How Netanyahu’s campaign against Israel’s Arab citizens backfired | Euronews

TEL AVIV, Israel — If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’scampaign for re-election will be remembered for one thing, it will likely be the unabashed vilification of Israel’s Arab citizens, who represent a fifth of the country’s population.

He accused Arabs of stealing the inconclusive April vote. Five days before last week’s election, his official Facebook page said that Arabs “want to annihilate us all — women, children and men,” although the Likud Party later disowned the statement.

Yet, these efforts to suppress the Arab vote by a prime minister who is known as a political wizard appear to have backfired.


“The incitement against the Arabs was very strong provocation from Netanyahu,” said Thabet Abu Rass, co-director of the Abraham Initiatives, a joint Arab-Jewish organization working toward equality in Israel.

“Arab voters didn’t like that, and they decided to do something about it.”


Source: How Netanyahu’s campaign against Israel’s Arab citizens backfired | Euronews

Netanyahu-Gantz stalemate: No clear winner in tight Israeli election – Israel Elections – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to carry on his dynasty with a historic victory in Tuesday’s Israeli election and to be tasked with forming a government for the sixth time remained up in the air late Tuesday, after exit polls predicted a stalemate.

The final unofficial results were only expected on Wednesday afternoon, but according to an exit poll on Channel 13, whose pollster Camil Fuchs had the most accurate exit poll in the April election, Netanyahu’s Likud Party won 31 seats, and his Center-Right bloc a total of 54 seats. The Center-Left bloc of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz won 58 and his party won 33.


Source: Netanyahu-Gantz stalemate: No clear winner in tight Israeli election – Israel Elections – Jerusalem Post

‘Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to postpone elections for a war in Gaza’ – Israel Elections – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu almost ordered the IDF to go to war in the Gaza Strip which would have postponed the general elections slated for Tuesday, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Haaretz reported that National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat had met with Hanan Melcer, the head of the Central Elections Committee, at the urging of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit about a possible military operation.


Source: ‘Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to postpone elections for a war in Gaza’ – Israel Elections – Jerusalem Post

Iran army chief vows to raze Israeli cities if it makes ‘wrong move’ | The Times of Israel

General Abdolrahim Mousavi says warning that the ‘Zionist regime’ will not survive next 25 years does not mean it will actually last that long

Source: Iran army chief vows to raze Israeli cities if it makes ‘wrong move’ | The Times of Israel



Where is the teaching regarding Samaritans? especially Luke 10:30-37


Diaspora Jews, it’s time to step up

Original post from +972


For years there have been calls for on-the-ground opposition to the occupation. Now there are a growing number of Jewish platforms — and voices — seeking to make it happen.

By A. Daniel Roth

Activists hold a sign reading 'Segregation is not our Judaism,in Hebron , October 25, 2013. (Oren Ziv/

Members of the ‘All That’s Left’ collective at a direct action protesting segregation in Hebron, West Bank, October 25, 2013. Seven of the Jewish activists were arrested and later released. (Oren Ziv/

The way the world is talking about the Israeli occupation is changing. Alongside that change, opportunity is knocking for those of us standing in opposition: calls for diaspora Jews to be present on the ground in Israel and Palestine are increasing. An important shift is beginning to take place — right now.

The writing is on the wall. Since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected, U.S. President Obama and his staff have been speaking differentlyabout the once-incontrovertible two-state solution. One campus Hillel changed its name instead of changing it’s programming to adhere to Hillel International’s rules. If Not Now stormed onto the scene last summer in response to the violence in Gaza. Boycotts and BDS campaigns are sprouting up on campuses and at supermarkets all over the world.

That was on display for anyone to see last week in Washington D.C. The J Street conference, which brought together over 3,000 people, saw a series of fired up conversations that put shone a spotlight on the American-Jewish relationship with Israel. During a panel on liberal Zionism, Israeli journalist (and +972 blogger) Noam Sheizaf made a clear plea for a collective refocusing from “state solutions” to the urgency of ending the inequality that exists for millions under occupation, who lack freedom of movement or access to civilian courts.

