La anexión unilateral de partes de Cisjordania es una mala idea. Ni siquiera forma parte del plan de paz de Trump. Yo formé parte del equipo que elaboró el plan con los estadounidenses, así que lo conozco perfectamente. Una anexión unilateral supone una interpretación completamente errónea del plan Trump. Netanyahu se ha limitado a quedarse con las dos páginas del plan que más le convienen y está intentando impulsar lo que en ellas se dice. Es como tener un plan económico basado en el gasto sin tener ni idea de cómo conseguir el dinero.

Según el plan original, aplicar la soberanía israelí sobre el valle del Jordán y los principales bloques de asentamientos era parte de un proceso que culminaría con la creación de dos Estados que pudieran coexistir: un Estado palestino desmilitarizado y un Estado de Israel a salvo de la amenaza del terrorismo islamista.…  Seguir leyendo »

Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images Leader of the Arab-Israeli Joint List parliamentary group Ayman Odeh attending a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel, March 23, 2020

A remarkable thing happened in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on April 21, as the assembly was marking the country’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Mansour Abbas, a Knesset member of the Joint List, the bloc of Arab-Israeli parties, took the podium and delivered a speech commemorating the Holocaust’s Jewish victims. “As a religious Palestinian and a Muslim Arab,” he said, “I have empathy for the pain and suffering over the years of Holocaust survivors and the families of the murdered. I stand here to show solidarity with the Jewish people, now, and forever.”

For an outsider, this gesture might perhaps seem a mere formality.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israelis protest against Benjamin Netanyahu, who denies charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images.

After almost a year and a half – and three elections – Benjamin Netanyahu, the grand magician of Israeli politics, managed to pull off another of his tricks to mobilise a majority of MKs to support a coalition government he will lead, in theory, for only the next 18 months. Unless he is found guilty in the corruption trial he faces.

Significantly, his personal victory will be detrimental to the future of the country’s democracy, the justice system in particular, good governance, and whatever slim chance may remain of a peace process leading to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Attributing Netanyahu’s success in forming a government to his vast experience, personal charm, unscrupulous manipulative nature, and limitless hunger for power provides only part of the answer.…  Seguir leyendo »

A placard with a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival-turned-partner Benny Gantz at a demonstration in Tel Aviv on May 2. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

On paper, the score was 11-0. In a rush decision, delivered near midnight on May 6, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Knesset could name Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government and stay on as prime minister — even though he has been indicted on fraud and bribe-taking charges in that office.

The real score, peaking out between the lines of the ruling, appears to be simpler: Netanyahu’s belligerent populism 1; rule of law, 0. The meaning of the decision is that, having procured a parliamentary majority by whatever means necessary, Netanyahu can ride roughshod over constraints on the majority’s power.…  Seguir leyendo »

A painting by the artist Banksy, in 2015 in Gaza. Divorce between Israel and the International Criminal Court was consumed in Rome in 1998, when Tel Aviv refused to sign and ratify the Statute, following its recognition of the transfer of the civilian population as a war crime. © Mohammed Abed / AFP

To me, the subject of Israel and Palestine, the relations between the two entities and their peoples, as well as the role of third actors (international or not), including the International Criminal Court (ICC), has been of concern for many years. The so-called Palestine Situation before the ICC seems to put into perspective the meetings and dialogues I had more than twenty years ago. Professionally, I have devoted my energy for the past fifteen years to international criminal justice, both in teaching and research and in practice, where I have been able to work alongside the Prosecutor General of Israel, the defence and more recently, in the representation of victims of international crimes.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this piece, the author points out "the interminable circularity of ‘debate’ around declaratory and constitutive theories of international law – which is to say the whether a state exists exclusively by having satisfied some set of criteria, or whether a state exists when other states recognise it as such". © Mohammed Abed / AFP

In December 2019 the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it had concluded its preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine, and was satisfied that it had competence to open a formal investigation. The announcement, however, came in the form of a Request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for confirmation that the OTP’s understanding of the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction over Palestine was correct.

Among the reasons the OTP gave for making the request was that “while the Prosecution wishes to obtain a ruling expeditiously, it would provide an opportunity for legal representatives of victims and the referring State to participate in the proceedings, if they wish.…  Seguir leyendo »

Perhaps there’s no country in the world where the novel coronavirus has had more of an immediate political impact than Israel. What three elections in barely a year could not accomplish — the formation of a government — a virus could.

But Covid-19 had help from a patriotic and risk-averse Benny Gantz, who ran last year, as leader of the Blue and White party, against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.

