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Joint List MK: Lieberman deal reveals ‘the real face of Netanyahu’

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Amid mass political upheaval this week, the Israeli prime minister’s government reshuffle has brought in the creme de la creme of Israel’s far-right and raised the hackles of those fearing an apparent rise in extremism among Israel’s political leadership.

Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon on Thursday stepped down from Israeli politics after saying that as of late he increasingly found himself at odds, morally and professionally, with the PM, several ministers, and MKs.

Yaalon made the move after news broke that Netanyahu planned to newly appoint rightist Avigdor Lieberman — a Yisrael Beitenu MK with a long history of anti-Palestinian remarks and reportedly no military history —  as defense minister.

Yaalon’s empty Knesset seat meanwhile will be filled by Yehuda Glick, a controversial US-born figure of the Likud party who is active in the Temple Institute, which promotes the destruction of the Dome of the Rock to make way for a Third Jewish Temple.

Joint List MK Aida Touma-Souliman, who believes the PM carried out the recent government reshuffle solely to secure continuation of his rule, told Mondoweiss the move “revealed the real face of Netanyahu.”

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

“He [Lieberman] holds well-known political positions against negotiations with the Palestinians.  He believes more in using military power,” Touma-Souliman said, citing Lieberman’s past pledge to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip through force.

The Joint List MK also pointed to Lieberman’s advocacy to strip citizenship from Palestinian citizens of Israel, who in the past he referred to as Israel’s fifth column, the likes of whom should have their heads cut off — as well as his vow to enact a bill imposing the death penalty for “terrorists.”

“Netanyahu doesn’t seem to have any problem with these positions,” Touma-Souliman said, voicing concern over the potential implications of Lieberman’s use of power in the position of defense minister.

“I’m afraid Lieberman is going to take decisions that will make the lives of Palestinians even more horrible.”

Yaalon for his part marked his resignation with a clear message to members of Israel’s military to avoid coercion from government and justice figures.

The former defense minister butted heads with Netanyahu earlier this week when Yaalon urged commanders of Israel’s military to voice opinions publically, regardless if they contradicted official line.

Yaalon made the statement in a vouche of support of Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan who was lambasted by Netanyahu after apparently drawing comparison between current Israeli policy with that of pre-Nazi Germany.

Addressing youth in the Israeli military shortly after, Yaalon advised them to: “Navigate according to your moral compass and not in line with where the wind blows.”

“I fought with all my might against manifestations of extremism, violence and racism in Israeli society, which are threatening its sturdiness and also trickling into the IDF, hurting it already,” Yaalon said during his resignation.

“I fought with all my might against attempts to harm the Supreme Court and Israel’s justices, trends whose outcomes greatly harm the rule of law and could be disastrous for our country.”

Discussing the mass fallout between Yaalon and Netanyahu, a Likud source told Israeli daily Haaretz:

“In general, Israeli society is a healthy society, and the majority of it is sane and aims for a Jewish, democratic and liberal country,” the source said.

“But to my great sorrow, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud Party and are shaking the foundations and threatening to hurt its residents,” the source added.

Yaalon’s concerns were echoed in a recent poll conducted by the non-partisan Washington-based Pew Research Center, which revealed that half of Israeli society agreed with the statement that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel,” and the majority believed the state’s Jewish citizens should be given preferential treatment.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the time called the poll a “wake up call for Israeli society.”

“The idea that the State of Israel could be democracy only for its Jewish citizens is unconscionable and we must find a way to address this,” the president said.

Touma-Souliman told Mondoweiss that while it is typical for Israeli society to shift to the right during times of unrest, the current shift in the Knesset was marked by exploitation by MK’s of violence since October for their own political gain.

Many in the Knesset have used recent violence to pass legislation which she believes creates an “environment that is hostile to democratic approaches to either the issue of occupation or its political resolution.”

“The question now is: what is the world going to do?” Touma-Souliman asked. “The world until today still believes what Netanyahu says about his willingness to talk to the Palestinians.  To have Lieberman as defense minister…I think this is a very clear message Netanyahu is sending to the world over his goals for the future.”

About Emily Mulder

Emily Mulder is a journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

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29 Responses

  1. Pixel
    Pixel on May 20, 2016, 1:53 pm

    “The world until today still believes what Netanyahu says about his willingness to talk to the Palestinians….”

    No one in the world still believed that.

  2. John O
    John O on May 20, 2016, 2:27 pm

    “Joint List MK Aida Touma-Souliman, who believes the PM carried out the recent government reshuffle solely to secure continuation of his rule…”

    Netanyahu’s sole priority has always been to keep his hands on the reins of power. It’s been obvious for years.

