“Schlaglicht Israel” offers an insight into internal Israeli debates and reflects selected, political events that affect daily life in Israel. It appears every two weeks and summarizes articles that appeared in the Israeli daily press.
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Main topics covered in this Publication:
- President Herzog Mandates Netanyahu to Form a Government
- No Israeli Anti-aircraft Systems for Ukraine for the Time Being
- Midterm Elections in the US
- Selection of Articles
1. President Herzog Mandates Netanyahu to Form a Government
The People of Israel Have Spoken
Now we are at the excuses and trading blame stage – and there is a lot of it. Merav Michaeli, the chairwoman of the Labor party, refused to unite with Meretz. Benny Gantz of the National Unity Party was so confident in himself and even thought he could be prime minister, instead of swallowing his pride, minimizing his ego and going back to being with Yesh Atid. Gadi Eisenkot made a mistake when he joined Gantz instead of Yair Lapid. Lapid siphoned off votes from Labor and Meretz: The left and center campaigns were as drab as sackcloth, without any vision or creativity. Moreover, the Israeli Arabs despaired of Israeli democracy, did not rush to vote and the Arab politicos refused to unite in a single Knesset slate, instead preferred to divide up and even Hadash – Ta’al and the United Arab List were unable to reach a surplus votes agreement between them. (…) All of this is true – but they are just excuses (…) explanations for the moment. (…) The election results (…) reflect on (…) a process that has been going on for years and that is changing the face of Israeli society. The expression of this change are extreme nationalism, racism, hatred of the other, messianism, longing for an authoritative leader, clericalism, military aggressiveness, occupation, disrespect for the rule of law and the loathing of liberal Western values. (…) Sobering up, if at all, will occur only if a large external disaster happens to the people, which will represent a harsh traumatic experience, such as the Yom Kippur War (…) this disaster scenario is not in the cards. Israel is powerful enough that not Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas, or an uprising in the West Bank can bring to such cause such a disaster. They are a hazard but are not a threat to Israel’s existence. The belief or hope that maybe a U.S. president or a European nation will appear, deus ex machina, pressure and influence the Israeli government to change its ways is nothing but a dream. (…) In November 1995, a Jewish religious nationalist murdered Rabin and the peace process, and in November 2022 most of the people are sick and tired of the familiar democracy of the Israeli republic that has existed for almost 75 years.
Yossi Melman, HAA, 02.11.22
Arab Israeli politics has reached a new low
(…) Arab Israeli politics have reached a new low. (…) Two factors led to the increase in the percentage of Arab voters. The first is the conduct of right-wing leaders Netanyahu and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who scared the Jewish public with the number of Arab voters expected. (…) The second factor was the split from the Joint Arab List, which may have caused more people to vote for Balad, a faction portrayed as militant and anti-Israeli. If Netanyahu becomes prime minister again, it will partly be thanks to the Arabs, especially those who broke away. (…) the Zionist parties will continue to deal with the issue of Arab citizens in Israel. The Left, which is not satisfied with the percentage of votes in the Arab sector, and on the other hand, the Right, which was afraid of a high percentage of such votes. Unfortunately, the preoccupation will most likely not focus on integrating the Arab population, but will come from a place of intimidation and “stealing the Jewish state,” as some right-wingers claim. This scenario, which has been going on for over a decade, could lead to a clash between the Arab public and the state and its institution, which has happened in the past. (…) As long as Jewish and Arab politicians continue to directly or indirectly promote the suppression and alienation of a fifth of the country’s citizens, we will not reach a safe shore. However, as the political crisis in Israel continues, the Arabs will be the solution for anyone who will launch a coalition. Parliamentary work begins and ends with cooperation for all citizens.
