“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:
- Further Protests Against Planned Judicial Reform
- Rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran
- International Concern About the Violence and Planned Reforms
- Selection of Articles
1. Further Protests Against Planned Judicial Reform
Disrupting Israeli democracy
Anti-government activists took to the streets across Israel (…) to take part in a preplanned “Day of National Disruption.” It was an apt name for the endeavor, whose purpose was to impose the will of the minority on the entire populace (…). Like the other demonstrations (…) this one made a mockery of the concept of democracy. (…) What caused it to be notable was its intensity, with the blocking of main highways and breaking down of police barriers. (…) to cap off the day’s judicial-reform-rage festivities, an angry mob gathered outside and barricaded a beauty parlor on Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina Plaza, where Sara Netanyahu was having her hair done. (…) The revenge riot took place in the wake of the cold-blooded murder of 22-year-old Hallel Yaniv and his 20-year-old brother, Yagel, from the Jewish community of Har Bracha in Samaria. Never mind that Netanyahu condemned the assault and implored Israelis not to take the law into their own hands. (…) The most recent example was a petition by reservists, published (…) in the form of an open letter, in this very vein. (…)
Ruthie Blum, JPO, 03.03.23
Netanyahu’s push to overhaul the judiciary is a play with fire
(…) The prime minister should be losing sleep over the (…) the ramifications of his government’s actions on the economy and the growing tensions with the United States. (…) The Air Force is reliant on its pilots in the reserves as well as those on active duty. (…) They (…) cannot help but wonder, who is it they are risking their lives for every week. (…) They argue that by eliminating the authority of the Supreme Court, they would be left defenseless from prosecution abroad. (…) Why would they want to be exposed to litigation abroad? Let Netanyahu find others to do the job. (…) Meanwhile, the economic ramifications of the reform are already beginning to threaten to dry up investments in the local high-tech industry, which will pinch the pocket of every Israeli citizen. (…) People will be next to go. Reservists see their livelihood at peril. Investors see the security threatened. This is a perfect storm. Even if unwittingly, the American administration is a party to the crisis. The immunity enjoyed by consecutive Israeli governments in Washington over the years is no longer a given. Biden has punished Netanyahu in a way only the prime minister understands. He refused to invite him to Washington and snubbed his calls. (…) the Jewish American community is divided and drifting away from Israel; and the shared interests are built on military power and economic stability which have both been put into question. For now, Biden has made do with public comments only but that will not be the case forever. (…)
Nahum Barnea, YED, 06.03.23
Will IDF insubordination bring Netanyahu to the negotiating table?
Thirty-seven of the 40 reservist fighter pilots from the Israel Air Force’s 69th fighter squadron announced (…) that they would not attend training flights this week to protest the government’s proposed judicial overhaul. (…) The IDF, which represents all Israelis, should be above politics – including the current political fray over a judicial overhaul. But while, in principle, we oppose insubordination, we recognize that the reservist fighter pilots are people who volunteer to protect this country, and they have every right to stand up for their beliefs.
(…) it is time for judicial reform dialogue. (…) we cannot ignore the sense of despair that many Israelis feel, including those who serve in special units and as fighter pilots, but also regular soldiers and citizens in reserve units who are called up regularly to serve their country. This is something that cannot be ignored. Developments such as the reservist pilots’ refusal to participate in training puts the entire country in danger. (…) If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really cares about Israel, this should be the alarm bell that spurs him to recalibrate, recalculate and ultimately negotiate, as President Isaac Herzog has implored. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 07.03.23
This is Herzog’s hour to save an Israel at
(…) The State of Israel is in a crisis, not this time because of enemies from the outside, but rather because of deep divisions from within. (…) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it worse, because he has not told his coalition that enough is enough and that if they continue steamrolling the judicial reform through they may get the courts they want, but will have weakened the country’s ability to defend itself and harmed its solidarity, economy and international stature in the process. (…) Sadly, the voice of reason and moderation (…) is not coming from the political leadership. Herzog, therefore (…) outlined a five-point compromise plan (…) and called on the opposing sides to come to his residence to negotiate. (…) they refused. (…) Herzog, commendably (…) sponsored talks between academics and jurists representing both sides of the reform issue. These efforts have borne fruit, and he is expected to put a compromise proposal before the public in the coming days. (…) His strategy is simple: put the plan out there, apparently in significant detail, and then let the public apply pressure on the politicians (…) to wake up and realize that their unyielding positions are endangering the Zionist project. We fervently hope the plan works. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 08.03.23
The Dangerous Alliance Between Pro-Democracy Protestors and the Israeli Military
The army has finally discovered politics and turned itself into a key offensive player on the field where it always used to sit in the stands. At first glance, its reason for breaking the rules seems convincing. The pilots explained this week that the cabinet and Knesset are unilaterally breaking their contract with the army by abolishing democracy, and therefore, any order they give may well be illegal. (…) they’re wrong. In a democratic country, the cabinet and Knesset have no contract with the army about the way the country is run, the scope of the consensus needed to implement their policies or the quality of the country’s democracy. The consensus is the exclusive province of civilians. Only in undemocratic countries does the army assert the power to “protect democracy,” as if it were an elected body. (…) The Israeli protest movements and the millions of Israelis who fear the coup against our system of government are now relying on the army, and especially its elite units, as the doomsday weapon that could dissuade the government from establishing a constitutional dictatorship. (…)
Zvi Bar’el, HAA, 09.03.23
Dialogue is the only way judicial reform row ends well
(…) The protest can and should be escalated, provided more peaceful protests do not achieve their desired goals. Blocking highways, for example, is par for the course in these sorts of protests. (…) Yes, it’s a terrible government of racists and sponges. The protest would do little to persuade them. The protest must focus on convincing others, chief among them the prime minister. He must come to the realization that this can’t go on without compromise. There needs to be an agreement on the balance between the three branches of government and necessary amendments to the judicial system while resisting Haredim’s brazen extortion and other messianic trends. Slanders and bullying, negating the other’s position without putting forward an alternative, without willingness to compromise, while losing all brakes and a sense of right and wrong, are a sure recipe for the collapse of the entire social structure that was established here through sweat and tears, and yes, blood too.
Ariella Ringel Hoffman, YED, 12.03.23
Israel’s fight is not for democracy but for cultural dominance
(…) One core element of democracy is equal protection before the law. That is what the secular, liberal-to-progressive camp demands of the haredim as regards military service, payment of taxes, being employed gainfully as well as egalitarian prayer gatherings at the Western Wall Plaza, for example. (…) For over 100 years, the Zionist Left has been opposing the Zionist Right and struggling to assure it cannot effectively influence the pre-state and post-1948 state’s political, social and cultural makeup. (…) Prosperity and secularization affect the degree to which the political culture of a country is determined. This determination seems to be now less by classic economic class issues and more by cultural and wealth issues. This is due to the fact that the more central to the political culture prosperity and secularization these issues become, the more the country’s institutional order (…) is influenced by a growth of alienation and anomie. These twin maladies of modernity, anomie and alienation, are reflected in rising levels of problems with meaning and identity and institutional distrust in modernized countries. The intention of Israel’s Riskified fraud management platform heads to move to Portugal, and the withdrawal of the deposits of Papaya Global is just a reflection of this trend. The struggles of Israel’s society are not over political democracy but cultural dominance.
Yisrael Medad, JPO, 12.03.23
Netanyahu’s Double Risk: Losing His Base and His Grip on Power
Some people are counting on a democratic or moral epiphany breaking through the clouded conscience of Likud lawmakers – the ones who still haven’t completely capitulated to Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s insane vision or National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Kahanist clownishness – and leading them stop the coup against our system of government. (…) These “moderates” have mainly proven to be cowards. They are waiting for someone to not only build a ladder that the government could climb down on, but even place it conveniently against the high tree branch they are stuck on. And the ones who are speaking out aren’t too moderate. (…) The pressure inside Likud is enormous – not for moral reasons, but for purely opportunistic ones. Likud lawmakers are afraid because they feel their political future has become very vulnerable due to the government’s terrible conduct and the judicial overhaul project, which has caused incalculable trouble.(…) Senior Likud officials, led by Netanyahu, have incited Likud voters against the legal system for years, and now the tiger is out of control. It has its trainer in its jaws and threatens to crush him if he makes concessions. (…)
Ravit Hecht, HAA, 15.03.23
2. Rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran
U.S. defense officials visit to deter unilateral Israeli action on Iran
(…) the White House and Pentagon fear the current government may surprise the U.S. with an attack on Iran and drag the Americans into a Mideast war they do not want while most of their resources are directed at the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the uptick in the cold war with China. (…) Western officials believe that by end of 2023, the Islamic Republic will have enough material to produce 10 nuclear devices, but after the latest revelations – the perceived timeline has shortened considerably. (…) Israel believes the enrichment to 84% was planned and aimed to (…) make the world accustomed to Iran’s slow but persistent move towards nuclear capability, avoiding dramatic steps that could evoke an attack by Israel and the West. The second objective is to warn the U.S. and Europeans that the pace toward a bomb could be accelerated if sanctions imposed by then-president Donald Trump are not removed, or new sanctions, imposed by the UN Security Council over the military assistance to Russia for its war in Ukraine. The warning aims to use the Biden administration’s policy to avoid military conflict in the Middle East at all costs. (…) Of great concern to both Washington and Jerusalem is the military cooperation between Iran and Russia and the possible deployment of Russian S-400 air defense missiles in Iran as well as the joint development and production of precise attack drones and possible ballistic and hypersonic missiles able to overcome Israel’s defenses. The Americans (…) demand Israel refrain from taking any action on Iran without prior coordination with Washington.
