Too Narrow To Move?

Netanyahu’s tissue-thin coalition already coming under pressure from a number of quarters.

05/12/2015 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — On the evening of his sweeping come-from-behind election victory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to move swiftly to form a new government, saying that Israel could spare no time to meet political challenges at home and abroad.

Political watchers are questioning the long-term stability of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.  Getty Images

Media Has It In For Netanyahu

Prime minister’s win seen more as triumph of fear than democracy.

03/23/2015 - 20:00
Associate Editor

Was there ever an election that left everyone feeling so lonely, even the winners? Especially the winners?

It was Israel’s “Dewey Defeats Truman,” except only the Chicago Tribune had to live that headline down while there was almost no one who foresaw, or could easily explain, the dynamics leading to Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory.

There’s nothing new about that. The mostly liberal American media never greeted the election of a conservative Israel prime minister with anything other than fear. When in 1977 Menachem Begin became prime minister, Time magazine introduced him to its readers, “Begin as in Fagin.” Some may like Begin, said a diplomat, “but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.” In 1978 Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This week, The New York Times headlined, Netanyahu “Further Divides U.S. Jews,” a divide that has been routinely pinned to every non-Labor prime minister. Shmuel Rosner, of the Jewish Journal (Los Angeles), pulled out the old clips. The British Guardian headlined of the newly elected Ariel Sharon: “Sharon Divides World Jews,” just as Netanyahu now “divides.” When Sharon’s successor, Ehud Olmert, visited the United States, the Forward wrote, “for American Jews,” the visit “drove home the distance between the two great Jewish communities, not their closeness.” Even in 1958, before “everything,” American Jews were “troubled.” The day when we’re told that a conservative prime minister doesn’t “divide” American Jews will be the first.

Bibi, The Comeback Kid

At Likud headquarters, anxiety, then jubilation.

03/16/2015 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — “Giddy up, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi, King of Israel!”

Ecstatic Likud activists gathered at the party’s election headquarters broke out in chants and hugs when the numbers of the exit polls flashed on the screen showing that they had miraculously pulled even with the center-left Zionist Union in the final days of the campaign despite polls that unanimously pointed to defeat. [Later in the evening, the results showed Likud pulling ahead to a decisive victory over the center-left Zionist Union.]

The scene at Likud headquarters Tuesday night.  Joshua Mitnick/JW

Exit Polls: Zionist Union, Likud Neck And Neck At Top

03/16/2015 - 20:00

Tel Aviv — Exit polls in Israel showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party neck and neck at the top with the center-left Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog.

On Election’s Eve, Netanyahu Says No Palestinian State As Long As He’s Israel’s PM

03/16/2015 - 20:00

HAR HOMA, West Bank (Reuters) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a final bid to shore up right-wing support ahead of a knife-edge vote today, said he would not permit a Palestinian state to be created under his watch if he is re-elected.

Comptroller’s Report: Netanyahu Family Spent Excessive Public Funds

02/16/2015 - 19:00

Jerusalem — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be facing a criminal investigation following a government report that said he and his family spent public funds excessively on personal items.

Obama On Bibi: Make It Personal

The move wasn't statesmanlike, but Bibi's joint session maneuver is easily explained in terms of his foreign policy.

01/26/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Last summer, I had the opportunity to take my family on an extended visit to the United States. It was a wonderful trip, with the added bonus that my children did not have to spend any time in bomb-proof rooms like their peers and cousins back home in Israel.

In happier days. Getty Images

‘Not The Time For New Elections’

On the Israeli street, fed-up potential voters see a dysfunctional government.

12/09/2014 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Every Monday Avinoam Ventura, 71, and a half dozen friends gather at the Neeman coffee shop in the Ramot mall in north Jerusalem, where, over coffee and cake, they share the latest gossip and discuss the latest news.

Poll released this week found that 65 percent of Israelis do not want Bibi Netanyahu as the next prime minister. Getty Images

How Vulnerable Is Netanyahu?

New elections seen as referendum on the prime minister.

12/02/2014 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Faced with a fractious coalition that was bleeding his popularity, Benjamin Netanyahu gambled this week by abandoning his 20-month-old government and calling early elections to seek a fourth term as prime minister.

Netanyahu's call for new elections comes as his poll numbers are falling. Getty Images

Jordanian Report: Netanyahu, Abbas Met Secretly In Amman

08/27/2014 - 20:00

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met secretly in Amman days before the current cease-fire with Gaza, a Jordanian daily reported.

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