Peter Beinart also took a step forward on stage, calling on young Jews from North America and around the world to stand physically in Israel and Palestine, and to take part in Palestinian non-violent resistance to the occupation.

For years there have been calls for on-the-ground participation from a variety of communities. Recently, there has been a surge in Jewish platforms for those communities to take part in peace and justice work.

A Jerusalem-based volunteer program for young American Jews (which I co-founded) called Solidarity of Nations-Achvat Amimengages in human rights work and learning based on the core value of self-determination for all peoples. All That’s Left (of which I am a member) is a collective aimed at engaging the diaspora in anti-occupation learning, organizing, and on-the-ground actions. The newCenter for Jewish Nonviolence has already brought a delegation to help Palestinian farmers to replant trees the IDF uprooted last spring.

It is important that Jewish communities with connections to Israel take part in this movement. Whether they have a personal, communal, religious or cultural relationship with this land, diaspora communities should be on the forefront, stepping up to take responsibility for a peaceful and just future here.

The groups and initiatives I mentioned above are working on engaging even more people in this work: bringing dozens of diaspora Jews — who are already living and learning in Israel — to do solidarity work with Palestinians. In the coming months, they hope to bring hundreds more from around the world for direct actions and educational initiatives in the West Bank.

There are important roles for people from all over the world, of various backgrounds, in organizing opposition to the occupation. Right now, at this very moment, there is a growing call for diaspora Jews to to find their way here and stand up for equality. It’s time to answer that call.

A. Daniel Roth is a journalist and educator based in South Tel Aviv. His writing and photography is at and you can follow him on Twitter @adanielroth.  ….’

Jerusalem a Tinderbox that could Explode: EU Report

Original post from Informed Comment

‘……….BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A leaked EU report cautioned that Jerusalem has reached its highest point of “polarization and violence” since the Second Intifada in 2005, according to international news sources.

Describing the upsurge of a “vicious cycle of violence … increasingly threatening the viability of the two-state solution,” the report blames increasing tensions on the continuation of “systematic” settlement building by Israel in “sensitive areas” of Jerusalem, according to the Guardian.

Also included is criticism of disproportionate policing towards Palestinian residents, as well as their rampant evictions and home demolitions throughout occupied East Jerusalem in 2014.

The report calls for greater European sanctions against settlement construction, providing suggestions of possible punitive measures against extremist settlers and products made in settlements.

The warnings come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces international criticism for openly denying the possibility of an independent Palestinian state, which he confirmed would never come into fruition if he was reelected.

Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats in Tuesday’s elections, in which he made last minute pleas to the right wing and settlement blocs to cast their ballots.

International pressure has not effectively prevented the continuation of settlement construction in the past, and critics argue Netanyahu’s policies encourage and facilitate rapid expansion of settlements and their protection.

Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem face ongoing pressure and discrimination, as the Israeli government has a stated aim of “Judaizing” Jerusalem, which means ensuring eternal Jewish control over the city through a policy of limiting Palestinian rights to residency and construction while building homes specifically for Jews across the city.

Settlers often receive protection by private security forces contracted by the state, while Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem lack citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

Via Ma’an News Agency


Related video added by Juan Cole:

DW: “Jerusalem – Three Religions, Three Families | Faith Matters”


Obama Details His Disappointment With Netanyahu In First Post-Election Comments

Original post from The Huffington Post

‘…………….By  Sam Stein Headshot   

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is operating under the assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not support the creation of a Palestinian state, despite the Israeli leader’s post-election efforts to recast himself as amenable to a two-state solution.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.

Though he pledged to keep working with the Israeli government on military and intelligence operations, Obama declined to say whether the United States would continue to block Palestinian efforts to secure statehood through the United Nations. In a phone conversation the two had on Thursday, he said he indicated to Netanyahu that “it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.”