    • Cvale
      Cvale on May 21, 2016, 9:27 am

      ” The Real Face of Netanyahu” Say What ? Like we don’t know what it looks like already? There is no mystery here at all so I fail to understand that headline. Ever the maniacal, ego driven power hungry mob boss, BiBi’s desire to strengthen his reins of power has never been a secret. He along with Avi will undoubtably give rise to yet another intifada and as in the past will be granted immunity by Israel’s public and impunity by the Knesset to continue to ethnically cleanse the whole of the Gaza strip and the West Bank to the applause and appeasement of Likud. Avi is a violent beast and the whole of Israel knows this and Palestinian blood will once again wash down the street straight to Avi’s condo. In the interim, BiBi, with arms folded across his chest will pace the stage behind the lectern and yet again lecture the west with his holier than thou ” Gospel according to BiBi “

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on May 22, 2016, 5:40 pm

        In fact, “the Real Face of Netanyahu” is the face not only of Lieberman and Feigling! It’s also the same face as Herzog and Beinin and Beinart and the whole bunch of other faces of the Zionist snake.

  3. bopfromthedarkside
    bopfromthedarkside on May 20, 2016, 3:11 pm

    How much longer must Americans bear the hideous stain of supporting the present government in Israel? Israel should be marginalized and isolated. BDS forever

  4. David Doppler
    David Doppler on May 20, 2016, 3:53 pm

    Interesting comments from Netanyahu, Yaalon, Herzog, and others on the day’s developments:,7340,L-4805670,00.html

    As I understand it, Netanyahu was negotiating with Herzog to bring him in as foreign minister to placate dissatisfaction among the nations, and to bolster his majority of 1 with the ZU’s many seats, when Lieberman suddenly offered to bring his much-weakened Israel-Beiteinu party in, an offer Netanyahu jumped at and the right-wing celebrated. Yaalon’s resignation as defense minister – which would’ve been forced by Lieberman’s appointment, anyway, was perhaps to be softened with the foreign ministry (and still might), but Yaalon appears to be separating himself from Netanyahu, drawing a personal line in the sand. Herzog may have damaged himself among his constituency by negotiating to come into the government; now that his opportunity has been dumped on, we’ll see what he does next. Netanyahu seeks survival and endurance for his government, but it is hard to see a favorable path forward veering farther to the right (proverbially than Genghis Kahn).

    Netanyahu’s move could backfire, if enough others resign due to conscience, if the international community decides to stiffen its measures, or if NOT blindly supporting Israel becomes a winning position in the US presidential race. Interesting times.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24 on May 20, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Heil Netanyahu!

    Heil Lieberman!

    Heil Trump!

    The world is becoming an extremely frightening place. Loony right wingers with their fingers on nuke buttons. Let’s brace ourselves for more wars, more Islamaphobia, and more Palestinians being killed. Israel will bulldoze their way into Jerusalem too, and no Arab better stand in their way.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on May 20, 2016, 4:30 pm

      Max Blumenthal says it well

      Max Blumenthal: Relation of European and US anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to Israel?

    • bopfromthedarkside
      bopfromthedarkside on May 20, 2016, 8:21 pm

      And Clinton will lead the charge!

    • xanadou
      xanadou on May 20, 2016, 10:38 pm

      “Yaalon made the statement in a vouche of support of Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan who was lambasted by Netanyahu after apparently drawing comparison between current Israeli policy with that of pre-Nazi Germany.”

      What has been going on in Palestine for nigh on 70 years, is a reflection of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s, and the acts of Nazi savagery of the 1940’s in many occupied countries, especially in Eastern Europe, albeit on a proportionally smaller scale. A fair number of officers in the German army had also come to similar conclusions as M.G Golan, albeit in connection with the madness that had come to dominate the Nazi regime and its conquests. Those officers paid for their “insubordination and disloyalty” by being left to die while hanging from meat hooks. Considering Lieberman’s growing psychotic obsession with bringing death to others, one wonders if there will come a day when Judaism will no longer be able to protect Lieberman’s coreligionists from harm.

      Despite the 70yo charade of pretending to be a independent state, Israel has no idea how to stop its bloodthirsty vampirism. What horrific act will it take to rein in the zombies?

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on May 21, 2016, 7:26 am

        This is an example of the abused becoming the abuser. Just like the previous time, the world simply watches, reluctant to stop the bloodshed and land theft.

