  I got to the street, parked my car and started walking toward the satellite dishes, TV truck and the crowd. It's a poor neighborhood on the edge of a poor town, across the street from open fields. The buildings are old, shabby tenements with dirt…

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  • In front-page editorial, Pro-Netanyahu paper supports attack on Iran

    Amos Regev, the editor of Israel Hayom: "[An attack on Iran] would be difficult. It would be daring. But it's possible." In an uncommon front-page, top-headline piece, Amos Regev, the editor of daily Israel Hayom, discusses the decision regarding an Israel military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Regev, a member of Binyamin Netanyahu's inner circle between his two terms as Prime Minister, attacks those speaking against the war, and concludes that "Yes, it's possible to attack – and to succeed." Israel Hayom, launched in 2007 by international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is known for its deep commitment to supporting Prime Minister…

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  • Did Netanyahu refuse a moratorium to hurt Obama in midterms?

    Aluf Benn, Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent, had this weekend an analysis piece on the possibility the Palestinian Authority will ask a UN recognition of a unilateral declaration of independence. Benn urged the Israeli government not to automatically object such a move. Israel, he writes, would be better off taking part in shaping a Security Council resolution than in just opposing one. As Ami Kaufman notes, given Israel's mistrust towards international institutions, it's a very surprising idea. Equally interesting is a paragraph in Benn's piece on Benjamin Netanyahu's recent diplomatic moves (my bold): Netanyahu rejected Obama's request for a two-month extension of…

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  • Wild Card - part V: If you can't beat 'em...

    Abu Mazen threatens, Netanyahu responds, the right wingers go berserk and Haaretz pundit has a strange plan: if you can’t beat the wild card - join it. Plus - a small surprise The talk about unilateral moves by Palestinians was all over the media the past few days - but unfortunately, still little talk about the Wild Card (U.S. recognition of such a move). Still, even a little is better than nothing. We’ll keep waiting for a leading pundit to pitch it and for an official American response against or for the Wild Card. But there's a surprise at the…

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  • Wild Card part IV: NYT puts unilateral move on the agenda

    (Part I, Part II, Part III) Ethan Bronner of the NYTimes gives a nice big shove to the Wild Card, only to get a slap in the face from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the next day. Bronner says that: The Palestinian leadership, near despair about attaining a negotiated agreement with Israel on a two-state solution, is increasingly focusing on how to get international bodies and courts to declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The idea, being discussed in both formal and informal forums across the West Bank, is to appeal to the United…

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