May 23, 2019

Israel

"The ‘norms’ invoked to challenge Israel’s claims to the Golan are selectively applied, totally contradictory, and would actually invalidate Palestinian territorial claims. Other than that, they make perfect sense."

"Israel's vote threshold has created a situation in which the Likud, which went to great effort to expel Moshe Feiglin, prays that his party will cross the threshold to enter the Knesset..."

"A primer on the state of play of Israeli politics, how Israel’s electoral system shapes (and warps) priorities, and why Netanyahu has reason to be worried about his new rival."

"The acropolis of Israel is being unearthed in East Jerusalem, which much of the world does not regard as belonging to the state of Israel. And it is being unearthed, at least in part, beneath the homes of Palestinians..."

"40th Anniversary of 'Hallelujah': The Song Which Almost Bankrupted Israel: The tale of Israel's miraculous double Eurovision win, and the birth of the most successful song to come out of the contest since ABBA."

"A House leader declared that he stands with Israel “unapologetically.” A day later, he felt compelled to clarify a stray remark to avoid inflaming divisions in his caucus."

"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."

"Netanyahu has brazenly allied himself with Trump’s Administration and his family (including the cryptic peace negotiator, Jared Kushner, whose family he has known for years), as well as with the Republican Party and Republican funders..."

"Rafi Eitan was a Mossad agent in 1960 when, acting on information gathered by several independent Nazi hunters, he was dispatched as head of an Israeli intelligence squad to Buenos Aires to intercept Eichmann on his way home."

"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"

"I decided to move from my home in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv to the settlement of Tekoa in the West Bank for a summer. I wanted to make a film about my experiences as I got to know the settlers I’d formed so many conclusions about."

"For generations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been portrayed as the key to making regional peace. Proponents of this concept have claimed that a solution of the protracted conflict would pave the way to Middle East peace..."

"Campaigns are traditionally filled with promises... There is one promise being made by some parties that I can confidently declare as unrealistic."

"Temple Mount tensions, protests against Hamas and a rise in attempted West Bank attacks create a potent mix that will shadow the three weeks left to the election."

"Liberal Israel policy group [J-Street] will take 40 college students to Israel and the West Bank for 10 days in July, in a visit ‘that engages fully with Israel’s reality’"

"...the immediate and most important challenge a national unity government would face is how to react to the “deal of the century,” the peace plan formulated in recent years in the White House..."

"Forty years ago this month, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in Washington. It was the first peace treaty signed by Israel with an Arab country."

"Feiglin is a firebrand opponent of Palestinian statehood, supports building a third Temple in Jerusalem, has questioned why Israel’s non-Jewish citizens have any say in Israeli politics, and has called for stripping Arab Israelis of certain rights."

"Netanyahu has already been declared guilty in most of Israel's media, the same media that decided 15 years ago to handle Sharon's indictments with kid gloves."

"By the end of last week, instances of anti-Semitic rhetoric by the freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar had become too many to enumerate. Her two apologies, in the space of a few weeks, for earlier statements can no longer be taken seriously..."

"In a fiery speech, the country’s top Arab politician imagines what was previously considered impossible: a Jewish-Arab coalition to topple Benjamin Netanyahu"

"...each claims that the opposing candidate is soft on terror, willing to make territorial concessions to the Palestinians, and reluctant to act toughly and decisively against Hamas."

"Iceland has selected the BDSM band Hatari to represent their country at the Eurovision this year. The band is quite flamboyant in dress and very extreme in their political stance..."

"Is it just me, or is anyone else waiting for the UN to condemn Israel for illegally occupying outer space? Even worse, they’re planning illegal settlement expansion there – on the moon!"

"‘Extremism” is the political buzzword of the current election campaign. Meretz chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg repeatedly accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud for joining up with Kahanists..."

"Yechiel Eckstein built a billion dollar philanthropic empire by being the first to tap into Christian love for Israel. Will his daughter be able to sustain the momentum now that he's gone?"

"While Israel is far from perfect, I learned there are many reasons to respect the country, and that the portrait of Israelis as portrayed by the Arab media is misleading."

"Ideally, Likud would release a platform telling voters exactly where it stands on all major issues. Since it hasn’t done that since 2009, they’ll likely go into another election without a platform."

"Some people think Israel is a right-wing country, including many Israelis. The fallacy in this thinking is there are no left-wing countries in the Middle East."

"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."

"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."