by James D. Besser |
With his back to the wall in his dealings with Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly weighing the possibility of broadening his government to give him more flexibility in anticipation of meeting American demands.
The reports are based in part on right-wing elements in Netanyahu’s coalition government that are upset with the prime minister’s decision to work towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to Yossi Alpher, an Israeli analyst and co-editor of the Israeli-Palestinian Web site bitterlemons.org.
The infighting in Iran since its contested election has made it a “weaker patron” of Hamas and Hezbollah, the two principal terrorist groups abutting Israel, but it is too early to know the ramifications, according to an Israeli political analyst.
“Iran was weakened by the Gaza war [in January between Israel and Hamas] and Hezbollah’s loss in the Lebanese elections,” said Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University. “Now Iran is going to be totally absorbed in its own internal issues.
In what has become perhaps the most Americanized region in all of Israel, the sunny seaside city of Herzliya just landed a classic American import that it probably never expected: the Jewish state’s first-ever college fraternity.
As Friday’s election in Iran led to charges of voter fraud after incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner, Israelis were divided over their preferred outcome.
“There is a debate in Israel,” said Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
by Adam Dickter |
Assistant Managing Editor
As President Barack Obama pumps new energy into what had been a moribund peace process, Jewish leaders are voicing concern that his line in the sand against new Israeli construction on the West Bank is unmatched by a concrete, reciprocal demand from the Palestinians.
Although Obama, in his address to the Muslim world from Cairo last week, emphasized the need to abandon violence and for Israel’s enemies to accept its right to exist, some fear the pressure on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a different message.
Israelis conducted the country’s largest emergency exercise ever Tuesday, apparently not only for internal readiness but to send a signal to its enemies Hezbollah and Iran, both of whom are facing elections in the coming days.
“The exercise told Israelis that this is something we have to face and to deal with — a missile attack or one from chemical or biological weapons,” explained Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University.