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Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Jewish-Arab partnership as an antidote to Jewish supremacism

    We need to redefine Israeli politics. No more left and right, liberal or conservative, religious versus secular. Instead: a new partnership of Arabs and Jews, working side-by-side to combat Jewish supremacism. By Meron Rapoport and Ameer Fakhoury Israel has been at a political dead end for many months, particularly since the most recent national election in September. The outgoing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has only 55 of the 61 mandates required to form a governing coalition. Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party, says he wants to form a “liberal unity government” with Likud and Avigdor Liberman,…

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  • How 'Israel Hayom' became Trump’s mouthpiece in the Middle East

    Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are major donors to the Republican party and to Donald Trump’s presidency. In Israel, their free daily newspaper Israel Hayom promotes Trump relentlessly, with fawning editorials and selective reporting, which minimizes the scandals that have plagued his presidency. By Refael Afriat When Israel Hayom, now the most widely-read newspaper in Israel, was launched in 2007, it was promptly nicknamed the Bibiton (a portmanteau of Bibi, Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname, and “iton,” the Hebrew word for newspaper). Over the ensuing 12 years, the editors developed several tools for promoting the prime minister: when Netanyahu wants to send a message,…

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  • The hypocrisy of Israel’s alliance with the Kurds

    Israel’s solidarity with the Kurds is duplicitous, not only because it also arms one of the Kurdish people’s biggest oppressors, but also because it supports their independence while denying millions of Palestinians that same right. By Sahar Vardi Messages of solidarity and support for the Kurdish people have dominated Israeli discourse since Turkey’s invasion of Rojava in northern Syria last week. A day after Turkey launched its attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter: “Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies.…

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  • How Netanyahu mainstreamed his dark, anti-democratic vision for Israel

    By attacking the judiciary, bringing extremists into his coalition, and trying to subvert voting rights, Benjamin Netanyahu has presented a dark vision of an anti-democratic future for Israeli politics. By Harry Reis Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from September’s repeat elections a failure. Denied his desired majority, the prime minister’s only real hope of retaining power now depends on building a national unity government with Blue and White, a party that has pledged never to sit with him so long as the cloud of pending indictment looms over his head. But the stakes of the election outcome are far higher than the…

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  • In Israel, ‘politics as usual’ means escalating Palestinian oppression

    Three trends from Israel's do-over election demonstrate that the more Israeli politics stay the same, the more dangerous its policies become. There are many moments in Israeli-Palestinian history where landmark developments seem to change nothing and everything at the same time. Israel’s September election is one of them. While featuring many familiar and predictable patterns, the latest political contest has also exposed novel shifts that could significantly alter the conflict’s dynamics. Three key and interconnected trends that reflect this paradox can be drawn from the election, all of which present crucial strategic questions for the Palestinian struggle in the years ahead. [tmwinpost]…

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  • ‘For those who want peace, replacing Zionism is inevitable’

    For many Palestinians in the West Bank, the minor shifts in Israeli politics are a long-awaited opportunity to challenge the traditional understanding of the occupation. By Yuval Abraham Ahmad, a former officer with the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence forces, retired two years ago. Every morning for 23 years — since the PA was established — he would drive to his office in Ramallah and deal with security issues. He experienced the political upheavals of the past two decades on the ground, including the collapse of the peace talks, the Second Intifada, Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule, the building of the separation wall, and the expansion of the…

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  • PODCAST: What does Israeli liberalism look like?

    Public opinion expert Dahlia Scheindlin argues that the fierce debate over the separation of religion and state in Israel’s latest elections could lead to a wider liberal shift in society. By +972 Magazine Staff Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify Almost two weeks after Israeli voters cast their ballots for a second time this year, it is still unclear which candidate will lead the country. To make sense of all this, The +972 Podcast spoke with leading public opinion analyst Dahlia Scheindlin, who says not much has changed since the April elections.  On the outcome of elections: “It’s hard to see where we’re going to get any…

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  • Likud vs Likud: How Revisionist Zionism conquered Israeli politics

    Israel's elections have been billed as a clash of the titans between Netanyahu and Gantz. But no matter who wins, the real victory goes to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the grandfather of the Likud. In what should be regarded as a historic photograph taken last Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the Likud party, and Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party, sat gripping one another's hands for the camera with President Reuven Rivlin, who was arbitrating their meeting in his Jerusalem office. Rivlin, himself a former Likud member, was urging the two leaders to form a national unity government following last week’s election…

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  • The biggest loser in this election: Liberal Zionism

    Israelis consistently vote against the idea of a Jewish and democratic Israel alongside a Palestinian state. It is now impossible to see how that could ever be realized.   On Sunday Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Joint List, met with President Reuven Rivlin to announce his party’s noteworthy decision to endorse Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party, as prime minister. In an effort to thwart another Netanyahu term, Ayman Odeh did what no other Israeli politician is doing — he articulated a vision for the country’s future: “We want to live in a peaceful place based on…

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  • Netanyahu’s exit could make it harder to fight occupation from the outside

    Without a cartoon villain to rail against, the energy required to end the occupation is in danger of dissipating. By Aron Keller Given that Benjamin Netanyahu presided over the rightward shift of Israeli society and the hollowing out of its democratic institutions, the prospect of seeing his decade-long grip on the Prime Minister’s Office end should be a reason for liberals to celebrate. For the millions of Palestinians who have suffered as a direct result of his government’s policies, though, the end of the Netanyahu era could prove to be a mixed blessing. [tmwinpost] 'Like Pepsi and Coke' was how…

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  • Otzma Yehudit is out. Does that mean Israelis reject Kahanism?

    While the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party failed to pass the electoral threshold, the latest national elections in Israel saw the normalization of Kahane’s particular brand of overt racism. Twenty-one years ago, Rabbi Meir Kahane stared into the camera during an election ad for his Kach party and told viewers, “[the Arabs of Israel] want to kill us, they want to wipe us out, and it is up to each and every Jew to rise up and say, ‘never again.’” [tmwinpost] Last Wednesday, six days out from the most recent Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook chatbot sent users a message warning them…

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  • Netanyahu might be on his way out, but Israelis remain firmly right wing

    Voters might be weary of Netanyahu's decade-long reign, but the numbers show that the vast majority of Israelis remain consistent in their voting habits. The cashier at an organic food shop in Tel Aviv was a burly man with a crew-cut. I asked if he had voted, but he didn’t understand the question. Then he explained in halting Hebrew that he had immigrated only nine months earlier from Russia. “I don’t understand Israeli politics,” he said. But he managed to convey one thing clearly: “Bibi, he’s been in power too long. I come from Russia, we have Putin. Too long. I don’t want…

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  • The end of the Netanyahu era doesn't mean the end of the occupation

    If Netanyahu is replaced, things might actually get worse for Palestinians. As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left. [tmwinpost] According to near-final results, the right absorbed a serious blow. Its voter intimidation campaign failed to deter Palestinian citizens of Israel from going to the polling stations, and may have actually backfired, giving the Joint List additional mandates. Meanwhile, the Zionist left parties held on to the same number of seats as in the previous election. The Netanyahu era is probably coming to an end. His options are…

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