Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Gideon Levy: A marginal matter

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 18, 2009

The 18th Knesset is different from all its predecessors. It is the first that does not have a Jewish MK whose guiding principle is the struggle against the occupation.

Since the 7th Knesset, the first to be elected after the Six-Day War, we have not had a parliament like this one, devoid of Jewish anti-occupation activists. As such, the new Knesset precisely reflects the popular zeitgeist, in which the occupation is completely missing from the national agenda, and there is no reason to disturb our legislators with the issue.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078598.html

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Nimer Sultany: Should Palestinian citizens vote in Israel’s parliamentary elections?

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Israeli Arabs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 15, 2009

The recent Israeli elections witnessed a revival of the debate among the Palestinian citizens of Israel concerning the meaning of their participation, or the lack thereof, in the electoral process. The disqualification of Arab parties by the Knesset’s Central Elections Committee and the subsequent reversal of the decision by Israel’s high court led to two paradoxical results: on the one hand, it strengthened the doubts of some Palestinians vis-a-vis the fairness and effectiveness of the parliamentary presence of Palestinian representatives; on the other hand, it seems that these events mobilized more Palestinians to vote in order to defend their representation. Nevertheless, the steady decline of the Palestinian turnout in the national elections in recent years maintained its momentum: only 53 percent of the eligible Palestinian voters voted in the February elections. On the backdrop of the falling percentage of turnout and the rise of the Zionist far right wing, explicating and assessing the main positions in this debate — in particular the voices calling for a Palestinian boycott of the Israeli elections — becomes vital.

For full article, visit http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10461.shtml

Rattling the Cage: The threat from within

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 9, 2009

The truth about our foreign minister – and this is no scoop, it’s old news everywhere, but a lot of people have conveniently forgotten it – is that he used to belong to Kach. He is a one-time member of a murderous anti-Arab movement, one whose ideology is summed up in the chant “death to the Arabs,” one that was banned here and is listed by the US and EU as a terrorist organization.

That was back in 1979, when Lieberman was studying at Hebrew University. “I made out his membership card,” said former Kach general manager Yossi Dayan. “I stapled his photo to a card that said ‘Kach’ and had our symbol on it.”

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238562940005&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Livni: Lieberman ruined years of peace efforts in just 20 minutes

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs by beyondtheborder on April 3, 2009

In an interview with Israel Radio, the Kadima chairwoman said she had expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce that he did not share Lieberman’s expressed sentiments, and was disappointed that such clarification was not made.

Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process kick-started in Annapolis bolstered international recognition of Israel. Speaking at a farewell event organized by his Kadima party, Olmert responded to Lieberman’s disparaging that Israel was not bound by the framework of the U.S.-sponsored summit.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1076196.html

Lieberman: Israel not bound by Annapolis

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs by beyondtheborder on April 1, 2009

“There is one document that obligates us – and that’s not the Annapolis conference, it has no validity,” Lieberman said in a speech, referring to a 2007 gathering in Annapolis, Maryland attended by participants from about 40 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Indonesia.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075510.html

Netanyahu government / No sense of democracy in action

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs by beyondtheborder on March 31, 2009

First to ascend the dais is Ehud Olmert. He delivers a defensive speech, summing up his tenure as prime minister as well as his political career. “Even if it happened sooner than I had hoped, and under a cloud of circumstances that are well-known, I don’t carry even a trace of bitterness, anger, or complaint,” the outgoing prime minister promises, for starters. No complaining? Is that the Olmert that we knew, or did they bring a double? This suspicion clears fairly soon, however, as Olmert confronts the press in his usual manner, albeit perhaps in subtler tones. “The multitude of slanderers by mouth and pen” apparently gave “a free propaganda trophy to the Hezbollah.” Those who criticized the Gaza war are mere “pen pushers.” To Olmert, everyone else is always wrong.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075351.html

Haaretz poll: 54% of public dissatisfied with new government

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Polls by beyondtheborder on March 31, 2009

The problem could also be the friction that accompanied the government’s formation; two key cabinet members are suffering embarrassingly low support ratings. Netanyahu, who dreamed for a decade about returning to the Prime Minister’s Bureau, will have to work hard and fast to show he is productive. The most striking result of the Haaretz-Dialog poll, conducted under Prof. Camil Fuchs of the statistics department at Tel Aviv University, is the extent of the public’s dissatisfaction with the new government. Less than a third of those surveyed said they are satisfied with Netanyahu’s government. More than half, 54 percent, are dissatisfied with the new government.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075358.html

Netanyahu sworn in as Israel’s prime minister

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Videos by beyondtheborder on March 31, 2009

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in late Tuesday to lead Israel’s 32nd government, after cobbling together a coalition amid rising tensions within his own Likud party and with other leading political figures.

Lawmakers voted 69 to 45 with five abstentions in favor of Netanyahu’s right-wing government after a six-hour debate, making Netanyahu prime minister for the second time in 10 years.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075341.html

Netanyahu officially replaces Ehud Olmert, who stepped down amid multiple corruption investigations, on Wednesday.

Speaking on Tuesday, Olmert ended his term with an emotional defence of his premiership, acknowledging that he had mistakes but saying that there had also been successes.

For full article, visit http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/03/2009331203050922203.html

The charter of Netanyahu’s Likud party calls for Israel to maintain control over all the land it occupied in 1967, expressly prohibiting a Palestinian state, thought to be the cornerstone of any peace deal.

For full article, visit http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36796

Image Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075503.html

“It is not with a victor’s joy that I stand here today in front of you, but with a great sense of responsibility,” Netanyahu began. “I ask for your trust at this time of worldwide crisis of a kind we haven’t known before, and it is with a sense of worry, but also with hope and faith, that the State of Israel confronts two major challenges: the economic challenge and the security challenge. I am certain that the people of Israel will cope successfully with the challenges that lie ahead of it.”

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238423647847&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The vote tallied 69 Knesset members in favor and 45 Knesset members against. Labor MKs Shelly Yacimovich, Eitan Cabel, Yuli Tamir, Amir Peretz and Ophir Pines-Paz abstained.

Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) was the only member of the House not present in the vote.

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3695344,00.html

Likud in turmoil after Netanyahu-Shalom meeting canceled

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs by beyondtheborder on March 31, 2009

The chasm between Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud MK and chief party rival Silvan Shalom is growing ever wider Tuesday after a meeting scheduled to resolve the row over the latter’s role in the next government was postponed indefinitely.

Hours before Netanyahu’s government is to be sworn in at the Knesset in Jerusalem, it is unclear if and when the two will meet to patch up their differences.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1075193.html

Israel Beiteinu warns it may leave gov’t

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs by beyondtheborder on March 31, 2009

Israel Beiteinu on Tuesday denied reports that Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman had agreed that if the latter is charged with any crime and forced to leave the Foreign Ministry, the portfolio would go to the Likud, warning that if that were to happen, the party would leave the government.

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238423647847&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull