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annexation

  • Annexation is more than just a declaration

    By drawing a line at formal annexation, the international community is hobbling its ability to respond to Israeli changes on the ground. Benjamin Netanyahu declared on the eve of Israel’s April 9 elections that if reelected he would begin annexing the West Bank. Only, if we’re being precise, he didn’t. Israeli leaders have almost never used the word annexation, yet the absence of that terminology has never prevented the country from permanently acquiring territory by force. [tmwinpost] Netanyahu did not say that he will formally annex the West Bank but what he did say is that he will gradually extend…

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  • Five reasons why voting for Netanyahu was a rational choice for Jewish Israelis

    Yes, Netanyahu is facing corruption probes and is practically annexing the West Bank. But for many Jewish Israelis, he has also provided relative security, a better economy, and growing international legitimacy — which makes the unknown alternative much worse. Benjamin Netanyahu won his fifth election campaign Tuesday, making him Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Most Israeli citizens, and an overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis, prefer to continue with the exact same policies that the Likud has put forward over the past decade. These voters rejected most of the far-right, fundamentalist parties that call for formal annexation, turned the Zionist left into an insignificant…

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  • The Israeli opposition failed. Here's how it can redeem itself

    Israel’s next coalition stands to be one of the most pro-annexationist parliaments in the history of the state. Now, it's up to the opposition to defend democracy. Dear Opposition — There is really no way to say this nicely: you failed. You failed in the campaign, and you have failed over the past decade, while Netanyahu governed with a far-right hand. [tmwinpost] Blue and White, you failed to realize that voters who oppose Netanyahu wanted a difference in substance. By the end, I heard too many people complaining that your party didn’t have any. Perhaps you thought that anyone who wants…

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  • Who needs Bennett when Netanyahu is already annexing the West Bank

    Unlike satellite right-wing parties, Netanyahu advances the annexation of occupied Palestinian territories with little public scrutiny and at no cost. Israeli politics provide very few moments of relief for the beaten-down left. That Naftali Bennett’s “New Right” party might not make it past the election threshold, and that his political partner, former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, might have to beg the Supreme Court — which she so much abhors — to defend her political survival, are certainly two examples of such relief. [tmwinpost] But the joy over Bennett and Shaked’s troubles, justified as it may be, must not interfere with our…

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  • The best outcome of these elections is if things don't get worse

    These elections have turned into a referendum on the annexation of the West Bank — but that's not something for Israel to decide. Five thoughts on Israel's upcoming elections. 1. In many ways Tuesday’s general elections in Israel seem fixed if you’re among the ranks of people hoping to see Benjamin Netanyahu end his decade-long reign as prime minister. Even if his challenger, Benny Gantz, wins a plurality of Knesset seats, besting Netanyahu’s Likud, he still doesn’t have the numbers to form a government. [tmwinpost] As Dahlia Scheindlin has written here on numerous occasions, there is simply little chance that the…

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  • Annexation is happening whether Netanyahu is reelected or not

    Netanyahu's declaration that he will annex parts of the West Bank is alarming, but it only names a process that was long ago put into action, and which is now part of the mainstream Israeli discourse. Four years ago, on the eve of Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu promised in a television interview that there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch. He retracted the statement a few days after winning, but only those who wanted to believe him actually did. Opposing Palestinian statehood has always been Netanyahu’s policy. He has diverged from it on rare occasions, when he…

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  • Win or lose, Netanyahu has already cemented his legacy

    In his 10 years in power, Netanyahu has engaged in race-baiting against his own citizens, declared the occupation a permanent feature of Israeli reality, and shifted both the national and international conversation on Palestine. It is time to acknowledge that these are no mere trends — but his very legacy. Ten years after he was elected prime minister, it is nearly impossible to imagine an Israel without Benjamin Netanyahu at its helm. An entire generation of Israelis has come of age in the Netanyahu era, and much of what young Israelis have internalized about politics, about their identity, and about Israel is the result of…

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  • What the candidates in Israel's elections say about the conflict

    For a long time, politicians perpetuated the idea that Israel sought peace and a two-state solution, even while taking contradictory steps on the ground. In these elections, that dissonance seems to be dwindling. A look at what each party is saying. The scramble to predict who might win the Israeli elections is understandable, but it begs a towering question: Will the next government actually change anything? To hone in further: Will it change Israel’s direction on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The left is inclined to say there’s no difference between centrist challengers Blue and White party and Netanyahu’s ruling Likud. Netanyahu’s…

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  • How to stop Kahanists from taking over

    Twenty-five years after a follower of Meir Kahane massacred Palestinian worshipers in Hebron, Netanyahu is basing his future coalition on a Kahanist party. Now Israelis will have to decide between apartheid and a future of hope and equality. By Raluca Ganea Reality is often too complex to draw clear lines between cause and effect. But occasionally, a single act by a single person changes the course of history. Twenty-five years ago, on February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron. [tmwinpost] Instead of evacuating the Hebron settlement following the massacre, Israel punished…

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  • Tzipi Livni couldn’t save Israel because Israel doesn’t want to be saved

    Tzipi Livni, who bid farewell to politics this week, won’t be Israel's de Gaulle. She will not be the leader that shakes us out of our collective slumber. Today, it is difficult to imagine any other Israeli leader having the desire to even try. It’s strange to consider that a mere decade ago, Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the Israeli elections. Yet 10 years after Benjamin Netanyahu pushed her into the opposition back benches, Livni tearfully announced on Monday that she will not be running for the upcoming Knesset elections. Polls show her Hatnuah party wouldn’t make it past the election threshold and running…

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  • Activists shut down traffic on new West Bank 'apartheid road'

    Activists say the highway, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall, will 'strengthen Israeli rule, including by shutting out entire Palestinian areas.' Dozens of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists Wednesday morning blocked a highway many have dubbed the “apartheid road,” Route 4370 in the occupied West Bank, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall. [tmwinpost] The activists managed to shut down the highway for 20 minutes before Israeli Border Police officers suppressed the demonstration with stun grenades and arrested two. One side of the road, which stretches between Route 437 and Route 1 just…

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  • Don't believe the hype: The Israeli right is weaker than it seems

    The right had a decade to annex the West Bank, quash Palestinian aspirations, and thwart Hamas in Gaza. Yet today, more than ever, its invincibility is anything but certain. By Meron Rapoport The past decade belonged to the Israeli right. Since 2009, the right-wing bloc easily defeated its opponents and won elections, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became its undisputed leader and the most important political figure in Israel. In the past six years, the Jewish Home party — the rightmost mainstream political party — has held key posts in the government. [tmwinpost] Political commentators are in near-total agreement that a…

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  • Between garbage and sewage: Israel's future plans for Khan al-Ahmar

    To avoid being transferred to a garbage dump in East Jerusalem, the villagers of Khan al-Ahmar will have to convince three other Bedouin communities to evacuate the area. After that, they can live near a wastewater site. By Hagai El-Ad Since the mid-1970s, Israel has been working to drive Palestinians out of the West Bank area which lies east of Jerusalem. Special efforts have been invested in emptying the "Ma’ale Adumim bubble" — the sizable swath of land extending eastwards, from the outskirts of East Jerusalem about halfway to Jordan, to be enclosed by the planned separation barrier – of Palestinians. These efforts…

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