In his first public comments on Tuesday’s elections in Israel, Obama’s deepest discomfort was saved for Netanyahu’s Election Day warning about Arab Israeli voters going to the polls “in droves.”

“We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions. That although Israel was founded based on the historic Palestinian state and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly,” said Obama. “And I think that that is what’s best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.”

The president’s comments cap a geopolitical backlash sparked by Netanyahu’s statement on Monday that a Palestinian state would not be established on his watch. The Israeli prime minister has since insisted that he remains open to a two-state solution under very specific, restrictive conditions. But the damage appears to have been done, with the White House offering only the most perfunctory of diplo-speak to obscure its frustrations.

While he expressed worry about the strain that Netanyahu had placed on Israel’s democratic fabric, Obama did not see the Israeli prime minister’s electoral victory as having a tangible impact on current negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. With just days to go before those talks between Iran, the U.S. and five other countries are scheduled to wrap, Obama offered a markedly sober assessment about the prospects for a deal.

“Frankly,” he said, “they have not yet made the kind of concessions that are I think going to be needed for a final deal to get done. But they have moved, and so there’s the possibility.”

Standing in the way of that final deal, according to recent reports, are lingering disputes over limits on new types of centrifuges that Iran wants to develop and the pace of international sanctions relief to be given to the country after a deal is struck.

Negotiators took a hiatus for the observation of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. The president on Friday encouraged everybody involved to use that time to grow more “comfortable with the current positions that are being taken.”

“Our goal,” he added, “is to get this done in a matter of weeks, not months.”

(Photo: Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post)

Besides the pressing international matters, Obama also discussed challenges on the domestic front. In forceful terms, he chastised Senate Republicans forholding up his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, and encouraged Democrats to buck demands that they first pass a human trafficking bill with a controversial anti-abortion provision.

“You don’t hold attorney general nominees hostage for other issues,” said Obama. “This is our top law enforcement office.”

An even bigger fight between the parties could be on the political horizon. The president flatly said that he would not sign an appropriations bill to fund the government if it did not alleviate the spending cuts brought about by sequestration. With spending cuts set to return in October 2015, his declaration ups the ante for lawmakers and portends another government shutdown showdown.

“I’ve been very clear. We are not going to have a situation where, for example, our education spending goes back to its lowest level since the year 2000,” said Obama. “We can’t do that to our kids, and I’m not going to sign it.”

Even without Congress’ input, there are initiatives that Obama can pursue during his closing year-and-a-half in office. During the roughly 25-minute interview in the White House Cabinet Room, he said that two major ones will be coming.

“Relatively soon,” Obama said, he will be raising the annual salary threshold at which companies are required to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours a week. The president didn’t tip his hand as to how much he would lift the current level of $23,600.

In addition, Obama said he would be exercising his pardon and clemency powers “more aggressively for people who meet the criteria.” There has been ongoing criticism that he has utilized those powers less than many of his predecessors.

One place where Obama will not go in the closing months of his second term is back to the negotiating table over a “grand bargain” on long-term deficit or debt reduction. Despite Republican criticism that a crisis still looms, he insisted that the times allow for a different approach

“The truth is, is that circumstances changed,” said Obama, when asked why he no longer highlights issues like entitlement reform. “At that time, we were seeing significantly higher deficits, and the economy was just beginning to grow. We now know that we’ve got strong growth.”

His unwillingness to re-open those talks he had in 2010 and 2011 isn’t indicative of some ideological drift, he added. Asked if he’d become a more progressive president over time — as recent comments from his former top adviser Dan Pfeiffer indicated — the president answered, emphatically, “No.”

“What we have done,” Obama said, “is consistently looked for additional opportunities to get stuff done. … By hook or by crook, we’re going to make sure that when I leave this office, that the country is more prosperous, more people have opportunity, kids have a better education, we’re more competitive, climate change is being taken more seriously than it was, and we are actually trying to do something about it. Those are going to be the measures by which I look back and say whether I’ve been successful as president.”

Watch The Huffington Post’s full interview with President Obama here.  ………….’