Jalal Bana, IHY, 02.11.22
Lack of women in next gov’t fails to represent Israeli society
(…) women will only have a bit more than 10% of the seats in the majority coalition. (…) This is a historic shame for Israel because in recent years the number of women in top ministerial and Knesset roles has grown. (…) the reality is (…) about ideology and the fact that we have parties in Israel that refuse to have any women in their slate elected to the Knesset. These parties purposely and openly discriminate against women. The issue of Orthodox parties segregating women and keeping them out of the Knesset has been contentious for years. (…) While Israel was doing better in the last decade in terms of women rising to higher levels in government and their numbers increasing in the Knesset, the country still lags behind other democracies. (…) Israelis will have a chance to go to the polls eventually. But for now, the coalition that looks set to rule will be a male coalition that lacks women. Even within the non-Orthodox parties, such as Likud, there is an absence of women at the top levels. The incoming government has few opportunities to rectify this problem, having not put women at the top of the electoral lists, it is unclear how they will end up with top ministers who are women. It’s a shame to see Israel, which has made major strides in terms of empowering women and minorities and becoming a modern democratic state, have so many parties close to power that openly discriminate against women. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 03.11.22
Israel voted for Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir. Let them govern
(…) letting Netanyahu form a right-wing, very religious coalition (…) is what the people want, that is what they voted for. (…) Netanyahu’s first order of business, as well as that of his potential partners, needs to be to recognize the fears and concerns among many of the country’s Arabs, women, members of the LGBTQ community and secular citizens, and to assuage those fears. The coalition partners (…) need to make it clear to them that they have nothing to fear, that this is their country too, and that their way of life will be respected and their rights protected. (…) Whether justifiably or not, there is a fear among many that the country is about to perform a U-turn on everything that has to do with democratic and minority rights. Netanyahu must broadcast clearly – and as soon as possible – that this is not going to happen. (…) A similar reassuring message needs to be sent to Israel’s friends around the world, some of whom are concerned about the rise of the far Right. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 03.11.22
It’s Official Now: Fascism Is Us
(…) There was one victor in this election – religious Zionist nationalism. Netanyahu will go. So will Ben-Gvir. Fascism is here to stay. It’s no longer just another political player on the field; it’s a worldview. This is a dramatic, historic change. (…) Israel has adopted the worldview of the worst of its enemies. Let’s call it what it is: Ben-Gvirism is Kahanism is fascism. (…) Today there is no shame. Fascism is no longer a curse. (…) When the far right came into power in Italy, we didn’t panic and we didn’t call on the Jews to come and live in Israel. So what if 80 years ago Jews were murdered in its name? (…) For 75 years they dribbled fascism in the schools without calling it by name. “Love of country,” “settlement,” “far right.” They taught us that we are better than the whole world, but also its victims. Thanks to the connection between self-pity and arrogance, we did what democracy rejects and fascism accepts. Every education minister contributed to the advancement of fascism. (…) Like every fascist movement, it will use democratic tools to win; it will reflect the worldview of most of the public. (…) The official entry of fascism into our lives is the real message of the election. They talk about Netanyahu’s trial, they talk about Lapid’s military service, and not about the elephant in the room. They evade it, they ignore it. After this election everyone must ask themselves if they are still proud to be Israelis.
Yossi Klein, HAA, 04.11.22
Election results are a blow to women’s rights in Israel
Nine women are expected to serve in the incoming coalition, compared to 30 in the outgoing one; only 28 female lawmakers will serve in the 25th Knesset — 23% of all members of the chamber. This lack of representation of 51% of the population would have been disturbing even if we lived in some utopian reality of complete gender equality. But the gaps between Israeli men and women remain vast, and the fight for equal gender rights is far from over, making it all the more worrying. (…) Female decision-makers will be sitting in meetings side by side with a cohort of conservative politicos who have previously expressed their misogynistic views. (…) While lack of female representation is one of the emerging government’s most prominent shortfalls, it also offers no representation to minorities and disadvantaged populations. (…) Many in the gay community fear any progress on issues of marriage, parenting, and bans on conversion therapy will be curtailed. Efforts to eliminate violence and discrimination against the gay community are also likely to take a back seat. (…) Additionally, the Arab sector, which makes up about 20% of Israel’s population, has good reasons to be worried too. The 25th Knesset is setting on its journey at a time when crime is claiming countless innocent victims in Arab communities, including women and children. Meanwhile, education, healthcare, welfare, and employment in the Arab sector lag far behind and many families live below the poverty line. This is the result of years of neglect, and in the absence of someone to fight for their rights, it is only going to get worse. (…) the next government will drag us away from equality.
