Just days before going to the polls for the second time this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced, to much fanfare on home turf, that he planned to annex the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank should he secure another term in office.
It was a move intended to rally right-wing voters behind his party, Likud, which remains in close competition with the opposition Blue and White list. Having failed to form a government in April’s election and with corruption charges looming over him, the stakes have never been higher for Mr Netanyahu. Read more
The recent Israeli security cabinet decision to approve construction permits for Palestinian homes in Area C of the occupied West Bank was somewhat of a rarity, “the first such decision since 2016”.
While the figure of 715 housing units in Palestinian towns sounds positive, thus far no details have been revealed – including for example, whether the plans relate to new construction or the retroactive legalisation of homes built without Israeli-issued permits.
In addition to this lack of clarity, these housing units are a drop in the ocean – according to Peace Now, “it is estimated that there are at least a thousand young Palestinian couples in need of housing in Area C each year”. Read more
A furore broke out in Israel this past weekend, after an interview with Education Minister Rafi Peretz was broadcast on Saturday night television.
Speaking to Channel 12, Peretz – a former army chief rabbi and now leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) – was asked if he believes in so-called “conversion therapy” for gay people. Answering in the affirmative, Peretz responded: “I think you can,” adding: “I can tell you that I have a deep knowledge of education, and I have done it too.” Read more
The demolition of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a routine occurrence.
But in Sur Baher, a neighbourhood southeast of Jerusalem, an unprecedented mass demolition is looming – with the approval of Israel‘s top court. Read more
With just over two months to go before the second Israeli election this year, and with the latest polls predicting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will struggle to meet the 61 seats needed to form a governing coalition, former Israeli minister and current Yisrael Beiteinu party chair Avigdor Lieberman has emerged as the kingmaker. Last month the veteran politician expressed his desire for a unity government between Likud and the opposition Blue and White list. Mr Lieberman, whose refusal to form a coalition with Likud triggered the dissolution of the Knesset in May, told Israeli radio: “We will aim for a government with Likud and with [the Blue and White party] and that will be an emergency government, a national liberal government. We will do everything to limit the haredim [ultra-Orthodox] so that they won’t enter government.” Read more
There will be no two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. Repeated warnings, over decades, about its imminent demise have forestalled a more profound reckoning that must take place.
Over the past half-century, Israeli authorities have de facto annexed the West Bank, in addition to the de jure (and internationally unrecognised) annexation of East Jerusalem.
Facts on the ground are important, but the failure to establish a sovereign, viable Palestinian state in the occupied Palestinian territories is not primarily about the number of Israeli settlements. Read more
After a divisive election campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to overcome the challenge posed by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s Blue and White list. In an election that was dominated by the question of whether Netanyahu would be toppled, the Palestinians barely figured.
One voice that had particularly prioritized the Palestinian issue was not even on the ballot. Hatnuah party head Tzipi Livni—following Avi Gabbay’s public dismantling of her Zionist Camp alliance with the Labor Party—opted to withdraw from the election, in light of her dismal polling figures…
Read the rest of the article at Foreign Policy.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done it again. Facing serious corruption allegations, and challenged by a “dream team” ticket including three former military chiefs of staff, Likud’s leader is now poised to form a new coalition government.
Although the Blue and White list headed by Benny Gantz secured 35 seats in the next Knesset, a majority of Israelis have voted for the so-called “right-wing” bloc headed by Likud (also on 35 seats), along with United Torah Judaism, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, Right-wing Union and Kulanu. Read more
Israel’s elections on Tuesday remain too close to call. With Likud and the Blue and White list polling neck and neck, incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu likely has the easiest path to forming a new coalition government – but challenger Benny Gantz could yet emerge as prime minister.
The election has been framed as Netanyahu versus “anyone but Netanyahu”, the radical right versus establishment security figures, or in terms of competing “blocs” in the Knesset, the right and ultra-Orthodox on the one hand, versus centre-right and centre-left parties on the other. Read more
On 13 December, shortly after two Israeli soldiers had been shot dead outside an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post tweeted the following: “They celebrate death and we celebrate life. That is the core of this conflict.”
Katz’s tweet encapsulated the dehumanisation of Palestinians, and utter denial about the reality of occupation and colonialism, that is unfortunately all too common amongst Jewish Israelis. Read more