This should have been the end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s career. His coalition is down to the minimum number of seats in the Knesset necessary to hold on to power, his ministers at war with one another and with him, and remarkably, the police have recommended indicting him on serious corruption charges three separate times, the most recent on Dec. 2.
Yet despite all this, polling concurs that Mr. Netanyahu is on course to win a fifth election next year and surpass David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father, as the country’s longest-serving leader. Meanwhile, he has more power than ever. When Avigdor Lieberman resigned on Nov.… Seguir leyendo »
When the United Nations Security Council voted on Friday to censure Israel’s settlement-building policy, the United States shocked its allies by abstaining. This shock was a little odd given that the Obama administration has always opposed the settlements. Odder still, Secretary of State John Kerry felt the need to deliver an excruciating 80-minute speech on Wednesday that was essentially an apology for the abstention. The whole song-and-dance says a lot about Kerry’s well-meaning but ultimately ineffectual Mideast strategy.
While many, not just in Israel’s government, have already described Kerry’s speech as deeply critical, even “anti-Israel,” it was nothing of the sort.… Seguir leyendo »
In a small, close-knit society where family is everything, people are constantly glued to their mobile phones and trauma is an ever-present memory, the prospect of a child being kidnapped by Palestinians is an unspoken terror. And yes, a child in this context could also mean a 20-year-old soldier shouldering his rifle.
For Israelis, the nightmare of your son’s phone ringing, unanswered, wipes away all the self-confidence that citizens of the Jewish state have built for themselves. That fear burrows into a national psyche that defines what Israel is about for its Jewish majority – a country that was founded and its entire military force built up so that no Jewish child should ever be captured and spirited away again.… Seguir leyendo »