Ron Ben-Yishai, YED, 06.03.23
The Saudi-Iranian Reconciliation Is a Refreshing Piece of Good News
Two regional dictatorships, with the help of a global power, are making peace and restoring diplomatic relations after a break of seven years. Is this something to celebrate or to mourn? The (…) one thing everyone in Israel can agree on is that the Iran-Saudi deal is bad. (…) Israel’s attitude should elicit some questions. Why do Israeli interests run against the interests of the region’s peoples and align with those of foreign powers? Why is Israel perceived and perceives itself as a foreigner in the Middle East? Manhattan is closer than Amman, Paris is closer than Cairo and both are closest of all to the Balata refugee camp. And another point regarding the mental fixation that prevails in Israel. Three dictatorships are partners to the agreement, each of which terrorizes citizens who refuse to hew to the government line. (…) If the agreement does nothing else but bring an end to the bloody fighting in Yemen and to the human suffering, that would be enough; if it only ends the anarchy in Lebanon, that would be enough; and if it leads to a new nuclear agreement, that would be enough. (…)
Odeh Bisharat, HAA, 12.03.23
Israel needs a powerful regional front against Iran
(…) Since 2020, Jordan and Egypt have been joined by the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in establishing ties with Israel. Saudi Arabia, while not yet having broken the ice by normalizing ties with Israel is nevertheless quietly involved in enabling the Abraham Accords. Shared interests are driving this process. (…) the direct threats posed to Sunni states and Israel by Iran’s proxies and allies. Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shi’ite militias in Iraq collectively form a clear and present threat to Gulf states and Israel. (…) Iran is the (…) the glue for new levels of cooperation. In 2023, Israel does not stand alone in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the United States remains extremely relevant in the Middle East (…). Saudi Arabia and Israel, two key US allies (…) are the subjects of an American attempt to group them with additional Sunni states. The American goal is to create areas of cooperation, in which capabilities, assets, and interests are shared against the Iranian threat. (…) Saudi Arabia (…) with Egypt, it currently plays a significant role in leading the Sunni Arab world. (…) The Biden administration deemed the Saudi regime problematic regarding human rights and imposed sanctions on it. Now that the pieces of a new regional platform are coming together, however, future Saudi-Israeli normalization is within grasp. It is these three key players – the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel – that are best positioned to lead to a reshuffling of the Middle East, consolidating the region against the Iranian threat. The Palestinian issue, meanwhile, is growing less important to the Middle East.
