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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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Making Rouhani the president was a brilliant strategic move for Khamene’i.
Noone, least of all me, wants to see any Arab child suffer, God forbid.
The Sanctuary was built with an ezrat nashim, a separate area for women.
Every American child seems to be on Ritalin and Israelis are imitating them.
The weapons will be given to people whose politics encompass hatred for Jews, Christians, the West generally, and Women.
Rohani’s election positions the regime to cater – superficially – to reform-minded voters in Iran, while improving Iran’s prospects in international negotiations.
The top Israeli advocate for letting the terrorists out of jail is none other than Shimon Peres.
The “Community Democracy” model meets all the criteria of the liberal democratic outlook, but it is based on the Jewish heritage and the Torah.
Rowhani will have little power.
“The Lord conferred statehood upon His people so that they might defend the enforcement of justice and preserve the truth contained in our Law as handed down by transmission.”
With Iran and Hezbollah openly supporting the anti-Sunni side in Syria, the battle lines have been redrawn, this time according to ancient and familiar traditions.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi knows how to express his ideas clearly and persuasively.
The boys who leave yeshiva to go to work are made to feel like they are second class and this makes it difficult for them to remain chareidi.
At some point I noticed an arresting picture on his wall and discovered that his maternal grandfather was Rav Dovid Lifshitz.
The unauthorized release last week of the text of a four-page order issued by a federal judge sitting on the special FISA national security court has unleashed a torrent of controversy over possible governmental overreaching.
We take it as a sure sign of the times that the recent stunning news that the Claims Conference had negotiated a four-year $1 billion infusion of funds from the German government to aid Holocaust survivors has been largely overshadowed by criticism that those leading the conference mishandled an internal investigation into the embezzlement of $57 million by some employees over a fifteen-year period.
Last week we lauded the efforts of several Jewish organizations to ameliorate the plight of the victims of the recent massive Oklahoma tornado and the extraordinary gesture the owner of Agri Star Meat & Poultry of Postville, Iowa, made in donating ten tons of meat for distribution.
We have no doubt that there is some measure of political partisanship in the controversies swirling around the Obama administration. That is, after all, the American way of governance and, frankly, how wrongdoing is often identified and uncovered. But political maneuvering is just a sideshow that distracts from the questions that should concern us, each of which strikes at the heart of American self-government.
We proudly salute those Jewish organizations that have rallied in support of the victims of last week’s devastating tornado that destroyed a large swath of the Oklahoma City region. As we reported last week, though there are relatively few Jews who live in the area, Jewish groups are providing an array of assistance.
President Obama’s speech on counterterrorism last Thursday at the National Defense University was one of the more impressive he has delivered while in the White House. Indeed, in discussing a reevaluation of how to fight what we all have come to refer to as “the war on terror,” he eloquently identified some profound issues.
Reports that the Obama administration targeted the records of reporters in an effort to determine who in government leaked secret information about a Yemeni bomb plot and a CIA report on North Korea would almost be amusing if the implications weren’t so troubling. Leaking information seems to be a forte of his administration – mainly, it seems, when the image of the president is thereby enhanced.
In an editorial last week (“Circling the Wagons”) we noted the efforts by the administration and its supporters to dismiss allegations that the government’s spin on the Benghazi attack was designed to shield the president and that the IRS was improperly used to stifle opposition to Mr. Obama’s reelection.
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