By Yaakov Lappin, February 21, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: So far, Israel’s objectives in armed conflicts with Hamas have been limited so as to avoid the need to reoccupy Gaza or to send it down the "Somalia model" path of chaos. But there might be a third option.
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Two of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most formidable political rivals said today they planned to merge their parties to take on the veteran leader in April’s elections. The chairmen of two top center-left parties, Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz, a one-time chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and Yair Lapid, the chairman of Yesh Atid, plan to run on a joint "Blue and White" ticket. If their coalition wins, Gantz a 2½-year run as prime minister before handing over the reins to Lapid. Gabi Ashkenazi, who preceded Gantz in Israel’s top military role, and former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon also plan to join the new bloc. "The choice is clear: It's either a left-wing government headed by Lapid and Gantz and supported by a bloc of Arab parties, or a right-wing government headed by Netanyahu,” the prime minister’s Likud Party said in a statement blasting the alliance. Read More
By Dr. Alex Joffe and Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, February 19, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: While the Trump presidency has forced clarity in the US on many domestic and foreign policy issues, the status of Israel in American politics and culture reveals different visions of America itself. One, for lack of a better term, is traditionally American. The other is decidedly “progressive.” But according to both, Israel is mythical and outsized.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has completely excluded Likud ministers from the party’s election campaign, choosing to stand alone even as he stands to be indicted for corruption.
Following the attorney general's announcement that he will be indicted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up his desperate war against the legal system and the media.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit over his decision to indict him on Thursday, calling it an attempt to influence Israel’s April elections. At a press conference, Netanyahu called the charges "an unprecedented witch hunt intended to topple the right-wing government." Netanyahu’s main political rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, called upon Netanyahu to resign, stating, “I expect you to wage your legal battles as a private man.”
The Justice Ministry released the charges after Israel’s High Court rejected a petition by Netanyahu’s Likud party on Thursday to prevent the Attorney General from revealing them before the elections. Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. However, a formal indictment is contingent on a hearing, which could take place after the elections. Read More