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Israel–United States relations and associated politics

For discussion of religion and politics

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Isgrimnur
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Isgrimnur »

CNN
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to annex parts of the West Bank if he wins re-election next week.

Netanyahu told reporters at a press conference that, if re-elected and able to form a coalition, he would apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.

He said he expected US President Donald Trump to present his Middle East peace plan just days after Israelis vote next Tuesday, September 17, and that in co-ordination with the US, he would also look to apply sovereignty over all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Isgrimnur wrote: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:06 pm CNN
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to annex parts of the West Bank if he wins re-election next week.

Netanyahu told reporters at a press conference that, if re-elected and able to form a coalition, he would apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.

He said he expected US President Donald Trump to present his Middle East peace plan just days after Israelis vote next Tuesday, September 17, and that in co-ordination with the US, he would also look to apply sovereignty over all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
With those details I can't help but wonder if the Bolton ejection had this issue as a precipitating fracture point. Bolton had to know this could be a disaster in the making.

Edit: Some reports are that the fracture point was an argument about hosting the Taliban at Camp David. That sounds about right. It was an abhorrent idea and Bolton understood the significance.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Trump's negotiating stance with Rouhani: You can fuck me in the ass as long as we undo the Obama deal.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Vox
With over 90 percent of the vote now counted, the centrist Blue and White party looks to have won the largest number of seats in Israel’s parliament, called the Knesset — 32 out of a total of 120. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud came in a close second, with 31 seats.
...
So who will come out on top here? Honestly, no one knows yet. But there is a real chance that Netanyahu will lose the top job even if his party remains in power. Benny Gantz, the head of Blue and White, has said he’s interested in a national unity government — but only if Likud dumps Netanyahu.

This is the fight of Netanyahu’s political life — and his personal one, too. Because if he loses, he will have no way to protect himself from imminent indictments on corruption and bribery charges. A defeat in coalition negotiations for Netanyahu might not just be the end of his political career; it could be the end of his freedom.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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I don't really keep up with Israeli politics. Is there someone I should be rooting for here? I know Netanyahu basically campaigned like Trump was on the ticket with him, so that naturally gives me pause.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Ralph-Wiggum »

Netanyahu is the worst. He is not interested in any sort of two-state solution (as evidenced by his promise to annex part of the West Bank if he wins), is all about doing/saying anything to keep power, and is also completely corrupt. I don't know much about the other options for Prime Minister, but I would have to think anyone would be better than Bibi.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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I'm essentially rooting for Gantz at this point. I'm not super plugged in to Israeli politics either, but he seems like a generally sensible center-left type (and, critically, is not Netanyahu).

One interesting thing is that Avigdor Lieberman, who leads a right-wing secular party and has been aligned with Netanyahu in the past, is in Gantz's camp for the moment. He is pretty hostile to the Palestinians and in general seems like a bad person, but he dislikes Netanyahu quite a bit these days and also dislikes Netanyahu's coalition (he's very opposed to the ultra-orthodox parties that Netanyahu is relying on for support these days). So he's kind of functioning as a good guy for now, but in general is a bad person.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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stessier wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:16 am I don't really keep up with Israeli politics. Is there someone I should be rooting for here? I know Netanyahu basically campaigned like Trump was on the ticket with him, so that naturally gives me pause.
If you root against Netanyahu, you'll get called antisemitic by Trump and his supporters. That's all I know.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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El Guapo wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:57 am I'm essentially rooting for Gantz at this point. I'm not super plugged in to Israeli politics either, but he seems like a generally sensible center-left type (and, critically, is not Netanyahu).

One interesting thing is that Avigdor Lieberman, who leads a right-wing secular party and has been aligned with Netanyahu in the past, is in Gantz's camp for the moment. He is pretty hostile to the Palestinians and in general seems like a bad person, but he dislikes Netanyahu quite a bit these days and also dislikes Netanyahu's coalition (he's very opposed to the ultra-orthodox parties that Netanyahu is relying on for support these days). So he's kind of functioning as a good guy for now, but in general is a bad person.
To put it in language I can understand, he's the Antonio Brown of this situation?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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It's still way up in the air as to who's going to win, although it looks like there might potentially be some weird/interesting scenarios

Likud wants a right wing coalition (and has spoken against a unity government of the major right and left-wing parties).