Gantz handed Netanyahu a near-perfect arrangement that will allow him to remain the most powerful political figure in Israel for the next 18 months, if not beyond.
Unlike for most leaders in the world, for Netanyahu Covid-19 presented both a challenge and an opportunity.…  Seguir leyendo »

The outcome of the Israeli elections has shown that the only real opposition to the current right-wing Israeli government and its anti-peace policies is the Joint List.

The Joint List is dealing with electoral victory responsibly, after adding seats over the course of Israel’s three elections in the last year, now reaching a historic high mark for predominantly Arab parties

We are not responding to the hateful incitement we have heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters. Rather, in the interest of lasting peace and security, we are moving ahead with our political platform to advance the cause of equality, social justice and freedom in a country that systematically violates those basic principles.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nearly 70 polls had predicted that Israel’s March 2 election would produce something reminiscent of Bill Murray’s classic movie «Groundhog Day» — a seemingly endless time loop of political stalemate, dysfunction and yet another election following the previous two last April and September.

Instead, the Israeli voting public gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu perhaps one of his greatest victories. Even though he is under formal indictment for fraud, bribery and breach of trust and set to go on trial March 17, many voters decided to back Netanyahu’s Likud party. And with 90% of the vote counted, if his current projected number of 59 seats (including those of his likely coalition partners) holds, his right-wing coalition — as opposed to Benny Gantz’s 54-seat bloc composed of the left and center-left parties and the Arab Joint List — will be best positioned to form a government.…  Seguir leyendo »

El tercer duelo electoral del año en Israel no trató bien al primer ministro Binyamin Netanyahu. Aun cuando su bloque derechista de partidos ultraortodoxos y nacionalistas obtuvo más escaños en el parlamento que el bloque de centroizquierda encabezado por el excomandante del ejército Benny Gantz, todavía no tiene la mayoría parlamentaria necesaria para formar gobierno. Este resultado no es buen presagio para la democracia israelí.

Es muy posible que Israel quede atrapado en el limbo por varios meses. El bloque con 58 escaños de Netanyahu es una alianza cohesionada y coherente, a diferencia del bloque opositor de 55 escaños (formado por la coalición Azul y Blanco de Gantz, el alineamiento Laborismo‑Meretz y la Lista Unida de partidos políticos de mayoría árabe), que mal podría servir de base para un nuevo gobierno, aun si lograra una mayoría de los 120 escaños de la Knéset.…  Seguir leyendo »

For the third time in a year, Israel is holding elections. On March 2, Israelis will head to the polls to elect representatives for the 23rd Knesset, Israel’s parliament. But drastic change in the distribution of seats across parties seems unlikely. Israel remains gripped by a political deadlock, and neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party nor Benny Gantz of the center-left Blue and White party have had enough seats to form a governing coalition in the previous two elections. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has advocated the formation of a national unity government to break the impasse, to no avail.…  Seguir leyendo »

Interior del Parlamento de Israel (Knéset). Foto: Noam Chen / Israeli Ministry of Tourism


El elemento clave de la inestabilidad política de Israel son las divisiones sociopolíticas o cleavages que conforman su sociedad.


El pasado 11 de diciembre la Knéset aprobaba –por segunda vez en 2019– su autodisolución. Ni las elecciones celebradas en abril, ni las celebradas en septiembre han servido para conformar una mayoría suficiente (61 diputados) sobre la que sustentar a un ejecutivo. Los dos grandes partidos –el Likud y la coalición Azul y Blanco– no han logrado aglutinar los apoyos necesarios para evitar la celebración de unas nuevas elecciones (el 2 de marzo de 2020) que serán las terceras en un período de sólo 11 meses.…  Seguir leyendo »

Existen cuatro crímenes execrables, repugnantes, que conmocionan las conciencias de la mayoría de los seres que habitan el planeta: el genocidio, los crímenes de guerra, la depuración étnica y los crímenes de lesa humanidad. Con esa u otras denominaciones se han cometido desde el inicio de los tiempos. Tras la Primera Guerra Mundial hubo reacciones ante los horrores vividos. Vividos nuevamente y aumentados tras la Segunda, la Carta de las Naciones Unidas incorporó en 1945 estas preocupaciones.

