That the minister of justice can singlehandedly launch an investigation against the anti-occupation group is a symptom of the decline of the rule of law and creeping authoritarianism within the Green Line. By Joshua Leifer It is not often that the justice minister of a country personally demands the investigation of a political adversary to prove they did not commit a crime. But that is precisely what happened last week in the absurd case of Dean Issacharoff, the spokesperson for Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence. The state prosecutor announced last Thursday that the investigation into Issacharoff’s claim that he…Read More... | 5 Comments
Jewish American leaders are slowly beginning to understand just how vast the gap is between their values and those represented by the Israeli government. By Joshua Leifer Princeton University Hillel sparked controversy earlier this week after announcing it would indefinitely postpone a scheduled speech by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. The decision came after protests by students from the Alliance of Jewish Progressives and other groups, who claimed that Hillel had scheduled Hotovely’s speech without bringing it before the Israel Advisory Committee, an internal committee that vets Israel-related events and enforces Hillel’s “Israel Policy.” [tmwinpost] As the students highlighted in…Read More... | 2 Comments
Short of allowing Palestinians to establish an independent state, there is nothing Netanyahu won't do to ensure his political survival. Liberal Israeli columnist and Channel 10's top political commentator Raviv Drucker published a piece in Haaretz Sunday, in which he waxes optimistic about the "day after Netanyahu" and who could possibly take over and bring the Israeli Right back to its proper, "sane" place. [tmwinpost] Drucker, of course, knows that barring some unforeseen circumstances, the "day after Netanyahu" is far, far away. Far enough for him to propose Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon as Netanyahu's possible successor. While Drucker hasn't forgiven…Read More...
The Israeli prime minister casts blame on Arab MKs and long-dead clerics but won't talk about the messianic incitement coming from his own government. And forget about a discussion on the occupation's role in inciting violence. Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas entered the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on Monday in direct contradiction of instructions from Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister barred all MKs from entering the compound earlier this month in hopes of preventing provocations that are fanning the flames of violence that swept through Israel and Palestine over the past month. [tmwinpost] The provocations Netanyahu was hoping to prevent,…Read More...
Israel's Foreign Ministry is going after Israeli human rights and anti-occupation activists overseas. Doing so will only make things worse for Israel. By Ilan Baruch It's been less than a month since Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely instructed Israeli embassies abroad to explain to the nations of the world that the land of Israel is ours in its entirety. Global hostility toward Israel, she insisted, does not stem from the occupation or settlements. [tmwinpost] Now, we have learned that she instructed the Israeli embassy in Switzerland to attempt to cancel a “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Zurich. The exhibition presents…Read More... | 115 Comments
Junior MK Oren Hazan, who rose in the ranks at breathtaking speed to become the country's deputy speaker of the Knesset, is now being accused of running a gambling operation, procuring call girls and using crystal meth. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) was suspended from chairing parliamentary sessions Tuesday morning after a Channel 2 exposé alleged he was involved in running a gambling operation; procuring and paying for call girls for his clients; and even using crystal meth — all as recently as last summer. The suspension puts a looming question mark over the most rapid and…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel's two biggest newspapers didn't hesitate to copy-paste a press release from the Foreign Ministry, turning a small London organization into 'Hamas in Europe.' By Yoni Mendel I often hear Israeli friends and co-workers belittle the Arab-speaking media in Israel. Especially due to the fact that many Arab media outlets in Israel don't actually employ journalists, and that any piece written in good Arabic for one of the more popular Arab news sites will likely be published without any changes. [tmwinpost] I thought about it yesterday as I took the train from Tel Aviv to Haifa, while leafing through Yedioth…Read More... | 1 Comment
Netanyahu has more paths to the Prime Minister's Office than Herzog, but also more party leaders who oppose him personally. Seventy-one days ahead of Israel’s general elections, two major stories are dominating the political news cycle: the showdown between Shas’s former leaders – Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai – and the corruption affair involving senior politicians from Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Both Shas and Liberman lost some ground in last week’s polls, while Yishai’s newly formed party is coming close to passing the Knesset threashold, currently at 4 seats (3.25 percent of the votes). Netanyahu’s Likud party held its…Read More... | 17 Comments
By Lisa Goldman and Dahlia Scheindlin (This article has been updated. See the addendum below.) In a recent New York Times op-ed, a prominent American academic posits that the time for implementing a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is now past. Ian Lustick, a professor of comparative politics at University of Pennsylvania, argues that after 20 years of failed negotiations, the two-state paradigm is a proven failure. The Americans, Palestinian Authority and Israeli government cling to what he calls the “two state illusion” out of vested interests that have nothing to do with the facts on the ground. It…Read More... | 66 Comments
While a third of the Knesset joins the pro-settlement caucus, one member of the coalition warns of a 'South African' future. The Israeli political conversation has a strange sense of déjà vu these days: on Wednesday, during a panel organized by the think-tank Molad, Knesset Member Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid warned that if Israel fails to disengage from the West Bank, it will face a similar fate to that of Apartheid South Africa. “The occupation,” said Shelah, “corrupts Israeli society. It corrupts the army, corrupts Israeli justice, Israeli media, Israeli psyche and Israeli language." Facing Shelah at the panel…Read More... | 4 Comments
The new Netanyahu coalition will give settlers and their supporters more executive power than any previous government in Israel has until now. With the Housing and Industry ministries in their hand, and political ally Moshe Ya’alon as the new defense minister, the settlers are very pleased by the new Netanyahu government. Head of the Samaria region (the northern West Bank) Gershon Mesika told the Ynet news site: "On the face of it, it does look like a wet dream – Ya'alon on defense and Ariel on housing is something which carries great potential, but in these things you can't foretell what will happen."…Read More... | 3 Comments
The prime minister's Likud-Beitenu party has yet to present a platform for the upcoming elections, and if one is to be published, it most likely won't include any reference to a future Palestinian state. Education Minister Sa'ar: 'it is time to sober up from the idea.' Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not intend to ever carry out the evacuation of West Bank settlements, and that the Bar Ilan speech, in which he accepted in principle the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state, was meant to please the world and corner the Palestinian…Read More... | 9 Comments
Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won't serve in the next Knesset. The Likud, Israel's ruling party the last four years, and the one expected to win the next elections according to every poll I have seen since 2009 (!), held its primaries on Sunday and Monday. The outcome was somewhat expected but is still stunning, and more than anything, it reveals the deep change Israel is going through. The top of the ticket will be held…Read More... | 32 Comments
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