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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
The Economic Crisis in the Palestinian Authority: Time for a Strategic AlertMichael Milstein - INSS ([Israeli] Institute for National Security Studies - The developing economic crisis In the Palestinian Authority warrants a heightened alert in Israel as to a possible strategic shift in the Palestinian system. The crisis, should it prove protracted, and all the more so should it worsen, is liable to ignite several threats concerning Israel: an expansion of the circle of Palestinians involved in violent acts, specifically civil disturbances and terrorist attacks; difficulties for the PA to provide services in the civilian realm, which could deepen the Palestinian public`s dependence on Israel; Hamas’s intensified presence and tactics in face of the PA’s weakness; and compromises in the security cooperation. [ak] 30/4/2019
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Clouds gather above the Middle East: war orno warElijah J Magnier - Information Clearing House "The history of Israeli aggression towardsLebanon is long. Lebanese domestic reactionto the report of last week’s meeting of theHezbollah leadership and the analysis of thesituation may yet again give wrong signalsto Israel, signalling that it can attackneighbouring countries in what it perceivesas a moment of weakness. However, if thesesigns and signals do indeed lead to war,that will certainly be devastating toLebanon, more than the 2006 war, and mostlikely also destructive to Israel at a levelit has not experienced since 1973.Lebanese reaction to the prospect of a war this summer – despite the personal evaluation of Hezbollah leader who said otherwise, opposing his military commander’s assessments according to what he said during his speech – could be significant. TheLebanese people are no longer ready to pay the price of another war (after the 2006 war and the eight-years of war attempting to impose regime change on Syria)." ca 27/4/2019
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Israel’s Lesson for the Democrats in 2020Roger Conhen - NYT "In the longer term, Israeli politics will turn to the question of annexation. At the last minute, to shore up the right, Netanyahu promised to start annexing the West Bank if he won another term. The United Right and other extreme parties will not let him forget it...Netanyahu is happiest in the gray zone where Israel controls millions of Palestinians without having to confront the question of whether they vote or are granted Israeli citizenship." ca27/4/2019
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Can Palestinians mount an effective campaign against the `deal of the century?`Shimrit Mei - Ynet - "Postponing the `deal of the century` until after Ramadan gives the Palestinians time to rally Arab and Muslim opposition to the deal, although many Arab leaders will avoid criticizing Trump at all costs ; further erosion of Palestinian standing in Jerusalem can be explosive, but Hamas and Fatah still cannot manage to find common ground.` - id26/4/2019
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The Israeli left doesn`t need any more generalsDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - "The myth that generals enjoy mystical credibility among the Israeli public was, once again, put to bed this election. Instead of buying the snake oil, opposition voters need to stop casting about for miracle cures." - id 26/4/2019
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Is Jared Kushner the messiah we’ve been waiting for?Omar Karmi - EI - “Let’s not be unkind, it was not as if Kushner didn’t have prior experience. He prepared for his current role by leading a foundation that raised money for illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory” [ry] 22/4/2019
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War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should WeRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “[…] we must understand that Israel’s illegal policies in Palestine cannot and will not be challenged from within Israeli society. Challenging and ending the Israeli occupation and dismantling Apartheid can only happen through internal Palestinian resistance and external pressure that is centered around the strategy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” [ry] 22/4/2019
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Bennett and Shaked might be down, but they are not outMoran Azoulay - Ynet - "The former darlings of the right made a costly mistake by splitting from their base to form a new party, and they paid the price, but they also know how to turn weakness into strength and are well-placed to stage an even more triumphant return." - id18/4/2019
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Bennett and Shaked might be down, but they are not outMoran Azoulay - Ynet - "The former darlings of the right made a costly mistake by splitting from their base to form a new party, and they paid the price, but they also know how to turn weakness into strength and are well-placed to stage an even more triumphant return." - id18/4/2019
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Annexation is more than just a declarationMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "By drawing a line at formal annexation, the international community is hobbling its ability to respond to Israeli changes on the ground." - id 18/4/2019
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Let`s stop talking about a false `Jewish-Arab partnership`Rami Younis and Orly Noy - +972 - "By creating symmetry between Israelis and Arabs, Jews on the left are not only missing the bigger picture — they are actively taking part in erasing the Palestinian struggle." - id 18/4/2019
