As you can see at the top of our site today, Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to create a governing coalition in Israel by awarding the position of Justice Minister to Ayelet Shaked, a rightwing member of Knesset who has made genocidal statements against Palestinians. Shaked wrote on Facebook last July after Palestinian militants kidnaped and killed three Israeli teens:
This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people… an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.
These comments have not yet made the New York Times. Today, NYT Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren reports on Netanyahu’s struggles to form a coalition and she leaves Shaked till the 11th paragraph, and then she whitewashes Shaked’s record.
[Naftali] Bennett, a modern-Orthodox former technology entrepreneur who advocates expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexing most of it into Israel, was already in line to become education minister. After [Avigdor] Lieberman’s departure, he insisted that Ayelet Shaked serve as justice minister. Ms. Shaked is an outspoken hawk on the Palestinian issue who has described African asylum-seekers as a threat to Israel’s Jewish character and pressed for a “nationality bill” that critics say would disenfranchise Arab citizens.
An outspoken hawk? Shaked said Israel was at war with all Palestinians, including the elderly.
Last week speaking on National Public Radio, Rudoren also played down the rightwing element of Israeli society saying that only “a small strain” wants to annex the West Bank: “there’s also a strain– I think a small strain– that just basically believes that the whole river to the sea should be in Israeli or Jewish hands.”
Ayelet Shaked, who is part of that supposedly “small strain,” may well become the number one law enforcement officer in the entire country.
Rudoren or maybe her editors are still smarting over the fact that Netanyahu refused to grant her an interview during and after the election campaign that he won two months ago. Maybe this effort to cover up Shaked’s pro-genocidal views is an audition for an interview with the prime minister.