News Roundup for September 25, 2019

September 25, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Final Israel Election Results: Netanyahu Up to 32 Seats, ultra-Orthodox Party Down One, Haaretz
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won 32 Knesset seats in last week’s election, official results released Tuesday overnight by Israel’s Central Election Committee show, taking it up a seat compared to results released so far.

Blue and White, Likud start talks, but can’t even agree who they’re representing, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White jousted Tuesday about whether or not coalition negotiations between them also included Netanyahu’s bloc of right-wing religious parties, a short while after teams concluded a 1.5-hour meeting in a long-shot effort to solve the political deadlock in the wake of last week’s national elections.

Are Arab Israelis having their political moment?, Washington Post
Steve Hendrix and Ruth Eglash write, “Israel may still be weeks away from breaking the deadlock produced by last week’s general election, but one result is already clear: The country’s minority Arab population is ready to be heard.”


Trump attacks globalism and urges action on Iran at UN, AP
President Donald Trump stood before world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday and rejected “globalism” and liberal immigration policies while exhorting the world to act against Iran’s “bloodlust.” His speech and subsequent meetings had to compete with news from Washington that the House is moving forward with an impeachment inquiry.

At UN, Trump calls on Mideast nations to fully normalize ties with Israel, Times of Israel
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Middle Eastern nations to fully normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, while maintaining that crippling US sanctions imposed on Iran would continue until the Islamic Republic changed its behavior.

Iran’s Rouhani says open to discuss small changes to 2015 deal if sanctions lifted, Reuters
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday he was open to discuss small changes, additions or amendments to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers if the United States lifted sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

Israel, US urge EU to take action against boycott movement, AP
Israeli and U.S. officials are warning about a rise in attacks targeting Jews in Western Europe and are urging European Union leaders to take action against organizations supporting an international boycott of Israel.

Israel angrily rejects Holocaust-Gaza comparison from Turkey’s Erdogan, Times of Israel
Israeli leaders on Tuesday lashed out against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who likened the Jewish state’s Gaza policies to the Nazi treatment of the Jews during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Israel Spent Nearly $5 Million on Cameras on Election Day – and Recorded 15 Incidents, Haaretz
As contention brewed over the question of filming in polling places, the Central Election Committee spent about 17 million shekels ($4.8 million), hired about 3,500 inspectors and equipped them with about 3,000 body cameras leading up to last week’s election – which were only used in 15 cases.

Opinion and Analysis

Next Prime Minister Could Be Gantz, Netanyahu – or John Doe, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “This week, Lieberman ominously signaled his disdain for the conflict over ‘who goes first.’ He could very well portray Gantz’s refusal to serve under Netanyahu as a game-changer that releases him from his pledge. In exchange for a hefty bounty, Liberman could realign with Netanyahu and give him the immunity-granting radical right-wing coalition of his dreams.”

My humiliation does not make Israel more secure, +972 Mag
Anas Almassri writes, “Accepted on full scholarship to a graduate program in the United Kingdom, I waited more than six months for Israeli authorities to approve my exit permit, only to be told on the day it was issued that I had five minutes to leave. The 100-mile journey of leaving Gaza took 12 hours, six checkpoints, and interrogations so humiliating that a year later, I am still reliving the trauma.”

Why the Arabs Are Finally Mingling at Israel’s Political Party, Haaretz
David B. Green writes, “There is a widespread consensus that Odeh, who has led the Joint List since it came together in 2015, is very much the right man in the right place at the right time.”

Why Bibi’s on Borrowed Time, Foreign Policy
Joshua Mitnick writes, “In the aftermath of last week’s vote, Netanyahu faces not only huge obstacles to assembling a coalition and securing another term as Israel’s leader but also a series of indictments on corruption charges that could drop as soon as next month.”

No Israeli President Has Ever Faced the Challenge Now Confronting Rivlin, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Rivlin’s duty is to end the Netanyahu era with as little national trauma as possible, and the president is doing all he can to carefully extricate him from office, without causing further damage.”