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Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Raise Israeli Aid Cut in Response to West Bank AnnexationRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - " Four pro-Israel House members offered a milquetoast warning to Netanyahu not to take any measures which would preclude a two-state solution. This statement is ludicrous because not only does Bibi oppose two-states, there isn’t a hope in hell of two-states happening regardless of who’s in power. This is the deluded figment of the liberal Zionist imagination." - id 18/4/2019
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How the left also dehumanises Palestinians in GazaSusan Abulhawa - Al Jazeera - By imbuing Gazans with mythical bravery, the left is failing to recognise Palestinian humanity [ry] 15/4/2019
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Netanyahu’s Faustian pact with the racist right is about saving his own skinGershom Gorenberg - The Washington Post "The Kahanists didn’t disappear, though. By shifting names — sometimes very slightly blurring the message — the movement lives on. Otzma Yehudit is the latest iteration. It’s running again, expecting to slip past the ban, but had no chance of meeting the current, higher threshold for entering parliament, 3.25 percent of the vote.These parties are splintered, small and in trouble. The oldest, Jewish Home, militantly nationalist and pro-settlement, was Netanyahu’s ally in the outgoing government. But its leaders, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, left to create a new party that has shed the religious label. What’s left of Jewish Home has become more extreme. At Netanyahu’s urging, it renewed a shaky alliance with the National Union, which is further right yet. National Union’s leader, Bezalel Smotrich, is known for equating homosexuality to bestiality and for defending discrimination against Arabs." ca12/4/2019
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Congress cannot afford to ignore Netanyahu’s embrace of the far rightChris Van Hollen&Gerald E. Connolly - Washington Post Netanyahu’s full-throated embrace of the far right’s extreme agenda has placed him on a dangerous track that is not in the interest of Israel, the Palestinians or the United States. As longtime supporters of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, we are deeply concerned about recent developments. If enacted, these policies would fundamentally change the character of Israel, undermine basic Palestinian human rights and violate long-held policies and values adopted by U.S. presidents of both parties to achieve a future two- state solution that enables Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and dignity alongside each other. That’s why Congress cannot afford to look the other way." ca12/4/2019
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Netanyahu Is King Of Israel Now — But Not King Of The Jews Jane Eisner - Forward "Netanyahu’s success at ensuring the survival of Israel as a Jewish state, at least for now, comes at the expense of its relationship with most American Jews. He doesn’t need us anymore. Now we have to figure out whether and how we relate to him." ca 12/4/2019
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Blue and White ignored Israeli Arab vote at own peril Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "On April 3, six days before the election, a young Arab woman burst into tears at an election rally in Tel Aviv as she asked Gantz why he was refusing to sit with the Arab parties. Gantz responded generically, as Netanyahu would, “Tell your leaders not to speak out against Israel.” “Your leaders,” he said. He made no mention of partnership...They kept their distance, lost the Arab vote and will now have to sit in opposition. The same is true of the Labor Party..." ca 12/4/2019
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Unfinished Gaza War: What Netanyahu hopes to gain from attacking prisonersRamzy Baroud - Ma`an News Agency "...a poll, conducted by the Israeli TV channel, Kan on March 27, found that 53% of Israelis believe that Netanyahu’s response to the Gaza resistance is “too weak.” Unable to counter with more violence, at least for now, the Netanyahu government responded by opening another battlefront, this time in Israeli prisons.By targeting prisoners, especially those affiliated with certain Gaza factions, Netanyahu is hoping to send a message of strength, and to assure his nervous constituency of his prowess." ca12/4/2019
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What Netanyahu’s Win Says About Israel’s FutureBernard Avishai - The New Yorker "...if Israel’s democratic forces in Labor and Meretz have something to learn from this new setback, it is that the center left will never win another election without the votes of the fifth of the population (and growing) that is not Jewish. Their bloc will need, in addition to more people like Gantz, not another Zionist Union but a big-tent democratic party of Jews and Arabs committed to a state of citizens. If Arabs continue to stay home, more and more accomplished Israelis are likely to leave home. That would be an election that Likud cannot control." ca12/4/2019
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Netanyahu`s short-lived victorySima Kadmon - Ynet - "The prime minister might have secured a fifth term, but it appears he will not be able to put together a coalition sufficiently obsequious to pass legislation to shield him from his legal woes." - id11/4/2019