    • inbound39
      inbound39 on May 21, 2016, 11:36 am

      Heil is exactly right Kay24… defies belief that America would support Israel. It did not support Nazi Germany but it supports Israel which is doing everything it can to mimic it’s former abuser. And as you say the Abused becomes the abuser. It sickens me how blatantly and shamelessly Hilary Clinton supports Israel and even befriends right wing Israeli politicians. This will kill America if she becomes President. I never thought I would see the day America would openly embrace a nation like Germany WW2….But here it is gushing about its Special Relationship with Israel and falling over itself to give it billions in aid a year and providing weaponry that it uses to ethnically cleanse Palestine and murder Palestinian men ,women and children. As for the British Government….it ran away from its problem it created with the British Mandate and left the mess to fester and it still ignores it. I also see Buffoon Blair has been meddling trying to instal the Zionist Union in the Israeli Coalition. His efforts have brought about Netanyahu appointing Lieberman as Defence minister and with Yaalon’s departure we get the Terrorist Glick coming into the Knesset. Blair should be banned from the Middle East…….he is a living ,breathing,walking liability.

      • xanadou
        xanadou on May 21, 2016, 4:23 pm

        “it defies belief that America would support Israel. It did not support Nazi Germany”

        Actually a(n un)fair number of US corporations supported the Nazis, from IBM, Chase Manhattan, JPMorgan, GM, to name a few, to wealthy individuals such as the Rothchilds and Dubya’s grandfather. The rationale was likely the same as that which today compels contemporary businesses and pols to hold their noses and support Israel, i.e., money. Israel is, inexplicably, still viewed as essential to the US in its hopes for establishing an empire in the ME. Until Pearl Harbour US money had hoped to ride on the backs of the German soldaten to great wealth in Europe, especially Russia.

        Plus ça change…

  6. Rodneywatts
    Rodneywatts on May 21, 2016, 6:38 am

    Uri Avnery has written a very pertinent piece on Gush Shalom and reproduced on the Jews for justice for Palestinians website What more evidence does the world, and particularly the US need, of the monstrosity materialising right before our eyes?

    • Cvale
      Cvale on May 22, 2016, 8:53 am

      “What more evidence….” the US need ? There is no ” tipping” point for that evidence as American Politicians court AIPACs stamp of approval at the expense of Palestinians lives every election cycle. The Hasbaran mouthpieces of AIPAC are still spewing decades old dogma where little has changed within the propagandistic talking points issued in the late 70s Hasbara = ” explanation” so says the Wikipage. More like a knock off of Goebbels life work.

  7. eljay
    eljay on May 21, 2016, 8:27 am

    … Discussing the mass fallout between Yaalon and Netanyahu, a Likud source told Israeli daily Haaretz:

    “In general, Israeli society is a healthy society, and the majority of it is sane and aims for a Jewish, democratic and liberal country,” the source said. …

    In general, if Israeli society were healthy and sane it would aim for an Israeli, democratic and liberal country.

    Unfortunately it appears that, in general, Israeli society continues to suffer from religion-based “Jewish State” supremacism.

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on May 21, 2016, 9:10 am

    Are these people so filled with hatred, so obsessed with annihilating Palestinians, that they don’t realize they are digging their own graves??? Netanyahu is leading israel to it’s demise. No tears from me.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on May 21, 2016, 3:42 pm

      Nutty Yahoo is the Pied Piper of Apartheid land, and he leads the rats over the cliff.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on May 21, 2016, 5:24 pm

    RE: “Yaalon’s empty Knesset seat meanwhile will be filled by Yehuda Glick, a controversial US-born figure of the Likud party who is active in the Temple Institute, which promotes the destruction of the Dome of the Rock to make way for a Third Jewish Temple.” ~ Emily Mulder

    ● SEE: “MK Plans To Boycott The Swearing-In Ceremony Of Rabbi Yehuda Glick”
    (Friday, May 20th, 2016 12:30 PM)

    [EXCERPT] The realization that Yehuda Glick on Sunday will be sworn in as a Member of Knesset in the Likud party has some concerned and others outraged. The name Rabbi Yehuda Glick for many is associated with Har Habayis activism, and for some MKs, his entry to Knesset is a red line.

    MK (Machane Tzioni) Yael Cohen-Paran is so outraged that she plans to boycott the ceremony. An equally angry response was heard from party colleague MK Erel Margalit, who stated “It is a most appropriate substitution for this hilltop youth government”. Margalit added that a “moral person was lost”, referring to outgoing Defense Minister Ya’alon, being replaced by an “extremist, dangerous and delusional person”, referring to Glick. . .

    SOURCE –

    ● AND SEE: “Dangerous Liaison ~ The Dynamics of the Rise of the Temple Movements And Their Implications” | Researched and written by Yizhar Be’er with editing by Tomer Persico | Translated into English by Shoshana London Sappir with English editing by Betty Herschman | Published by Ir Amim and Keshev | March 1, 2013

    [EXCERPT (Introduction: Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif as a Focal Point of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, pages 7-10)] – The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is one of the most complicated and sensitive issues on Israel’s agenda, activating friction points between Israel and the Palestinian population, the Arab nations surrounding Israel, the Muslim world and domestically, within the Israeli Jewish community itself.

