Netanyahu appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front. As war with Iran looms, why does the old formula work so well? On Wednesday night, the day after Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, in between Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported the Likud’s highest polling numbers in a decade — 35 seats, five more than it holds today. [tmwinpost] Is it really that simple? Netanyahu, 12 years in office, facing multiple corruption investigations and a possible indictment, just pulls out the magic security card…Read More... | 5 Comments
A coalition crisis could mean elections in a matter of months. If Netanyahu wins, even a post-election indictment will not stop the slide into a darker future for Israel. He wants them, he wants them not, he wants them, he wants them not. Over the last two weeks, the sport of Netanyahu psychoanalysis in the Israeli press over the possibility of snap elections has taken on a feverish tone. [tmwinpost] He doesn’t want them because he loves holding onto power. Because he wants to prove that of all Israeli leaders he alone is capable of sitting out a term and…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Knesset is fast-tracking legislation to hobble and hide corruption investigations against Netanyahu. The bill would further erode Israeli democracy, training citizens to accept that they do not have the right to know the facts about their leaders. The Knesset raced toward adopting a law this week intended to constrain Israeli police from making recommendations about indictments based on its investigations, and to keep the findings of those investigations from the public. The law would apply retroactively to the current investigations involving the Prime Minister. [tmwinpost] The bill represents another blow to democratic practice in Israel, along with laws in recent…Read More... | 1 Comment
Netanyahu is calling to shut down Al Jazeera's Jerusalem bureau, accusing the station of incitement to violence amid tensions over the Temple Mount. Has he heard what his own ministers have been saying recently? Palestinian incitement has long been Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scapegoat for the lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For him, Palestinian calls to violence — not the settlement enterprise or 50 years of military dictatorship — is what prevents peace. Netanyahu regularly uses this rhetorical tactic to undermine an already impotent Palestinian Authority whenever it is politically convenient. In recent years, the prime minister has also used claims of incitement…Read More... | 5 Comments
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…Read More...
On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinians and Jews gathered in Jerusalem for an anti-occupation protest marking 50 years since the occupation began. Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak spoke to demonstrators about the importance of solidarity and resistance to the violence and racism of the Israeli government. Below is a transcript of the speech, translated from Hebrew. By Yuli Novak These are dark, somber days. Our country is dominated by occupation, messianism, racism, ignorance, callousness, and violence. Blaming the right-wing government won't help. Nor will sitting in our living rooms fantasizing about the day they'll be replaced. And please, enough with the…Read More... | 33 Comments
If Defense Minister Liberman, along the entire political and military echelon, know the extent to which Gaza's residents are suffering, why do they insist on using that suffering as a bargaining chip? By Rachel Beitarie Something strange happened in the middle of last week: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman decided to give an interview to the Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, in which he spoke about the solutions to the challenges facing the Gaza Strip. In short, he proposed rehabilitating the Strip, which would include the building of a port, an airport, and industrial zones. All this in exchange for full demilitarization. [tmwinpost] "If Hamas…Read More...
The story of the Hebron shooting is a classic case of the lowly soldier syndrome — mostly Ashkenazi political leaders give the order, yet only those at the bottom of the ladder must pay the price. By Adi Mazor and Tom Mehager What is the difference between the Israeli soldier who shot 22-year-old Palestinian Abed al-Fatah Sharif in Hebron last week after a stabbing attack, and the soldiers from elite unites who shoot and kill Palestinian suspects? The difference is that the elite soldiers do behind the scenes — when no one is there to capture it on camera. [tmwinpost] Since the…Read More... | 3 Comments
As we mark International Human Rights Day, it is worth challenging the myth that Israel's High Court is the defender of human rights in Israel. By Noam Rotem When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords. This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority…Read More... | 21 Comments
Israel's Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he's seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill's wife, you guys know Bill. Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title of the great white hope of Israeli moderates, way back when in 2013), attended the Saban Forum at Brookings last night. As in the rest of his political career, Lapid's contribution to proceedings was somewhat difficult to place, but he didn't pass entirely unnoticed. At the end of the summit's third day, Lapid got…Read More...
When members of the opposition are trying to outflank Netanyahu on the right, even the IDF seems like a saner alternative to Israeli politicians. By Yoni Mendel "A nation in uniform," "an army that has a state," "a democracy of army bases." In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state. This, among other things, is what the sociologist Baruch Kimmerling meant when he said, "whether we want it or not — we are a clearly militaristic society, and this militarism is also a central principle around which Israeli society is organized." Uri Ben Eliezer…Read More... | 2 Comments
When leaders from center-left aren't willing to deepen the struggle against the occupation, it's hard not to feel that they, too, prefer the status quo. Notes from the Haaretz Conference for Peace. The most genuine moments at Thursday's Haaretz Conference on Peace came from two right-wing speakers — Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin, both ministers in Netanyahu's government — who unequivocally called the two state-solution a "hallucination," which they have no plans of ever implementing. Since neither of them have any intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under occupation, they view the current situation as the solution. Around the same…Read More...
We often hear that that Israeli democracy is being 'hijacked' by a group of right-wing extremists. Too bad the alternatives aren't any more appealing. Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations. [tmwinpost] Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity" of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies…Read More... | 2 Comments
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