Israel's Divided Government, the Palestinians, and the US
The November 2022 elections in Israel gave the present coalition a clear majority of 64 out of 120 members of the Knesset. The coalition intended to produce a government with a firm rightwing ideological orientation. At long last, Likud party loyalists cheered, we don’t need to compromise with centrist or left-leaning partners. >> Insight from […]
The Roots of Israel’s Judicial Reform Proposal
A bitter debate has now engulfed Israeli society over the proper role of the judiciary. The new government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, began its term in January by introducing far-reaching reforms to the judiciary, which I have already described in detail. The continuing strong reaction to these proposals, well described by my JST […]
The Battle Over Israel’s Judicial Reforms
The debate in Israel is generating a lot of heat on partisan lines, but little light. Opponents of the new government’s proposals see them stripping the judiciary of its independence and thus striking a blow to the country’s democracy. Proponents see these proposals as long overdue reforms to restrain judicial activism and bring Israel’s judiciary […]
Why Has Netanyahu’s Coalition-Making Been so Difficult?
A magical moment is recalled in a well known Israeli song (sung by Yehudit Ravitz in 1979): “You took my hand in yours and told me, let’s go down to the garden—the things you see from there are not what you see from here.” A generation later, in 2005, the refrain “what you see from […]
Not Much Left
Israeli election results of the past 30 years illustrate the dramatic decline of Israel’s formerly ruling left. In the 1992 elections, under the leadership of the late Yitzhak Rabin, the Labor Party won 44 seats (out of 120) in the Knesset, and his Meretz partner (led by its late leader, the sharp and acerbic Yossi […]
Defense Minister Gantz Goes to Ankara
The ongoing rapprochement between Israel and Turkey was reinforced recently on October 27 by the visit to Ankara of Israel’s Defense Minister Gantz, following the groundbreaking and highly symbolic official visit of President Yitzhak Herzog in March. Gantz met with his counterpart, Hulusi Akar, considered to be one of the mainstays of the AKP government, […]
The Debate Inside Israel over the Maritime Boundary Arrangement with Lebanon
Not since the Oslo Accords of 1993–1995 has an aspect of Israel’s relations with an Arab neighbor aroused such vehement argument in the Israeli public. Unlike the Oslo Accords, however, this is not a bilateral agreement signed in each other’s presence as Lebanon refuses to deal with Israel directly, in any manner that would imply […]
Holiday Tensions, the Iranian Factor, and Israel’s Palestinian Dilemmas
As Jews all around the world observed the three-week period of the High Holy Days, tensions kept rising in the West Bank and Jerusalem: two Israeli soldiers, one of them a young woman, were killed and several wounded in recurrent shooting attacks, and riots broke out in several areas of Jerusalem. This is not unprecedented: […]
The Debate over Military Rules of Engagement
Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed on May 11 during a firefight between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinians in the streets of the West Bank city of Jenin. This led to a firestorm of claims: pro-Palestinian accusations of a premeditated murder and pro-Israeli arguments of a killing by Palestinian fire. […]
Israel Engages Washington on Iran: What Does Lapid Hope to Achieve?
In mid-August 2022, reports began to spread in Israel’s political class about Iran’s willingness to compromise in the ongoing negotiations over a revived Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This has led to a fear that the Biden administration may finally be within reach of a deal, which would put billions in Iran’s coffers and […]
Will the Eizenkot Effect Make a Difference?
Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, Israel’s former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, joined Benny Gantz’s party. Gantz’s former military colleagues vanished from the political scene. Will the same now happen to Eizenkot?
“From Khan Younis to Tehran”
Israel’s Latest Message of Deterrence
Israel Wins a Round in the Proxy War With Iran
Why did the IDF launch an attack on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, knowing full well that this would lead to rocket attacks and counterstrikes?