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Benjamin Netanyahu

  • U.S. Jews can’t expect Israel to be liberal only where they want it to

    Liberal American Jewry is up in arms after the Israeli government nixed a deal to allow men and women to pray together at Judaism's holiest site. But if American Jews want their interests in Israel safeguarded, they must rid themselves of the fantasy of a nonexistent Jewish pluralism. The Netanyahu government created an uproar across the Jewish world on Sunday by rolling back an agreement to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall where men and women could pray together. The compromise would also have brought representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements into a committee meant to manage that space. [tmwinpost] That arrangement…

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  • WATCH: Hundreds of Israelis protest government corruption

    At the beginning of June, hundreds of Israelis gathered in Petah Tikva to protest against the slow progress on investigations into government corruption, particularly the scandals surrounding Netanyahu, as well as against threats to freedom of expression. Read more: Civil society groups join forces to protect freedom of speech Netanyahu scandal exposes corruption in the Israeli press

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  • When it comes to gender terrorism, Israel's brave leaders stay silent

    Four women have been murdered since the beginning of the week, but if you look at our leaders' Facebook pages, you'll notice they are spending all their time attacking Palestinians and leftists. Fourteen women have been murdered in Israel since the beginning of 2017, four of them in the past week alone. Had the murderers been Arab and the murdered Jewish, it is likely that we would have already been in a state of emergency. Televised cabinet meetings would deal with the "wave of terror," special forces would be spread out across the country, and politicians would compete with one another…

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  • Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

    If Israel is not willing to relinquish military control over the West Bank, then it is saying that there can be no two-state solution. Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever. [tmwinpost] “[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said at an event marking 50 years since Israel conquered the West…

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  • The occupation is a symptom, not source, of Israel's racist system

    It was the state's policies within its 1948 borders that inspired the 1967 occupation, not the other way around. During a Knesset debate in May 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chastised opposition parties for criticizing his government’s lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution. Referring to Palestinian demonstrations held the day before in commemoration of the Nakba, Netanyahu pointed out that the protests “did not take place on June 5, the day the Six Day War erupted,” but on “May 15, the day the State of Israel was established.” He continued: “This is not a conflict about 1967. This is a…

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  • The false story Israel tells itself about the Middle East

    According to Israel's leaders, the Middle East is made up of primitive tribespeople and Islamic radicals who cannot be negotiated with. They're wrong. By Idan Barir and Ori Goldberg Nearly a month ago, a hearing at the Knesset's State Control Committee that looked into the State Comptroller's report on Israel's handling of Operation Protective Edge, brought together Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon. During the hearing, Galon asked the prime minister what kind of future he proposes for Israeli citizens. His response had quite an impact on his supporters, who shared the video on social media under the…

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  • A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett

    A free airline upgrade leaves a Palestinian sitting next to one of the Israeli government's most right-wing nationalists — who went on to make some revealing comments about Trump, the peace process and his colleagues in the Knesset. By Jamil Dakwar Earlier this month, I was flying home to New York from Atlanta, Georgia after attending a four-day global human rights conference presided over by former President Jimmy Carter. To my pleasant surprise, I was offered a last-minute free upgrade to business class. But my excitement over what was sure to be a luxurious two-hour nap was short-lived. [tmwinpost] When…

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  • The lie of Netanyahu's economic 'gestures'

    Netanyahu's goodwill 'gestures' to the Palestinians are nothing more than a way to appease President Trump on his visit. So why is the media playing along? In the run-up to President Trump's visit to the region, the Israeli government adopted a number of modest goodwill gestures vis-a-vis Palestinians in the West Bank, which the Israeli media immediately dubbed "trust-building" measures. Local newspapers reported that none of the steps taken had anything to do with security, but rather revolved around civilian issues. This included making sure the Allenby Bridge — which connects the West Bank to Jordan — stayed open for longer; easing construction in Area C; and…

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  • What the West gets wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Netanyahu's oft-heard statements asking the Palestinians to prove they want peace reveals a fundamental disconnect in the Western world's approach to the conflict: Israelis want peace, but Palestinians are struggling for freedom. By Mitchell Plitnick On April 21, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians must prove that they want peace. “I think the first test of peace is to say to them, ‘Hey, you want peace? Prove it,” Netanyahu told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. [tmwinpost] This is very typical of Netanyahu’s statements on peace over the years. But perhaps it’s time to consider the issue too rarely…

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  • Netanyahu looks like a bully, but he doesn't care

    Any blowback Netanyahu receives after snubbing the German foreign minister will be short-lived: his base is behind him, he has the patronage of the U.S., and the status quo will remain exactly as it is. This week Netanyahu gave the world another lesson in how authoritarianism disguised as democracy works. Upon learning that the visiting German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, refused to accede to his demand that he cancel his meetings with two NGOs that document human rights violations in territories controlled by Israel, the Israeli prime minister went ahead and canceled their own scheduled meeting as a punitive measure. Haaretz, Israel's lone liberal…

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  • Germany's foreign minister calls Netanyahu's bluff — and rightly so

    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel will learn far more from his meetings with B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence. Given an ultimatum of meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem or meeting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel very simply made the right choice to forego Netanyahu. And not in order to “defy” Netanyahu, as per a breathless Bloomberg headline, or to give any message at all. [tmwinpost] He was right simply because what would he have actually learned from Netanyahu? Those organizations will give Gabriel concrete information: B'Tselem will update him on developments regarding the 50-year-old occupation and…

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  • The endgame lurking behind Netanyahu's new settlement policy

    Netanyahu's new settlement policy doesn't just pave the way for massive construction in the West Bank — it also, with the blessing of a right-wing U.S. president, risks freezing Palestinians out of the diplomatic process entirely. By Mitchell Plitnick On March 30, the Israeli government announced that it had approved the first new settlement in 20 years. The new settlement is part of the government’s compensation package to the settlers of the recently evacuated outpost named Amona. The Israeli courts had ordered the demolition of this illegally built settlement for the first-time way back in 2006. This February, Amona was…

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  • Explained: What’s the story with Netanyahu and the media?

    The editor of Israeli media watchdog The Seventh Eye, Shuki Tausig, explains the current scandals involving Netanyahu and the media, and what they mean for journalism and democracy in Israel. The Israeli media is often lauded by outsiders as fierce and independent, often in order to demonstrate the ostensible strength of the country’s democracy. But a number of public scandals and political dramas over the past few months have exposed a far less flattering picture. [tmwinpost] Most of the story includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one way or another. The latest political showdown saw Netanyahu trying to shut down…

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