    Over the past several hundred years, a status quo has been maintained according to which the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif area (henceforth: the Mount) is an area reserved for Muslim prayer and the Western Wall is a prayer area reserved for Jews. Over the last decade, the status of these areas has gradually shifted, driven by a revival of activity by Jews determined to strengthen the status of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex as a Jewish religious center and to marginalize the claims of Muslims to the Mount. In the past year alone, hundreds of national religious Jewish pilgrims have ascended the Mount, including groups of rabbis, women, members of Knesset and recently, soldiers in uniform.

    It is necessary to take a sober look at the activities of the organizations advancing this agenda and to examine the official institutional support Israel allocates to underwrite their activities. As will become clear, the Jerusalem Municipality and other government ministries directly fund and support various activist organizations driven by the mission to rebuild the Temple.

    This report aims to present information about the growing activity of organizations working to change the status quo on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and, in some cases, to actually erect the Third Jewish Temple upon it. The report describes the historic, legal and halachic background of the state of affairs on the Temple Mount/ Haram al-Sharif complex today, introduces the main players within the pro-Temple movements and demonstrates the deepening association between these movements and official Israeli authorities.

    The sensitive political and religious status of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and the impact of activities conducted there on Israel’s future are clear. The movements’ growing momentum and dangerous provocations to change the status quo are not receiving adequate attention, nor is the disturbing connection between these movements and official Israeli institutions. This report seeks to expose these trends—to present and analyze the dynamics of the growth of the Temple movements, their insidious leaching into the public domain and political center in Israel and the nature and depth of ties between Temple groups and the Israeli establishment. 6 Ir Amim | Keshev

    This report focuses on a site that, by Jewish tradition, is referred to as the Temple Mount and by Islamic tradition, Haram al-Sharif. To avoid complication, the terms “Temple Mount” or “the Mount” will be used, while stating in advance that wherever these terms appear, they refer to the site known as the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.


    1 See Shlomo Ben Ami, A Frontline without a Home Front: Journey to the Limits of the Peace Process, [Hebrew] “Yedioth Ahronoth”, Tel Aviv, 2004; Gilead Sher, The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations 1999– 2001: Within Reach (New York: Routledge), 2006; Menachem Klein, Shattering a Taboo: The Contacts Toward A Permanent Status Agreement in Jerusalem 1994-2001 (Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies), 2001; Robert Malley, Hussein Agha, “Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors”, The New York Review of Books, July 12,2001 ; Akram Haniyah, “Special Document: The Camp David Papers”, Journal of Palestine Studies 30(Winter 2001): 75-79 ; Charles Enderlin, Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East 1995- 2002, trans. Susan Fairfield (New York: Other Press), 2003.

    2 See for example, Elad Benari, “Terrorists Warn Israel: Harming Al-Aksa Will Open Gates of Hell”, Arutz Sheva, August 22, 2012.

    ■ ENTIRE 79 PAGE REPORT [PDF] BY IR AMIM AND KESHEV (“Dangerous Liaison ~ The Dynamics of the Rise of the Temple Movements And Their Implications”) –

  10. DaBakr
    DaBakr on May 21, 2016, 6:38 pm

    Be very interesting to know who exactly latuffy thinks the dove with branch represents?

    • annie
      annie on May 21, 2016, 6:42 pm

      it’s not who it’s what. the dove stands for peace.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on May 22, 2016, 3:45 am

      DaBakr desperately trying to fabricate a blood lible accusation.

    • John O
      John O on May 22, 2016, 8:19 am


      Given the tone of your many comments here, I’m not surprised you don’t recognise the universal symbol for “peace”, even though it’s rooted in the Bible.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on May 22, 2016, 2:58 pm

        I know it well. Just can’t help imagining arafat in the un with his olive branch and kalashnikov. The cartoon itself isn’t unfair coming from the”tone” & pov of most mw commentaries

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on May 22, 2016, 5:29 pm

        Oh, poor Abubakr, wounded to the quick by the sight of a Big Bad Russian Rifle!
        Remind me, what land has Arafat annexed, emptied of is owners, waged wars of aggression with the full might of the US military, treasury and personnel? All it took was a Kalashnikof to offend the Bakr.
        In fact, for the Zionist clueless who don’t even know a pistol from a rifle, he was carrying not a rifle but a handgun in his belt, just for the case of a Zionist attempt on his life –but you murdered him with poison instead.

  11. Kay24
    Kay24 on May 22, 2016, 8:47 am

    Israel an apartheid nation? Nah.

    Likud Source: Israeli Death Penalty for Terrorists Won’t Apply to Jews

    Proposed legislation would only apply to military courts, where Jewish suspects are rarely charged

    • annie
      annie on May 22, 2016, 11:01 am

      it’s already like that, they are formalizing it now, making their executions legal.

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