En 1998, impulsado por la ONU, nace el Tribunal Penal Internacional (TPI), hoy integrado por 124 Estados. Si bien algunos de los más poderosos (EE UU, Rusia, China) no forman parte de él (tampoco Israel) por temor a que algunos de sus nacionales puedan ser incriminados, es destacable que tantos Estados de culturas y acervos jurídicos dispares hayan concordado en un objetivo común.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dos sentimientos sobrevolaron este año la conmemoración de la liberación de Auschwitz en Yad Vashem (el centro en memoria del Holocausto en Jerusalén); dos impulsos contradictorios que subyacen a la creación del Estado judío: el cosmopolitismo y el nacionalismo. Este aniversario estuvo marcado por un contrapunto entre ambas perspectivas, reflejado en las declaraciones de los funcionarios que asistieron y en las objeciones de los que no estuvieron.

En la apertura de la ceremonia, el primer ministro israelí Binyamin Netanyahu dio la pauta de lo que vendría a continuación. Describió a Auschwitz como “un abismo” y a Jerusalén como “una cima”, representante el primero de “esclavitud” y “muerte”, encarnación la segunda de “libertad” y “vida”.…  Seguir leyendo »

While denounced by many as a dangerous escalation of tensions that could lead to war, the killing of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani was welcomed in Israel and throughout the Middle East. Justice was done for the thousands of people killed under Soleimani’s command, and he helped prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Following a period of non-response to Iranian attacks and provocations, American deterrence was restored. Israelis say this knowing full well that the Iranian regime is almost certain to seek revenge and that its first target could be Israel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Netanyahu socava la democracia en Israel

Los electores israelíes volverán a las urnas en marzo de 2020 por tercera vez en menos de un año. Los comicios de abril y septiembre de 2019 no consiguieron producir en la Knesset la mayoría indispensable para formar Gobierno. La razón fundamental de este bloqueo sin precedentes es el empeño del primer ministro Netanyahu en aferrarse al poder. Después de haber presidido el Gobierno de 1996 a 1999, regresó al cargo en marzo de 2009 y desde entonces no ha vuelto a dejarlo, además de hacerse cargo también durante varios años de carteras como Asuntos Exteriores, Sanidad, Economía y Comunicaciones. Esta longevidad en la cima del poder y este acaparamiento de ministerios no tienen tampoco precedente en la historia de Israel, ni siquiera en las circunstancias excepcionales que caracterizaron la fundación del Estado en 1948 por David Ben Gurion.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘He had a greatness about him, a nobility. Even towards those who attacked him.’ Amos Oz in 2014. Photograph: Uzi Varon

Amos Oz was a teacher to me, a friend. About once a month I would travel early in the morning from my house just outside of Jerusalem to his house in Ramat Aviv. He would make me “the best coffee in town” according to him, and we would sit and chat.

I’m not sure if it was the best coffee in town, but it definitely was the best company. We spoke about the state of the country, which seemed like it had no solution. We spoke about the dream and how that dream was shattering. About the books we had read.…  Seguir leyendo »

Si hay un país occidental que está sufriendo disfunción democrática, es Israel. Tras un nuevo fracaso de la dirigencia política del país para formar gobierno después de la última elección parlamentaria en septiembre, los votantes volverán a las urnas en marzo de 2020 por tercera vez en menos de un año. Pero con la intensidad y polarización de la política de Israel y la gran proporcionalidad de su sistema electoral, ¿qué puede esperarse de la próxima elección nacional excepto más parálisis?

El primer ministro de Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, siempre se vio a sí mismo como un Winston Churchill israelí: el salvador supremo de un pueblo confrontado a la presunta amenaza de un nuevo Holocausto por parte de un Irán nuclearizado.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli lawmakers voted on Wednesday to call a third election after negotiations to form a unity government stalled.Credit...Gali Tibbon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

It’s official. Israel will hold another election in March, our third national vote in less than 12 months. With trust in Israeli political parties already at a historic low, this election will only reinforce how broken Israeli politics have become.

Israel faces a twin crisis: structural deadlock in our political system and a rapid descent into divisiveness within our social fabric. This is by no means a fatal course, and with the removal of a number of political obstacles, it could be reversed.

To understand the origins of these crises, we must go back to Israel’s origins. Ours is a young state comprising an ancient people.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo

Moad Rayan, a twenty-five-year-old Arab citizen of Israel, had planned to study engineering in England—but it was not to be. On February 1, 2009, he drove with a friend to his local supermarket in Kafr Bara, a town about fifteen miles east of Tel Aviv, and as he waited in the car outside, another car pulled up and two masked men got out, drawing their guns. They sprayed him with bullets and drove off. “Until today, no one knows why,” his father, Kamel, told me recently. Since Moad’s murder, the police have not found any suspects. “It’s not just my son,” said Kamel.…  Seguir leyendo »