Friends, I have the lead story in today’s edition of The New Republic, an analysis of the Israeli election scheduled for 6915863535_dbfef3f7f4_ztomorrow, mostly focusing on how badly Netanyahu has screwed up this campaign. I’d appreciate it if my readers would check it out and help us all give Marty Peretz indigestion over it being in his former magazine. Read it here.


Many people in the United States are keeping a close eye on the Israeli elections, due to take place on March 17. The Herzoglatest, and last, poll by the Knesset Channel in Israel came out yesterday, and it may open a lot of eyes.

The poll shows the Zionist Camp coalition—Isaac Herzog’s Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah— garnering 24 seats, while Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party come in second at 21. The report inHa’aretz analyzes those numbers even further to show that 56 elected Knesset members would likely recommend Herzog to form the next government, while Netanyahu would have the backing of 55. Read more at LobeLog


I placed a short op-ed in the Daily News today. The headline is not surprisingly misleading, and the News is not headshotexactly a highly professional outlet. But it has a pretty good readership, and, in New York, it gets more of a cross-section than the Times and the Post. Check it out.


As a Jew, I would be absolutely appalled to read these sentences: “The Huckabeeans also heard from Muhammed Tamimi, national president of the Arab Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to

Mike Huckabee

 

Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the ‘Jewish People.’ ‘The idea that they have a long history here, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,’ Huckabee said.”

In fact, what appeared in the front-page article of today’s Washington Post read, “The Huckabeeans also heard from Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the ‘Palestinians.’ ‘The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,’ Huckabee said.” Read more at the Foundation for Middle East Peace blog


You know who could lead Labor to not only a victory of most Knesset seats, but perhaps even a liberal revival in Israel and a governing coalition without the right? Not Herzog, not Livni, certainly not Yachimovich, and not, as much as I admire her, Zehava Galon. It is Stav Shafir who can do that. I paste below a brief exchange between Shaffir and Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter a short while ago. English translation follows the Hebrew (and it’s my translation, so forgive any flaws, please).

@netanyahu:
כשאנחנו מדברים על מחירי הדיור, על יוקר המחייה, אני לרגע לא שוכח את החיים עצמם. האתגר הגדול ביותר לחיינו כעת הוא התחמשות איראן בנשק גרעיני

@StavShaffir:
@netanyahu שש שנים ומסר אחד יש לך לבני ובנות הדור שלי: תגידו תודה שאתם בחיים ותשתקו. מצטערת, ביבי, החיים שלנו שווים הרבה יותר מהתירוצים האלה
האתגרים של אזרחי ישראל הם רבים. אי אפשר להפריד בין האתגר הבטחוני לאתגרי היום יום שהולכים ומתרבים. זה היה התפקיד שלך לפתור, ונכשלת

English:
Netanyahu: When we speak about housing prices, on the cost of living, I do not forget for one minute the lives themselves. The greatest challenge to our lives right now is a nuclear Iran.

Shaffir: Six years, and you have only one message to the sons and daughters of my generation: Say “thank you” that you are alive and shut up. Sorry, Bibi, our lives are worth a lot more than these excuses. There are a great many challenges for the citizens of Israel. It is impossible to separate the security challenge and the everyday challenges that are multiplying. This was YOUR problem to solve, and you failed.

Mitchell Plitnick: And that’s why I am so very impressed with Stav Shaffir.


The ongoing spat between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States President Barack Obama has drowned out an important issue. The entire question of the Israel-Palestine conflict seems to be out of sight and out of mind in Washington and the mainstream media. Instead, the focus has been on diplomatic protocols: on what the United States is or is not willing to concede to Iran in talks, on whether Israel can be trusted with sensitive updates on those talks, and on whether issuing renewed sanctions against Iran is a foolish idea.

Traditionally, the United States and the international community in general don’t even try to push peace in Israel’s direction when the Jewish state is in the midst of electoral campaign season. That’s what is happening now as well, despite the drama stirred up by Bibi and his congressional cohorts John Boehner (R-OH) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Staying out of Israeli elections is conventional wisdom, but is it the right move now? Read more at LobeLog

The Sunday Show


For those of you who don’t follow my social media postings, I was on the KPFA Sunday Show this past Sunday, along with Joel Beinin, discussing the Bibi-Boehner Brouhaha, the Israeli elections and the Iran nuclear talks. If you’d like to check it out, you can listen to the whole show at KPFA’s website (where you can also donate to one of the few remaining progressive radio stations that actually earns the name) at this link.

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