News Roundup for November 26, 2019

November 26, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Cry of Attempted Coup Sounds Familiar, New York Times
The Editorial Board writes, “Charged with corruption, Israel’s prime minister attacks his country’s institutions, just like his friend in Washington […] The parallel is not entirely chance. Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu have formed strong bonds, and the Trump administration has changed several core American policies toward Israel long demanded by Israeli right-wingers and their American supporters. These include cutting aid to the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees, and recognizing Israeli claims to Jerusalem as its capital, and to the Golan Heights. In the latest and most mystifying such gift, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared on Monday that the United States no longer regards Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as a violation of international law. As with the past gifts, Mr. Trump, who likes to boast about his deal-making prowess, achieved no perceptible benefit for the American national interest.”

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Indicted on Criminal Charges, and His Defiance Puts Israel’s Democracy at Risk, The New Yorker
Bernard Avishai writes, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s defiant response to the three indictments finally brought against him, on Thursday, would, under any circumstances, constitute a crisis for the rule of law in Israel. But Netanyahu’s defiance comes as the climax of a larger crisis for Israel’s democracy, which has been building at least since Netanyahu’s reëlection, in 2015. It places the country’s divided people on unknown and dangerous terrain.”

Israel Becomes a Member of a Dubious Club, Haaretz
The Editorial Board writes, “Shakir’s reports on what is happening in the territories will continue to be distributed by his organization, just as HRW still reports on other countries that have also deported its representatives in the past, like North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan and Iran. Shakir will become a living witness to the fact that Israel has joined this undistinguished club of countries that fight human rights organizations, and living proof of Israel’s repeated efforts to hide and whitewash its policy of occupation.”


Attorney general: Israel’s Netanyahu not required to resign, AP
Israel’s attorney general said Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not required to leave office following his indictment on corruption charges, giving a small boost to the embattled leader.

As party battle heats up, Likud rival Sa’ar says Netanyahu should resign, Times of Israel
Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar said Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu should resign, marking a rare call from within Likud for the ouster of the party leader and prime minister.

Report: Khamenei approved Saudi strike on condition no civilians, Americans hit, Reuters
What ultimately emerged was a plan that stopped short of direct confrontation that could trigger a devastating U.S. response. Iran opted instead to target oil installations of America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, a proposal discussed by top Iranian military officials in that May meeting and at least four that followed.

Netanyahu rival Sa’ar claims premier in ‘panic’ over his leadership challenge, Times of Israel
Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar charged Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a “panic” over a party leadership contest, and called on the premier to halt personal attacks involving his family.

Palestinians Report Dozens Wounded in ‘Day of Rage’ Over U.S. Recognition of Israeli Settlements, Haaretz
Palestinians report dozens wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces Tuesday as the Palestinian Authority holds a ‘day of rage’ in protest of U.S. Secretary State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that Israeli settlements do not contravene international law.

‘My dream was destroyed’: Home demolitions soar in East Jerusalem, +972 Mag
“They knocked on the door and told me to open up,” recalled Obaid. “I asked them to wait a moment so I could cover my hair but they didn’t let me close the door and they came inside. They gave me five minutes to get dressed and dress my children. They didn’t let me take anything. They threw our things from the window. I asked from them a number of times for a little bit of mercy but they didn’t give me any.”

Netanyahu’s ‘Night of Rage’ at Risk of Fizzling Out, Haaretz
Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts, his Likud party is concerned only a small number of people will come out Tuesday evening for a Tel Aviv protest against the “coup d’état.”

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu will make his likely exit as painful, prolonged and destructive as possible, CNN
Aaron David Miller writes, “However Bibi’s story plays out — and it will take time — you can take this to the bank: Netanyahu will make this fight (and likely) exit as painful, prolonged and destructive as possible.”

Occupation Is the Seed of Corruption, Haaretz
Odeh Bisharat writes, “The judicial system has actually missed the boat. Every settler can do almost whatever he chooses in the occupied territories, and the legal system is there to issue administrative detention orders – against Palestinians. And if a settler feels as if he can do almost anything throughout the occupied territories, why shouldn’t he feel that way when he comes to Tel Aviv as well?”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s toxic legacy will haunt Israel long after he goes, The Guardian
Simon Tisdall writes, “The ‘political thuggery’ of Israel’s right wing and a lack of a persuasive centre-left alternative have pushed the country to the brink.”

Leftists, Dash Your Fantasies of a Likud Rebellion to Oust Netanyahu, Haaretz
Ravit Hecht writes, “Despite corruption indictment and a growing challenge from within the party, what irks Likudniks the most is someone from outside trying to show them who’s boss.”

Bad Jew/Good Jew: Antisemitism, Pepperoni Pizza & J Street, Medium
Arthur Silverman writes, “Walking into their recent national conference in Washington, DC (a friend gifted me a ticket) my lifetime of ambivalence toward Judaism came flooding back, along with a strange new emotion I’d never before experienced. Immersed in a sea of 4,000 Jewish progressives, it suddenly struck me that I was walking amongst my tribe. A self-identified cosmopolitan, I never thought of myself as even having a tribe. Now I understood why Jews have been regarded as troublemakers by authoritarian regimes throughout history and across the world. Because we are!”

Two Jews Running For President, Two Models Of Jewish American Life, The Forward
Joel Swanson writes, “Whatever they think of each other’s politics, Sanders and Bloomberg aren’t simply facing off against each other. They also represent two models of what it means to be an American Jew: studied centrism and assimilation, vs. radicalized minority. American Jewish history has been shaped by the struggle over which of these identities should reign supreme. And now an American race for the presidency may be, too.”