Reports that Obama hoping prime minister
will have to include Livni in more centrist coalition.
Tel Aviv — Can Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a master tightrope walker — balance between the demands of an angry U.S. administration and the insistent right flank of his governing coalition?
Can he advance down the path of negotiations with the U.S. and Palestinians while continuing to hold fast to a coalition dominated by hardliners who are opposed to territorial concessions?
It’s probably just a coincidence that the blue-skinned, endangered aliens from the planet Pandora in the mega-hit “Avatar” are called the Na’vi, which is Hebrew for prophet. It couldn’t be that non-Jewish writer and director James Cameron took the term deliberately to make a point that in these victimized, ultimately triumphant underdogs we were to see a glimpse of some conflict in the offing. Could it?
Probably not. But it is one of the things to ponder about a movie that borrows so much of its essence, while leaving so much to interpretation.
Nearly a half-million dollars raised in America for Israeli children by Likud fund-raisers cannot be properly accounted for, a joint investigation by The Jewish Week and the Israeli daily paper Haaretz has found.
The joint probe, which included scrutiny of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign financing, has found that some of the money in question — about $47,000 — was instead channeled directly to the Likud Party and other Israeli political causes.
The scheduled appearance in New York of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s controversial new deputy prime minister, is expected to bring many Jewish leaders with tough questions for him to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations next Wednesday. But this week, Americans for Peace Now, slammed the conference itself for sponsoring the appearance of the man who advocates stripping Israeli Arabs citizens of their citizenship.
On the eve of his first U.S. visit since becoming deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, has received a provisional pass from much of the Jewish establishment — and a stamp of approval from one leader who denounced him just last May.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week this week, “I don’t see anything extremist since he became part of the government.”
For Israel this week, it was as if nothing had changed.
One week after an official U.S. National Intelligence Estimate effectively shrank to near zero the chances of a Bush administration military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities — or President Bush’s support for an Israeli strike — Israel continued to talk up its feasibility.
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
Even some American supporters of Lieberman, above, say his outspokenness could be a problem.
Next month’s expected Washington visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could prove awkward for pro-Israel groups here and explosive for the Obama administration, largely because of the early bombshells dropped by his new foreign minister, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.
Days after taking office, Lieberman summarily discarded the results of the 2007 Annapolis peace conference and warned outsiders not to meddle in Israeli policy and politics.