Hadar Gil-Ad, YED, 05.11.22
Merav Michaeli must take responsibility for failing Labor
For the last few years, since taking up a more prominent role on the Israeli political landscape, Merav Michaeli has had at least one clear accomplishment – she has managed to get people to think about language and gender. (…) Michaeli has pushed back on conformity and uses both female and male terms in her speeches. Has this made Israel a more equal society? Has it improved women’s rights? (…) it doesn’t seem so. There will be just nine women in the coalition and maybe a handful of ministers. Two parties – United Torah Judaism and Shas – have no women in their ranks at all. Well, at least Michaeli speaks the way she does. This is relevant because she has completely failed as the leader of Labor. (…) What Michaeli showed is that Labor is no different than much of the Israeli political system in her refusal to be held accountable and to admit her mistakes. With Netanyahu on his way back to the Prime Minister’s Office, there is nothing she can really do to change the outcome. But she can stick to the higher level of principles that she claims her party holds by. Using language for both genders is nice but that does not win elections. Labor is a skeleton of what it once was and is unlikely to return to its glorious past – and that happened under Michaeli’s stewardship. Taking responsibility is sometimes the only respectable step that is left. She should consider it.
Editorial, JPO, 06.11.22
The fall of the Israeli Left
(…) the Labor party is down to a pathetic tally of four seats. And Meretz? The most to the left, of left-wing parties in the country? They’re wiped out. (…) We’re sold on the theory that the left can’t compete against Netanyahu and the right-wing, because their policies are undesirable. Not in lockstep with the Israeli ethos. Is that true? The left is largely in favor of nationalizing swaths of land to build public housing as a method of mitigating the insane spike in rent prices all over the country. The left is in favor of getting tougher with the private sector to at least slow the rise of the cost of living (…) and, on the security front, they’re in favor of a two-state solution. Yes, the two-state concept is unpopular in many parts of the country. On the other hand, it’s far from being some far-left cuckoo idea. It’s been around for decades and experienced fluctuating levels of acceptance among Israelis. The left is in favor of integrating more Arab-Israelis into positions of power. Today’s right labels that as “associating with terrorist sympathizers”. However, that too, is not a crazy, unprecedented leftist notion. (…) No matter how you cut it, the left’s ideas and policies are not at all far from the everyday Israeli state of mind. So why did Labor and Meretz get their rear end’s handed to them in the last election? Because they’re run by people that should not be trusted to promote a Lemonade stand, and they’ve neglected to understand something basic, which Netanyahu understood a long time ago – Politics is the art of conveying a message. It doesn’t matter how extreme it is. If it’s packaged correctly, the people will accept it. But for over 20 years, the left has been in reactive mode. The right says they’re unpatriotic and consorting with terrorists, and the left apologizes. They cower into the corner (…). They’re reacting to political developments instead of initiating them. They explain why Netanyahu is bad and say not one word about why they’re good. They justify including Arab-Israelis in positions of power instead of celebrating it. (…) The left is too busy apologizing, justifying and reacting. (…) Nature abhors a vacuum, so it’s immediately filled with more attacks and gossip about the ineptitude of the Israeli left, further compromising their ability to effectively assemble a political message. The Israeli political sphere is filled with messages from the center right and far right, leaving no viable alternative for the moderate Israeli voter to turn to. Many right wing voters do not necessarily love Netanyahu or his Likud party or even Ben Gvir. They just arrive on election day, see no alternative that could have potentially won them over from the left, and cast a vote for the devil they know.
