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
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
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…
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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
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”. Read more
With less than two months until Israel holds an election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s ruling Likud party is maintaining a strong lead in the opinion polls.
His main rival – and currently the only plausible threat to another Likud-dominated government – is former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz and his newly-formed party Hosen L’Yisrael (Israel Resilience). Read more
After Avigdor Lieberman’s departure from Israel’s ruling coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defied expectations by keeping his government intact.
The prospect of an immediate vote might have receded, but election speculation is only intensifying, with a maximum of a year left in the government’s term.
A major part of the debate pertains to the Israeli opposition, and in particular, the possibility of Netanyahu finally being replaced as prime minister. Read more
Late October and early November saw a number of well-publicised visits by Israeli ministers to Gulf states, including a surprising trip by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman, where he was hosted in Muscat by Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
That trip was followed by Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev’s attendance at a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-hosted international judo tournament, where she found time in her itinerary to become the first Israeli minister to visit the world’s third largest mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Read more
Last March, outgoing Jewish Agency chair Natan Sharansky declared that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign had “been almost fully defeated”. Sharansky’s pronouncement came two years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced BDS had been “beaten“.
Premature reports of the BDS campaign’s “failure” are not the sole preserve of Israeli officials. In a recent article on the attempted deportation of American student Lara Alqasem by Israeli authorities, Haaretz staffer Anshel Pfeffer, who also writes for The Economist, portrayed Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s handling of the affair as a rare boost for the BDS campaign. Read more