Blue and White wants a left-wing coalition, but has been supportive about forming a unity government during the election.

Liberman's Our Home party is likely going to be the kingmaker, because it looks like neither the left nor the right have a majority of seats. This party is right wing, but is opposed to the religious parties. He has advocated a unity party, which would, ironically, give his party *less* power in the government than if he sided with either the right or left coalition, as the two major parties could form a unity government on their own without him. You're likely going to see something like Netanyahu lobby the religious parties to recommend him knowing that the coalition he forms won't include them but will include Lieberman, because they would rather see Netanyahu (or someone else from Likud) as PM instead of Gantz. You might also see something like a rotational government (where Likud heads the government for two years and then Blue and White does for two years).
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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What happens if they aren't able to form a government? Do they have to hold another election?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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stessier wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:57 pm What happens if they aren't able to form a government? Do they have to hold another election?
I would imagine they would try hard to avoid that, but I guess it's a possibility?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Reuters
Following a deadlocked parliamentary election last week, a weakened Netanyahu reissued an offer on Monday to his centrist rival Benny Gantz for a unity government, saying that neither had enough support from respective allies for a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member parliament.

There was no sign Gantz, head of the Blue and White Party, would agree to a coalition with Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud. Gantz cited looming corruption charges against Netanyahu in saying no last week.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who will pick a candidate to try to build a coalition, has called for a unity government - but does not have the legal power to compel Gantz or Netanyahu to form one together.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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NBC News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political and personal future hangs in the balance this week, as a pretrial hearing weighing whether to indict him on corruption charges kicked off.

Following the four-day hearing which began Wednesday, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will decide whether to indict Israel’s longest serving prime minister on fraud and bribery charges in three corruption cases.
...
The start of the hearing came after talks to form a unity government, following last month's election that ended in a stalemate, hit a further snag Tuesday when Netanyahu’s rival, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, called off a meeting between the two leaders slated for Wednesday.

The meeting was meant to be a last-ditch attempt by Netanyahu to cobble together the unity government between his right-wing Likud and the centrist Blue and White party. But in a statement published Tuesday, Blue and White said the preconditions for future meetings between the negotiating teams had not been met.
...
In one of the three cases due to be heard in the coming days, Netanyahu is accused of granting regulatory favors to the controlling shareholder of Israel’s telecom giant Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage on its subsidiary news site, Walla.

In a second case, Netanyahu and his family are accused of receiving lavish presents from supporters in return for passing legislation that ensures Israelis who come back to live in Israel from abroad are exempt from paying taxes for 10 years.

The third case alleges that Netanyahu offered advantageous legislation to a major newspaper in return for favorable coverage.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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WaPo
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday gave up his struggle to form a governing majority after September’s dead-heat national election, opening the way for his chief rival to try his hand at cobbling together a coalition.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin immediately said he would give former army chief of staff Benny Gantz a chance, making him the first person other than Netanyahu to try forming a government in more than a decade. Gantz will have 28 days to do what Netanyahu could not — entice at least 61 members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, to support his bid.

Gantz’s path to power is far from certain. Israel’s complex political system all but ensures that the final outcome is not likely to be clear for weeks and that a third election in less than a year may be required. But the turn of events on Monday were remarkable nonetheless.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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What does the Iron Dome protect (I know nothing about this)?

90% interception rate and 50% rate of hitting the ground (albeit empty space) doesn't seem to add up.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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stessier wrote: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:56 pm What does the Iron Dome protect (I know nothing about this)?

90% interception rate and 50% rate of hitting the ground (albeit empty space) doesn't seem to add up.
It protects Israeli civilians. Basically it's a missile defense system, so they fire at incoming rockets to detonate them before impact.