Gilad Meiri, YED, 10.11.22
2. No Israeli Anti-aircraft Systems for Ukraine for the Time Being
Why Israel must not provide the Iron Dome to Ukraine
Iran and Russia have been moving closer against the backdrop of an ongoing war in Ukraine, which has dragged on and expanded. For Israel, these ever-closer ties are a source of constant headaches. Ukraine has not relented in its efforts to have Israel provide it with the Iron Dome interceptor and other types of air defense technology, as well as a whole host of top-notch weapon systems. (…) Israeli officials have rebuffed these efforts, prompting Ukraine to lash out at Israel. (…) Iran has been providing Russia with weapon systems – mainly kamikaze drones – and there is talk that it might also send sophisticated ballistic missiles. But that is only part of the problem: Iran has also been guiding Russia on how to circumvent Western sanctions and how to game the international banking system. This means that the potential problems for Israel and the world could only exacerbate. The US is duty-bound to help Ukraine and defeat the brutal invasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israel must do its utmost to lend a hand. But Jerusalem must not send Iron Dome or other weapon systems to Ukraine (…). It is almost certain that any system provided to Ukraine will ultimately fall into the hands of the Russians and subsequently transferred intact to the Iranians, even if the Ukrainian forces limit their deployment to the Kyiv area (…). The know-how and the combat experience will then be used by Iran to develop capabilities that would overcome Iron Dome’s defense and ultimately lower its effectiveness. This would result in a potentially greater destructive potential for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad when they target Israel in future wars. (…) Israel still doesn’t have enough interceptors for its own operational needs (…) even if Israel agreed to send weapon systems, it would still take time – presumably, months if not years – before they could be phased into service in Ukraine after the troops get proper training. (…) There is a fourth reason why Israel should not heed Ukraine’s request: the impact on Israel-Russia relations and the dwindling presence of Russia in Syria, as well as the threat of Iran replacing it. (…) While Israel should avoid sending Iron Dome and other weapon systems, it could definitely provide Ukraine with good intelligence on Iran’s actions, on its drones, and on its ballistic missiles (…) Israel can also send sensors and an integrative early warning system that would dramatically help it deal with the drones, rockets, and missiles, based on the Israeli experience. Israel must continue and even increase its humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its citizens. (…)
Jacob Nagel, IHY, 03.11.22
A plea to Israel: Help Ukraine against Russia, Iranian drones
(…) Iranian drones and Russian missiles continue to bombard Ukrainian cities and kill innocent civilians. Russia’s actions amount to a genocidal assault that aims to terrorize and brutalize all Ukrainians, inflicting cold, hunger, famine, disease and death. (…) Israel is no stranger to fighting an enemy whose sole purpose is to spread death, terror and destruction. (…) today, brave Ukrainian men and women are defending their country and fighting on the front lines against a brutal enemy not governed by any norms of combat or humanity. The entire world has been amazed by the resistance that the people of Ukraine have mounted against enormous odds. (…) As a Ukrainian and as a Jew, I make this plea to the leaders and people of Israel. I am not asking for you to fight this war for us. I am only pleading and urging Israel to simply give us the tools we need to defend our country, families, homes and future. Help us defend ourselves against death itself. (…) give us air defense systems that will enable the protection of Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. (…) Israel is uniquely equipped to help by providing advanced air defense systems. Those very same systems have been specifically developed by Israel to defend against the Iranian-made drones that Russia is using to kill and maim innocents in Ukraine. These systems have saved thousands of Israeli lives in cities such as Sderot, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. They are now desperately needed to save Ukrainian lives in Kyiv, Odessa and elsewhere. (…) For decades to come, the world will look back at this terrible war in Ukraine and remember those that helped and those that remained neutral or sat on the sidelines. The defense of Ukraine will come to symbolize the defense of freedom, life and democracy. Russia will inevitably come to symbolize dictatorship, unchecked aggression and genocide. I plead with Israel to remove any semblance of neutrality and to provide Ukraine with the defensive systems it needs in its struggle for good over evil. I plead with Israel to do more to help save innocent Ukrainian lives. I plead with Israel to choose humanity and to leave no doubt for future generations that when evil was being perpetrated, Israel stood up and chose to help.
