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The right-wing parties in Israel have been gaining traction in the run-up to next week’s election, and to our mind that is a good thing. It is crucial that the world come to appreciate the broad resurgence among Israelis of the notion of a vibrant and dynamic Jewish state in the land of its biblical patrimony.
It has to be clearly understood that Israel’s leaders cannot act on a whim when it comes to relations with the Palestinians and, by extension, the United States and the European Union. Which is why we are so encouraged by the extraordinary surge of Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home Party and the popularity of the party’s Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, number four on Jewish Home’s electoral list, who has done remarkable things with the Israeli religious court system for agunot. (See Naomi Klass Mauer’s interview with Rabbi Ben Dahan here.)
Taken as we are with Mr. Bennett’s rise on the Israeli political scene, we still believe it imperative that Mr. Netanyahu achieve a significant victory as head of Likud and that the resultant coalition draw as much as possible from the right.
There is much current discussion over whether President Obama has in mind for his second term a return of the ambitious plans, so much in evidence during his first two years in office, for a settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians that expects way too much from Israel and comparatively little of the Palestinians.
There are conflicting signals from the president on down. And while some see his nomination of John Kerry for secretary of state and Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense as signaling a return to the early days, others suggest that domestic issues and Asia will occupy the administration and that Mr. Obama is wary of squandering any political capital with a fractious congress.
What is clear is that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas will be trying to press the U.S. and the West to force Israel back to the negotiating table under preconditions urged by the PA. (Just recently Jordan and the European Union separately announced plans to try to persuade the U.S. to get Israel to resume negotiations and, as demanded by the PA, abandon any further settlement construction.)
Despite some similarity of policy regarding settlements and final borders, Mr. Netanyahu has far greater political heft in the international arena than any of his counterparts on Israel’s right. Naftali Bennett is saying all the right things but lacks the standing and experience the prime minister brings to the table.
To be sure, there is no shortage of Netanyahu critics on both the right and the left. Yet he is a known quantity and has a record of standing firm against the anti-settlement movement and refusing to restart negotiations on Palestinian terms. And it should go without saying that a successor to Mr. Netanyahu from the left would be a disaster in terms of Israel being able to defend its interests in an ever-hostile diplomatic and geopolitical environment.
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Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.
US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi
New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm
Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”
Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-israeli-election/2013/01/16/
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