I'm not certain about how to square the interception rate and the ground rate - kind of guessing that they only fire at rockets heading for populated areas, and when they fire they hit 90% of the time?
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Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Think Patriot missiles. And if it’s not going to hit a populated area, they don’t bother to intercept it.
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Also, for anyone that wants to see the Iron Dome in action:

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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AOL
The Trump administration on Monday announced a major shift in U.S. policy toward Israel that could make it virtually impossible to advance peace efforts in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will no longer view Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as "inconsistent with international law."

This effectively means the US will no longer adhere to a 1978 State Department legal opinion issued under the administration of former President Jimmy Carter, which determined the settlements violated international law.
...
In late 2016, the Obama administration declined to veto a landmark resolution in the UN Security Council that demanded a halt to all Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. The U.S. abstained from a vote on the resolution, which described the settlements as a "flagrant violation" of international law, and it passed 14-0.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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NPR
Israel is set to continue without a government and may be heading to new elections after Benny Gantz, rival of longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that he missed a deadline to form a government.
...
Gantz's announcement that he could not meet the deadline set by President Reuven Rivlin doesn't automatically trigger new elections. Rather, it kicks off another wave of political haggling — Israel's parliament has 21 days to nominate another lawmaker to try to form a majority government. If no other lawmakers are successful, it could usher in a third and unprecedented election this year, which Netanyahu has described as "institutional insanity."
...
One group that wielded considerable power in the negotiations was Avigdor Lieberman's secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party. He has said he favors a unity government with the two largest parties, and wouldn't throw his group's weight behind a more narrow coalition.

Lieberman was quoted by the BBC as saying the problem with Gantz's attempt to form a coalition was that he " 'was not prepared to accept the president's plan' for a national unity government, while Mr Netanyahu 'was not prepared to separate from his ultra-Orthodox messianic bloc.' " It's worth noting that Lieberman has also signaled that he was not willing to join a government with Arab parties, who are plausible allies for Gantz.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Netanyahu wins indictment trifecta.
For the first time in Israel's history, a sitting prime minister is accused of bribery: Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced Thursday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be charged with bribery, fraud and breach in three corruption cases, dubbed Cases 4000, 2000 and 1000.
Presumably this affects the election.
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If Netanyahu is forced to step down (within the next couple of weeks, anyway), it opens up the possibility of a unity government between Blue and White and Likud, rather than new elections, since Blue and White ruled out a unity government with Likud if Netanyahu was still their head (and presumably would be more open to it if he was gone).
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Thinkers don’t last too long in some of those regions.
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OK, this is getting ridiculous. Netanyahu has a Giuliani?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Are we sure it isn't THE Guliani?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Here it is. Criticizing actions of the Israeli government will now be religious bigotry.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Most of our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.

I'm betting if Jews started slamming Saudi Arabia, he'd change his tune though. Nobody gets in between THAT love affair.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Historically, it hasn't been out of line to consider Judaism a culture, an ethnicity or a nation in addition to a religion. (You can, for example, be Jewish but an atheist). Not sure how the above will change things or the consequences of it, but it's not coming out of nowhere.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Criticizing the actions of Israel will become grounds for government driven cries of anti semitism. You don’t like Israeli policies on something and you voice that opinion, you become a hate group. Your school could get punished for supporting your right to voice said opinion, for example.

Yeah, I definitely think it’s a bad ideal, and I definitely think it changes things.
Last edited by hepcat on Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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I think the courts are going to be busy with yet another ridiculous Trump edict being challenged as unconstitutional.

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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It also potentially lays the groundwork for American Jews being told they aren't American, which obviously can lead to all sorts of bad things.
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Initial reporting indicated that the order would include language defining Judaism as a “national origin,” setting off a frenzy among major Jewish organizations, activists and lawmakers. The draft text of the order obtained by JI makes no such reference.
https://jewishinsider.com/2019/12/exclu ... isemitism/


Also:

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Ralph-Wiggum wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:06 pm It also potentially lays the groundwork for American Jews being told they aren't American, which obviously can lead to all sorts of bad things.
Ouch. I didn't even think of that.
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