Victor Pinchuk, JPO, 07.11.22
Israel stuck between Russian hammer and Ukrainian plight anvil
With Russian authorities’ moves to close the Jewish Agency and recent attacks from Russian officials against the Jewish community, Israel’s ability to sit on the fence about the war in Ukraine is diminishing. Israel’s next steps will directly affect the personal security of the Russian Jewish community and also the security map in the Middle East. The incoming government must provide a clear strategy in relation to the war and the refugees. (…) Since the actions to close the Jewish Agency in Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a military draft, there has been a significant acceleration in the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel, with the understanding that the Iron Curtain is slowly coming down again on the citizens of Russia. (…) Faced with these dangers, Israel’s new government will have to express a clear position that will include concrete actions in the conflict and not just condemnations or expressions of solidarity from afar. (…) the incoming government must create an organized initiative for refugees from Ukraine and Russia, one that would buy them a bright and clear future in the Land of Israel. (…) The State must urgently move to ease the way for new immigrants to open bank accounts and move their assets from Russia, and ease the bureaucratic procedures and waiting times related to the processes of confirming the Jewish identity of the immigrants, so that they can pick up the pieces and start a new life in the State of Israel. (…)
Pinchas Goldschmidt, JPO, 09.11.22
The war in Ukraine and its impact on Israel
The war in Ukraine is clearly far from over. For Israel, the changes it is bringing about have far-reaching implications. In almost all aspects, the war has enhanced Israel’s national security equation and bolstered its position in world affairs. (…) Over 13,000 olim from Ukraine have arrived in Israel since February, and almost alone among the millions of war refugees, it has been the Jews who had a home to go to. An increasing flow is also coming from Russia, as socioeconomic conditions keep deteriorating and a partial mobilization of reserves has been declared. Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry reported nearly 19,000 olim from Russia during the first five months of the war (…). The war did generate (…) a rare and indeed unprecedented opportunity for Israel’s then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to position himself as a mediator, or at least a go-between, a situation that grabbed the spotlight of global attention. To some extent, this was a way out of the dilemma posed by Israel’s need to keep open channels with both sides. (…) Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex – another important part of Israel’s strategic assets and resources – has also been dramatically affected by the war. It has grown in prominence globally due to a transformed sense of threat to the West. Israel’s defense industries, which provide an indispensable contribution both to the IDF’s qualitative edge and to the national economy, have been on the unimaginable brink of really taking off ever since the war broke out. (…) Moreover, the sharp rise in the costs of oil and gas, and the fears of a cold winter in Europe, had an almost immediate effect on Israel’s position as an energy exporter (…). The same is true of the internal Lebanese dynamic that led to the signing of the parallel exchange of letters over the maritime boundary delineation with Israel. (…) Indirectly, this also undermined Hezbollah’s raison d’être: If Israel agrees to a “win-win” with Lebanon, what need is there for an armed Iranian proxy that pretends to be the “protector of Lebanon”? The willingness of President Michel Aoun, long an ally of Hezbollah, to sign the agreement was proof that the war has had an effect, through the gas market, on Israel’s strategic environment. Moreover, Israel’s standing has been enhanced by the fact that its greatest enemy, Iran, has lined up with Russia against the West. (…) The bottom line is that the global and regional reality created by the Russia-Ukraine war strengthens Israel and enhances its international and regional standing. (…)
Eran Lerman, IHY, 10.11.22
Hypersonic to a Global Showdown
In the last couple of weeks, as Russia backtracked from recent threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Iran acknowledged supplying Russia with thousands of deadly kamikaze drones that are being used against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in an effort to turn the war in their favor. However, maybe even more important than Iran giving Russia deadly drones is what Iran is getting in return from Russia. This week, Iran announced that it possesses hypersonic missiles. What a coincidence! (…) it seems highly implausible that Iran achieved this advanced missile capability on their own. More likely, Russia, which has been testing, touting, and deploying its advanced hypersonic missiles, has given or helped Iran (…). Since the U.S. and Israel have been developing advanced missile defenses for many years together, Iran needs the hypersonic missiles as a threat to Israel and the U.S. acting against Iran’s weapons of mass destruction. (…) Iran is further defying the West by seeking Russia’s help to further build out its nuclear weapons capabilities. Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons to threaten and attack Israel and the West and hypersonic missiles to stop any preemptive action against them is a powerful and scary combination that puts Middle Eastern peace at risk more than ever before. Adding to this deadly scenario, menacing and nuclear-armed North Korea has apparently also joined this axis of evil and is supplying Russia with munitions for its war in Ukraine. Moreover, China, in its endless endeavor to take over Taiwan by force, if necessary, is strengthening its alliance with Russia as well and has conducted joint military maneuvers to prepare for what may come. (…) While Russia is losing steam and ground in Ukraine, make no mistake that Russia, along with China, Iran, and North Korea, are determined to not only stop but also throw back what they perceive as western imperialism. (…) With a few hundred thousand dead between Ukrainian and Russian forces so far, this may only be the beginning of a much bigger conflict that will come to a head soon. (…) While the hype in the news has been all about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, missiles, and drones, perhaps the real story is that we are moving at hypersonic speeds to a most dangerous global showdown between East and West. (…)
Andy Blumenthal, TOI, 13.11.22
3. Midterm Elections in the US
For the Midterms, the GOP Is Reviving Its Most Infamous Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory
When a confederation of far-right activists, militia members, and Q-Anon adherents stormed the Capitol on January 6th, most of the American public acknowledged that the politics of resentment and toxic conspiracy theories caused the violence. (…) Republican leaders (…) pushed the theory that it was actually costumed antifa members who went berserk on Capitol Hill in an attempt to slander honest patriots and bring down the ire of the “deep state.” (…) Since the public emergence of antifa, a term that means a style of militant antifascist organizing, in tandem with the rise of Trump and the alt-right, Republicans had decided that the intangible “antifa” would become the totem on to which they could project their most terrifying fantasies. (…) Conservatives railed against antifa, claiming they were responsible for just about every dastardly event: They started the 2020 forest fires, they were using COVID to destroy freedom, and they were reproducing themselves at so rapid a rate that they could potentially overthrow the government and revive Stalinism on American soil. (…) while “antifa” may be a new catch-all enemy for conservatives, it is actually the latest version of a long tradition of anti-communist conspiracy theories, most of which maintain a coded antisemitism. (…) The allegedly Jewish nature of communism was a consistent feature of far-right rhetoric, often casually disguised by dog whistles aimed at new recruits who might be scared off by blunt antisemitism. (…) The reality is that antifa is a social movement, like any other, with successes and losses, but is far from capable of tearing down liberal society, nor is it likely interested in doing so. The barrier between the conservative projection of antifa and reality is the same line they have drawn throughout history: the right wing’s overheated rhetoric and repressive policies only make sense with an outsized enemy endowed with an almost mythological threat level. (…) these are the same stories about the ubiquitous, satanic enemy once told by an older generation but now appearing in new clothes. What it really tells us is about how far the American right is willing to go to destroy its adversary, and that it has no use for niceties or norms any more.
Shane Burley, HAA, 08.11.22
Democrats’ doomsday political appeals are bad for the Jews
(…) the Democratic Party appears to believe that demonizing its opponents is its best bet. (…) Joe Biden and other leading Democrats claimed that “democracy was on the ballot.” This refrain does more than imply that Republicans are insurrectionist authoritarians bent on destroying the republic (…). If history teaches us anything, it is that such an atmosphere of heightened conflict is one in which the scapegoating and demonization of the Jews always finds a wider audience. (…) those who buy into such apocalyptic notions are setting the stage for the kind of political conflict that is actually antithetical to the normal practice of democracy, which requires both sides to accept each other’s legitimacy. By tying political opponents to their fears of antisemitism, liberals are also repudiating allies of the Jews in a lockstep pro-Israel party. Contrary to the Democrats’ usual claims about support for Israel being bipartisan, this makes bipartisanship seem not just wrongheaded, but a pact with the devil. (…) The Republican caucuses that will be sworn in next January will have some outliers on the right. (…) But none (…) will be “semi-fascists,” as Biden has claimed (…). Such claims are canards and undermine the struggle against actual extremism, not to mention a rising tide of antisemitism that has infected some sectors of the far-left and far-right. Moreover, it ill behooves a Democratic Party that is more in thrall to its activist base, and a congressional progressive caucus that includes a growing collection of avowed socialists and Israel-haters, to be talking about extremism. (…) liberal groups have to understand that bolstering the narrative about the country’s being on the brink of an apocalyptic battle for freedom against domestic foes is bad for America and the Jews. It is exactly the sort of mindset in which those who dwell in the fever swamps of the far-left and far-right, and who actually do mean the Jews harm, thrive. (…)
Jonathan S. Tobin, IHY, 08.11.22
US Midterm elections: Will there be an increased focus on Israel?
(…) A beacon of democracy in the world, the United States has an opportunity with its elections to show the best in democracy. Unfortunately, the last several years have revealed increasing partisan rhetoric and controversies (…). While support for Israel continues to be bipartisan and we feel that the support is continuing along the lines of a healthy relationship that builds on existing defense, security as well as cultural and religious ties, there are voices in Congress that have sought to undermine US-Israel relations. (…) this recent round of elections saw some focus on pro-Israel groups spending in Pittsburgh and other places, with accusations that the groups favored Republicans or even supported “election deniers.” This kind of talk is not helpful and it is obvious that anti-Israel voices have sought over the years to try to put a negative spotlight on pro-Israel candidates and to try to make Israel a wedge issue in local elections. It is not in our interest to focus on the individual groups that may be seeking to make anti-Israel rhetoric an issue. What is important, is that support for Israel not be seen as controversial; nor that some try to exploit anti-Israel views in elections. (…) We hope the new members of Congress who are elected will continue to see bipartisan support for Israel as a key building block of our alliance. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 09.11.22
Trump the biggest?
(…) Not that Trump deserves any great applause for losing. (…) Standing on a melting, floating piece of ice, he would declare he was on the most stable ground. (…) You still think he is a friend to Jews? He just uses us, as so much iffy ilk does, holding us hostage until throwing us under the bus to deflect blame. Why do the creepiest Gentile leaders sometimes support Jews and Israel? They try to compromise the morality of the Jews to keep them hostage. (…) They don’t love Jews. They love what Jews can give them. (…) If needed, they can encourage an antisemitic revival to make it easier to blame the Jews working for them. It’s happened a million times. And Jews are blamed. (…) Jews are portrayed as the really unimaginably powerful. (…) Make no mistake. Even the loudest Jews are petrified. Even the richest Jews are powerless. As long as the Gentile majority lacks the morality to stand unconditionally with all Jews, it even lost its claim to righteousness and power to improve society for all. The solution is not to blame the victims, the Jews. The solution is to remove Jew-hatred among the general population, and leave no room for any hatred. (…) the Left faking support for Jews is worse than the Right doing so. The Trumps just use us; the Obamas enable them—though also do their own share of tricking and abusing the Jews. When democrats stand with us, we don’t need the despots’ bear hugs. (…) The more bizarre the story, the greater the ‘hunch’ that this must be true. (…) There is no climate change, said the islander and drowned. One no longer tries to imitate reality when lying. (…)
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden, TOI, 10.11.22.