Zvika Haimovich, JPO, 12.03.23
Saudi Arabia and Iran Inflict A Blow On Israel
It seemed like a bolt out of the blue, but it was actually the end result of arduous negotiations. (…) Israel was stunned by the turn of events in Beijing, even though Saudi and Iranian diplomats had been working on this problem for almost two years. (…) with Saudi Arabia having mended fences with Iran (…) Netanyahu’s hopes of forging a strategic alliance with the Saudis hang on a slender thread. Realistically, the prospect of such an alliance was little more than a pipe dream, given the Saudis’ unwavering insistence that a normalization of relations with Israel is conditional on a resolution of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians through a negotiated two-state solution. (…) 21 years ago, at an Arab League summit in Beirut, Saudi Arabia offered Israel a peace treaty if it accepted a two-state solution on the basis of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel basically rejected the proposal, which is still on the table (…). The Arab League proposal, backed by the Arab League, blocks Netanyahu’s path to official relations with Saudi Arabia because he and his far right-wing government staunchly oppose Palestinian statehood. (…) The majority of Arab leaders (…) regard diplomacy and dialogue as the optimum way of dealing constructively with Iran. This leaves Israel isolated as the only Middle Eastern state seriously considering the use of military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites (…). Alarmed by Iran’s capabilities or intentions, the Israeli government may yet launch massive air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Israel would effectively be acting on its own, outside the framework of a regional alliance that might have included Saudi Arabia. (…)
Sheldon Kirshner, TOI, 12.03.23
Israel and Biden Shouldn’t Panic Over Iran-Saudi Deal
(…) Reducing Iranian-Saudi tensions is a goal the United States has endorsed, having given its backing to previous rounds of such talks in Iraq and Oman. (…) it could help bring an end to the war in Yemen, as the United States has sought, and bring to an end, for now, the threat of Houthi missile and drone attacks against Saudi targets. (…) A second (…) benefit (…) could be a reduction of tensions in Iraq which have led to the targeting of U.S. forces. The empty half: Seeing China’s influence rise by demonstrating its ability to leverage its constructive relationships with both sides of Middle East conflicts (…) suggests that China is moving beyond seeing its interests in the Middle East exclusively through an economic lens, and is moving to establish a diplomatic leadership role. (…) China and the Saudis (…) are taking a big gamble here, putting significant chips on the risky bet of Iranian good intentions. (…) there is zero indication of a change in the strategic goals of the regime in Tehran (…) regional dominance, and the sustained intimidation of all other parties in the region to accept it. That goal is buttressed by Iran’s nuclear program, which continues to expand, to the point where Iran has effectively achieved the status of a nuclear threshold state. (…) For Israel, the notion that something major has been lost in this turn of events (…) is overstated. Israel’s leading Arab Gulf partner, the United Arab Emirates, has long made clear that it does not want to be seen as taking part in a military coalition against Iran, and it resumed its own diplomatic relations with Iran months ago. Saudi leaders, who share the UAE’s suspicion of Iran, and perhaps harbor even more animus, but also have no intention of provoking or participating in a military conflict, are pursuing a similar strategy of de-escalation. (…)
Daniel B. Shapiro, HAA, 12.03.23
Where was the US when Iran, Saudi Arabia restored ties?
The news over the weekend that Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reestablish relations (…) is seen by some as potentially casting a shadow over the possibility of Israel and Saudi Arabia progressing in their relations. (…) observers said the rapprochement between the long-strained countries was in part due to Israel’s increasingly right-wing turn and political chaos unfolding due to the judicial reforms. (…) it would be wise to urge caution in how Israel moves forward (…) the fact that China mediated a deal between two Middle Eastern powers says something about the US. China is a rival to America and the countries have been vying for influence over the region for decades. China’s ability to enter into the Iranian-Saudi standoff is a result of the vacuum created by the lack of US engagement in the region. (…) China has outshone the US in the Middle East and that will have repercussions on Israel, whose alliance with America directly affects its own standing in the region. (…) when the US is strong and perceived as engaged in the region, this empowers Israel and vice versa. (…) We should welcome diplomacy as a pathway toward peace and stability in the region. At the same time, we should make it clear that the redlines relating to nuclear weapons production remain the same as in the past. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 13.03.23
Can something be done in wake of the Saudi-Iranian deal?
(…) What Israel really needs from the US is mainly flexibility and advancement in supplying the systems that have already been purchased (…) and a massive increase in the pre-deployment in Israel of advanced ammunition (…), and maybe in the future, even Israeli-American active air and missile defense systems, once purchased for US needs. (…) It is very important to make a clear American statement that Israel has an independent capability to attack Iran and that the US will support such action, before and after. If this happens alongside massive economic pressure and active support for the riots in Iran, perhaps it could lead to change in Iran, but if not – then it will result in the threats being put into action. (…) the resumption of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which constitutes a significant deterioration in the balance of power in the Gulf and in the ties between Riyadh and Washington, but of course, also affects Israel. (…) The US can offer the Saudis cooperation and agreements such as with Israel, India, and Taiwan, without compromising Israel’s qualitative military edge (…). When it comes to cooperation – perhaps even trilateral – in civilian nuclear technologies, there is much we can do, and it will be elaborated on in a separate article. In return, the Saudis can provide the US and Israel with a full comprehensive peace agreement, including bringing other countries (…) to the negotiating table, using a phased method, and of course, they should not overheat their relations with Iran. (…)
Jacob Nagel, IHY, 13.03.23
3. International Concern About Rising Violence and Planned Reforms
Israeli gov’t needs serious, coherent plan to fight terror
(…) Fourteen Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists so far this year. That is more terror deaths in two months than the 12 the country suffered in 2019 and 2020 combined. Only six times since 2009 have more than 14 people been murdered by terrorists in a year. Clearly something is not working as it did in the past. (…) While there may indeed be deterrent merits in mandating capital punishment for terrorists, this must be thought through very carefully. (…) While new approaches to combating terrorism may be needed, these need to be more than mere slogans. (…) The significant uptick in terrorism and this week’s three brutal murders necessitates that the government re-thinks policies and perhaps comes up with new ones to protect its citizens. But this must be done coolly, and the decisions made professionally. Acting “crazy” is a game plan for underworld organizations, not a strong and powerful state with unimaginable lethal force – that must act rationally and reasonably even when the blood boils.
