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Posts tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

Israeli ‘centrism’ and what it means for Palestinians

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

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Unseating Netanyahu: New faces, same policies on Palestinians

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

The missing element from GCC normalisation with Israel: The Palestinians

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

Has the BDS campaign really achieved so little?

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“.

BDS ‘failure’?

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

Trump’s assault on UNRWA is an assault on Palestinian refugees

Over the weekend, Israeli television reported that the US administration is planning to escalate its attacks on Palestinian refugees by not only explicitly rejecting their right of return but also by unilaterally redefining who constitutes a refugee so as to slash their numbers to just half a million.

Since then, US diplomat Nikki Haley has affirmed the US would only support the Palestinian refugees’ relief agency UNRWA if the organisation were to “change the number of refugees to an accurate account”.

It is now being reported that the Trump administration has decided to cancel all US funding to UNRWA. Read more

Why has Netanyahu pushed through the Jewish Nation State bill now?

Late on Wednesday night, Israel’s parliament passed the Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People law, in a 62-55 vote hailed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “defining moment”.

No ordinary piece of legislation, the new bill takes its place among Israel’s quasi-constitutional set of Basic Laws. Read more

‘Jewish nation state’: How Israel enshrines apartheid into law

On Thursday, the Israeli government formally passed the “Jewish nation state”law. With the Knesset’s summer recess on the horizon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to pass the law ahead of the break.

“This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote. Read more

Israel’s ‘creeping annexation’ of West Bank continues

There is much talk these days about Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the occupied West Bank, from both critics and proponents alike.

Critics say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s government, dominated by right-wing nationalists in both the Likud and Jewish Home parties, has been advancing various laws designed to prepare the ground for Israel to annex portions of the occupied territory. Read more

Why Trump is wrong to cut funding to the UN agency which looks after Palestinian refugees

As with the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US President Donald Trump surely had his electoral base in mind when deciding to slash funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which looks after Palestinian refugees.

Trump’s decision, however, can not be divorced from a long-standing Israeli animus towards the agency, whose current difficulties have been broadly welcomed by Israeli politicians – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli officials and pro-Israel groups make two main arguments in their attacks on UNRWA: Palestinian refugees are “fake” and the UN agency “perpetuates” the conflict. Read more

The Palestinians can undermine US-Saudi designs and rescue their national struggle

If the Oslo Accords gave birth to a Palestinian Authority without authority, then Donald Trump’s “ultimate deal” looks set to offer the Palestinians a state without statehood.

The potential spoilers are the Palestinian people themselves. The protests over recent days are an indication of the potential impact of popular mobilisation, and its ability to undermine US – and Saudi – plans for an “ultimate deal” that will ride roughshod over inalienable Palestinian rights. Read more