4. Selection of Articles
COP27 in Egypt
Does the climate summit threaten our planet?
(…) COP stands for Conference of the Parties. (…) The term refers to the 197 governments that began getting together back in 1992 for United Nations “climate summits.” (…) In 2015, 194 countries signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to “pursue efforts” to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (…) Every time you exhale, you emit CO2. And, for our friends, the trees and the flowers, CO2 is essential food. The theory embraced by Paris signatories is that as CO2 builds up in the atmosphere, it traps heat causing temperatures to rise. The question that follows: How quickly and how high? (…) Using computer models to predict average temperatures decades from now is tougher. What we do know is that since 1900 global temperatures have risen 1.3 degrees Celsius. (…) A few years ago, it was widely accepted that the world was heading for a 4-degree temperature rise. The UN now predicts 2.5 degrees – hardly fire and brimstone. (…) windmills produce energy only when breezes blow. Solar panels provide energy only when the sun shines. Neither produces large amounts of energy and both take up vast amounts of land – to the detriment of nature and agriculture. Both also require raw materials that must be mined, often in ways that are hardly “green.” Nor do we yet have batteries capable of storing significant quantities of energy. (…) China’s ruler, Xi Jinping, apparently recognizes this reality along with the indivisible link between abundant energy and prosperity. So, he’s not attending COP27, and he is producing and burning much more coal. The result: If all Americans traded in their gas guzzlers for Teslas tomorrow, global CO2 emissions would not drop. The current COP is the fifth to be held in Africa. The idea is to draw attention to the “severe impact of climate change on the continent.” But a few degrees of warming over decades are unlikely to harm Africans as much as restricting or even raising the price of the energy they need and for which there is no current substitute. Give an African farmer a tractor running on diesel, and he can grow more crops. If he has a truck that runs on gasoline, he can get his produce to market where he can sell it at a profit. If his families’ meals are cooked over a propane flame, that’s better for them – and the environment – than if they’re cooked over wood or dung. But deprive Africans of affordable, reliable hydrocarbons and you condemn them to abject poverty. (…) If COP27 attendees are adamant about reducing CO2 emissions, there are better ways to do it. (…) Nuclear energy is emissions-free. (…)
Clifford D. May, IHY, 10.11.22T
The art of climate change conferences
(…) The “Mona Lisa” had nothing to smile about when cake was smeared on the protective glass covering her famous face at the Louvre in May. (…) it’s doubtful that any lasting impact was made by the protests in any sense. It’s not like the climate change issue lacks headlines. What it needs is meaningful action rather than more slogans. (…) It’s hard not to be cynical about a global climate conference being sponsored by Coca-Cola, whose plastic bottles are far from environmentally-friendly. (…) Large numbers of Israelis, who didn’t have far to travel, are taking part. (…) According to the Environmental Protection Ministry, one in seven start-ups last year were in climate tech, including in the fields of smart agriculture, clean energy systems, sustainable mobility and transportation. Israel is also a leading and creative force when it comes to developing meatless meat and milkless milk, desalination and water protection, and many other fields. (…) However, regulations including the climate crisis as a chapter in the Israel National Security Council’s multi-year assessment – reflecting readiness to deal with fires, floods, heat waves and cold spells, for example – have (…) not been finalized despite last year’s promises. (…) the incoming government should make a real effort to deal with the threats by some likely coalition partners who want to remove recently-imposed taxation on single-use plastic ware and utensils in an effort to reduce plastic waste. (…)
Rather than give the younger generation the impression that there’s literally no tomorrow in global terms (…) there’s a need to create a different climate: Responsible consumerism; healthier eating habits; use of public transport; and protecting wildlife and natural habitats, for example. And please don’t waste food by throwing it at works of art.
Liat Collins, JPO, 10.11.22
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: November 2022.
Dr. Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel