News Roundup for February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020

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Top News and Analysis

The War on Israeli Democracy, Vox
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attacked the foundations of democracy. If he wins his 2020 reelection bid, things could get a lot worse.”

Why Israel’s Political System Is Broken and How It Can Be Fixed, Foreign Policy
“‘The simple answer [for the stalemate] is Netanyahu. Without him, we would have had a government probably in April, definitely in September,’ said Reuven Hazan, a political science professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ‘The system did not produce deadlocks until last year. If you look at the first 70 years of Israel and the first 20 elections we had, we always managed to put together a government.’”


Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar will not attend AIPAC conference, JTA
Their absence leaves former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg as the only Democratic candidate to confirm that he will speak at the prominent Israel lobby’s confab March 1-3 in Washington, D.C.

Israeli diagnosed with virus after Italy trip; visitors from there to be barred, Times of Israel
The Health Ministry said Thursday that an Israeli man who returned from Italy has tested positive for COVID-19, the first case in which an infection has been diagnosed in the country outside of a hospital quarantine, raising fears he may have infected others.

In anti-Netanyahu Stronghold, There Are Only Two Choices in This Israeli Election, Haaretz
No one’s talking about Likud on Israel’s biggest kibbutz. The battle playing out here is between the centrist Gantz’s Kahol Lavan and the Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance.

Trump’s Plan Backs Israeli Settlements. So Why are Settlers Unhappy?, New York Times
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected the U.S. peace plan would gain him votes in Monday’s election. It might not work out that way.

Liberman: Gantz is not ready to be PM; only I pose a challenge to Netanyahu, Times of Israel
On Wednesday, the right-wing secularist Liberman said he had given up on a unity government, too. He has also rejected the possibility of joining a Gantz-headed minority government supported by the outside by the predominantly Arab Joint List, whose politicians the hawkish former defense minister has long branded as “terror supporters.”

As Israel Votes Again (and Again), Arabs See an Opportunity, New York Times
Sensing they have momentum, Arab activists are leaving no stone unturned, no ramshackle community ignored, in a bid to play a decisive role in determining Israel’s next government.

Opinion and Analysis

Last Chance to Save Israeli Democracy, Haaretz
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak writes, “Israel’s democracy is at the height of a process of collapse, and Election Day is the last opportunity to halt it.”

Grave concern about US plan to resolve Israel-Palestine conflict, The Guardian
50 former foreign ministers from across Europe write, “Peace to Prosperity is not a roadmap to a viable two-state solution, nor to any other legitimate solution to the conflict. The plan envisages a formalisation of the current reality in the occupied Palestinian territory, in which two peoples are living side by side without equal rights.”