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Israeli voters await results with trepidationRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - " There are no winners in this scenario. Even if Bibi does retain the premiership, he has done so by the skin of his teeth. All Trump and Putin’s horses and all their men couldn’t guarantee put Bibi back together again on the top of the political heap." - id 11/4/2019
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Netanyahu victory torpedoes two-state solution, say analystsDAOUD KUTTAB - Arab News - "Palestinian activists believe Netanyahu has been emboldened by support from US President Donald Trump, who said the US would recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Annexing settlements would all but end any final chances for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and potentially push the sides toward a single, binational state." - id11/4/2019
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Benjamin Netanyahu ‘the Magician’ Is Re-Elected Israel’s Prime Minister—but at What Price?Neri Zilber - The Daily Beast - "Netanyahu, facing multiple indictments, may keep himself out of jail by annexing the West Bank. But what happens to 2.5 million Palestinians there? And to Israel’s identity?" - id 11/4/2019
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Absolute racism: a prerequisite for becoming prime minister of IsraelSiddiq Bazarwala - Mondoweiss - Regardless of who wins the upcoming Israeli elections on 9 April 2019, Palestinians will most certainly lose. While past elections focus on Iran or the economy, this campaign season the Israeli electorate is being fed a steady diet of anti-Palestinian toxicity. Historically Israelis have a tendency of voting for those with the most vile, intolerant and yet variedly repeated anti-Palestinians tropes. Racism in the upper echelon of the Israeli government is a norm, however, embedded just as well deep within its institutional policies, the media, immigration rights, housing and legal policies. In fact, it all goes back to the time Israel was founded.-rh9/4/2019
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Urging Israelis to vote, Rivlin warns that ‘democracy not a given’TOI STAFF - “Elections are a celebration of democracy,” Rivlin told voters in a column carried by Hebrew-language media. “This is the day we exercise our right to determine our fate, as citizens with equal rights and as partners in the political enterprise – the State of Israel.”-rh9/4/2019
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Peace and democracy the losers in Israel’s 2019 electionsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor/Israel Pulse - The 2019 elections will go down in history as a single-issue referendum: yes or no on Netanyahu. This phenomenon reflects a decline in the value of ideologies, disinterest in the principles of political parties and mistrust of the most important institutions of Israeli democracy. A large number of Israelis support a leader, Netanyahu, whom both the police and the attorney general strongly suspect of egregious criminal wrongdoing. [bz] 9/4/2019
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Democracy, Israeli StyleHagai El-Ad - The New York Times - An election, a peace plan and an endless occupation [ry] 8/4/2019
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‘The Essence of Being Palestinian’: What the Great March of Return is Really AboutRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of the re-creation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected amongst the people. The March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance” [ry] 8/4/2019
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Netanyahu polishes security image in Moscow as vote approachesBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "Another meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin was a chance for Netanyahu to boast of his Russian ties with Putin and emphasize a new security threat ahead of the elections." - id 4/4/2019
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Win or lose, Netanyahu has already cemented his legacyEdo Konrad - +972 - "In his 10 years in power, Netanyahu has engaged in race-baiting against his own citizens, declared the occupation a permanent feature of Israeli reality, and shifted both the national and international conversation on Palestine. It is time to acknowledge that these are no mere trends — but his very legacy." - id4/4/2019
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Gazans Want to LiveYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Interestingly, as soon as Hamas reaches an understanding with Israel, internal protests in Gaza erupt in full force. Cash infusions from Qatar through Ben-Gurion Airport and the Erez checkpoint injected directly into their coffers, damages Hamas’s prestige and credibility in the eyes of the impoverished residents of the Gaza Strip." - id4/4/2019
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On Middle East Peace, the White House Turns to... Alan DershowitzBetsy Woodruff, Asawin Suebsaeng - The Daily Beast - "He said he has discussed the issue with Jared Kushner, special envoy Jason Greenblatt, Ambassador David Friedman, and President Trump himself." - id 4/4/2019
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Netanyahu can change the equation in GazaNahum Barnea - Ynet - There is no reason to be satisfied with a reality in which both sides sit on a barrel of explosives and play with matches. What is needed is a plan to rehabilitate Gaza with the cooperation of the PA, the Arab states and global institutions. Such a plan means taking risks, but the current situation is risky too. Only Netanyahu can do it - if he only had the courage to want it. [bz]2/4/2019
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