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Middle East

The Aryeh Deri Scandal Blemishes Israeli Politics

Reluctantly complying with a Supreme Court ruling last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no alternative but to bite the bullet on January 22 and dismiss Aryeh Deri as a minister in his cabinet. His dismissal took effect on January 24. If he had not fired Deri, who was recently convicted of tax fraud and […]

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Middle East

Jake Sullivan’s Mission To Israel

Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, spent several days in Israel late last week sizing up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, which, after less than a month in office, has already managed to alienate legions of Israelis and Diaspora Jews. Sullivan was the first Biden administration senior official to confer with […]

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Middle East

Netanyahu’s Judicial Overhaul Stirs An Outcry

Eighty thousand Israelis braved cold winter rain on the night of January 14 to attend a rally¬†in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square to vent their anger and outrage at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial proposal to radically overhaul the judicial and legal system. Still other Israelis staged smaller protests in Jerusalem and Haifa. Had I lived […]

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Middle East

Israel’s Wait-And-See Government

Israel’s new government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet again, was sworn in on December 29, nearly two months after he and his allies won a parliamentary majority in the November 1 general election, the fifth since 2019. By any yardstick, this is the most right-wing, religiously conservative government in Israel’s history. Critics, lambasting […]

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Middle East

The Israeli Left Has Been Decimated

In Israel’s most recent general election on November 1, its fifth in three years, right-wing parties triumphed and a left-wing party was all but decimated as Benjamin Netanyahu roared back to power after 18 months in opposition. Netanyahu and his allies — the Religious Zionist Party, United Torah Judaism and Shas — won 64 out […]

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Middle East

The Bennett-Lapid Interlude In Israeli Politics

It was a brief political partnership, yet it was remarkably eventful and predictably disappointing. Naftali Bennett, a rightist, and Yair Lapid, a centrist, formed an expedient alliance after the inconclusive 2021 general election in Israel. They agreed to share power in a rainbow coalition government of right-wing, centrist and left-wing parties whose overarching objective was […]

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Middle East

China Forms A Strategic Partnership With Saudi Arabia

China’s global rivalry with the United States has reached Saudi Arabia. Late last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spent three days in the desert kingdom in a landmark visit during which he signed a myriad of agreements with his Saudi counterpart, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, a key […]

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Middle East

Netanyahu Scrambles To Form A Government

While Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies won 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset in last November’s election, breaking the impasse that had paralyzed Israeli politics through four elections since 2019, he has been unable to form a government and present it to parliament for approval. On December 9, Israeli President Isaac Herzog granted him an […]

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Middle East

The World Cup And The Palestinians

When the Israeli government announced that its citizens would be permitted to fly to Qatar to attend the World Cup and that a team of Israeli diplomats would offer them consular services for the duration of the competition, there was a fleeting moment of euphoria in Israel. Israel basically negotiated the arrangement with the International […]

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Middle East

Itamar Ben-Gvir: From Outcast To Insider

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) Party, demanded the public security ministry in Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet and got it. Yesterday, slightly more than three weeks after Israel’s fifth election in a little more than three years, Netanyahu’s Likud Party and¬†Otzma Yehudit announced that Ben-Gvir would be the national […]