Editorial, JPO, 01.03.23
The Blue Israeli Blood Over the Green Line
A grave, unbridgeable contradiction lies at the heart of a bill mandating the death penalty for terrorists. (…) Three conditions must be in place to justify an execution according to this proposal: Intent (or indifference), a racist or hostile motive toward the public (without mentioning which public), and goal – harm to the State of Israel and the revival of the Jewish nation in its land. (…) In more than one sense, this is a personal law intended to serve one population. It is intended to deter only those setting out to murder settlers (…) a murder motivated by simple revenge – whether Jews carrying out a pogrom in Hawara or the Palestinian reaction to the murder of a Palestinian by a settler or soldier – will, according to the bill, be exempt from capital punishment, being devoid of nationalist cause. The absurdity intensifies when we recall the degree to which the murder of settlers has aided the fortification of the settlement enterprise and the “revival of the nation in its land.” Many shahidist settlers were quickly rewarded for their martyrdom, sometimes within hours, with an outpost, an enlarged neighborhood (…). For years the settlers have whined that their blood is abandoned, and that there is a distinction between the blood of a citizen murdered within the borders of the country and that of a settler; they have decried the linking of terrorism to the settlements, and the legitimacy this linkage bestows on terror attacks against settlers. No more. This bill will actually make this distinction legal and sacrosanct, only in the opposite direction. Thanks to the determination that “harming the revival of the Jewish nation in its land,” which is to say the settlements, shall be a major component for establishing the death penalty, the blood of a settler will be bluer and dearer than that of an ordinary Israeli citizen. This bill will deter no killers, but its role will be to define the status of the true elite – harm to whose members, and only them, will carry a penalty more terrible than any other. (…)
Zvi Bar’el, HAA, 02.03.23
Judge the Jewish rioters, but don’t rationalize Arab murderers
(…) events on the scale of the riot in Hawara are almost unknown. For Jews to behave in this fashion is not normative (…). Frustration and anger about terrorist murders, coming as they did after so many other recent attacks on Jews by Palestinians, may be understandable. Still, indiscriminate violence against everyone living in that town is not. (…) killings of Jews (…) were largely supported by the Palestinian population, some of whom regularly take to the streets to celebrate murders of Jews. Nevertheless, it was irresponsible for a member of the Knesset to endorse revenge as a response to terrorism, let alone this sort of blatantly illegal action. (…) However, this incident also demonstrates not so much what’s wrong with Netanyahu’s government as it does the Palestinian political culture that perpetuates anti-Jewish terrorism and makes peace impossible. (…) The Religious Zionist alliance that provided the margin of victory for Netanyahu gained seats in the last election. Their demands for tougher action against terrorism resonated with voters sick and tired of the previous government’s failure to act decisively, whether because of the paralysis demanded by its left-wing members or the fear of American displeasure on the part of its leaders. But their rise (…) is a function of Palestinian actions more than it is representative of any intrinsic sympathy for the Israeli right. If the once-dominant parties of the Zionist left are now shadows of themselves, it’s because they were discredited by a mistaken belief that Israeli territorial surrenders and other concessions would buy peace with the Palestinians. (…) the left is determined to establish a moral equivalence between the Palestinians and the Netanyahu government and its supporters in the territories, this is a false narrative. (…) terrorism against Jews and Israelis is not only widely supported by Palestinian Arabs but embraced by their political parties. (…) Financial support for those who kill and wound Jews is official P.A. policy; terrorist murderers and their families benefit from their crimes. (…) That doesn’t justify lawless actions by Jews. But it does help ensure that this conflict will continue until a sea change in Palestinian thought and politics occurs. Until that happens, (…) as long as terrorism is cheered by Palestinians, don’t blame the Israeli right for the continuation of the conflict or the Israeli people for feeling frustrated by the free pass the murderers get from those who dare to lecture terror victims about morality.
Jonathan S. Tobin, IHY, 03.02.23
Israeli Protesters Yelled ‘Where Were You in Hawara?’ The Police Were in Hawara
(…) The pogrom in Hawara apparently left its mark on the demonstrators. They aren’t accustomed to seeing Jews perpetrating crimes against Palestinians, unless the Jews are in uniform. (…) the fact is, the police were at Hawara. They were there, and they enabled the pogroms and the acts of terror. After all, the Israeli security services are only meant to protect Israelis, not Palestinians. So the uproar, and the shock that gripped some of those who saw what a pogrom is live on television, after years of hearing about pogroms against Jews in Europe, is a little puzzling. You would have to be living in complete denial in order not to comprehend that this is how the machinery of occupation works and that in effect everyone in Israel participates in it once they turn 18. This may be a good opportunity to sober up from all kinds of naive ideas and all kinds of well-known repressions. (…) The settlers are certainly rioters and lawbreakers, but the riot in Hawara could not have happened without the security forces that enabled it. (…) It is the state that sent the settlers to the occupied territories, in part precisely so they would maltreat and brutalize the Palestinians, embitter their lives and make it clear to them who owns this place. The army and the police are there to back them up and guarantee their welfare. (…)
Hanin Majadli, HAA, 05.03.23
How settlement enterprise may soon destroy the Zionist dream
This wave of violence (…) is part of the Jewish history: persecutions, pogroms and terror attacks. (…) Jews were persecuted not only in Poland and Russia, but in Arab countries as well. (…) whoever believes the population of the Palestinian town of Huwara could live in peace with settlers from the neighboring settlement of Har Bracha is dangerously delusional. (…) Since the beginning of the year, 14 Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists. But they are only a small fraction of the 320 Muslims and Africans murdered in the same time frame by jihadist. Neither an occupation, nor an outpost made them go out and murder – but a total brainwashing. (…) I agree that the occupation is bad, but I just can’t imagine what the alternative is at the moment. (…) Meanwhile, the settlers are raising a generation of Jewish rioters, while Palestinians continue to demonize Israel and Jews, leading to more and more terror attacks. (…) if the settlements continue to expand, the only outcome is a bi-national state. (…) more and more Palestinians believe that a bi-national state is an inevitable solution to the conflict. Meanwhile, the right-wing minority in Israel is dragging us all in that direction. (…) If up until now we weren’t aware of the fact that the settlement enterprise in an anti-Zionist idea, the rioters that almost burned down Huwara last week made it quite clear. What happened there was unethical, un-Jewish and un-Zionist. And yes, the Palestinians do hand out candies in celebration of terror attacks targeting Jews, while most settlers condemn the violence inflicted on the Palestinians by the radical minority. But let’s not kid ourselves. We’re no longer looking at a handful of rouge individuals. (…)
Ben-Dror Yemini, YED, 05.03.23
4. Selection of Articles
Tensions in Us-Israel Relations
Israel-US relationship heading toward a boiling point
America is probably the most tolerant, liberal, and democratic empire ever seen in international relations. (…) Israel, as a darling of Washington, has enjoyed the US empire’s kid-glove treatment like a child who gets away with mischief because his parents love him. (…) Washington is not going to let Israel get away with action on settlements that would contradict its pledges in the Aqaba Summit several days ago. Nor will it turn a blind eye to cases where the IDF, which depends on US funding for some of its weapon systems, shows inaction in the face of Jewish rioters carrying out pogroms against Palestinians. The US is moving toward the junction where it will force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do things, just like Kissinger used his leverage on Rabin. Netanyahu knows more than anyone else what impact the US can have simply by changing how it votes in the UN. Netanyahu has, for all intents and purpose, entered a period of political incapacitation. He has been holding on to his seat like a criminal grabbing the horns of the altar during biblical times. He should get a plea bargain that would allow him to clear the stage. This would pave the way for Likud to form a reasonable right-wing government that would safeguard the high-tech sector, restore security and revive the mutual respect and friendship with Washington.
Dan Margalit, IHY, 01.03.23
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: March 2023.
Dr. Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel