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A Prime Minister Gantz would help American Zionists sell Israel to Democrats

Media Analysis
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No one knows who will lead the next government of Israel, but American Zionists are exulting over the political blow to Netanyahu and the good chance that he will lose the prime ministership. Not that the most likely man to succeed him, Benny Gantz of Blue and White, will do anything to end the Israel-Palestine conflict. No, but Gantz is just a much better face for Israel.

Here are some of these views.

The New York Times editorial board says that that the most important thing about Netanyahu’s exit is that it would improve Israel’s image among Democrats so as to reverse the “dangerous shift” in American politics against Israel.

At the same time, elements of the Democratic Party have grown increasingly suspicious of Israel, if not hostile to it. Mr. Netanyahu’s exit, should it materialize, may halt this dangerous shift and provide a new Israeli government the opportunity to reclaim broad bipartisan support in the United States.

The Wall Street Journal ran a very similar sentiment from Mark Mellman, a pollster for Netanyahu’s opposition, and the leader of an AIPAC-linked lobby group, Democratic Majority 4 Israel. From Jewish Insider.

Democratic strategist Mark Mellman, who worked for Blue and White, told WSJ he has high hopes for Democrats’ ties to Israel in a post-Netanyahu era: “It’s a tremendous opportunity for Israel to reset its relationship with Democrats.”

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens in the New York Times says the same thing. Netanyahu “infuriated Democratic lawmakers” with “desperado” tactics. But Israel showed itself this week to be a model for the west, a democracy that has no tolerance for “demagogues.” Notice neoconservative Stephens’s breathless endorsement of Benny Gantz the warmaker:

Then there’s the success of Blue and White, which proves there’s a future for democratic centrism after all.

Gantz is a neophyte politician with the quiet charisma that comes with inner composure; the quality — so rare in modern politics — of not being perpetually frantic. He projects confidence without fanaticism. The far-right detests him because he appreciates the long-term necessity of separating from the Palestinians. The far-left dislikes him because he’s under no illusions about Israel’s enemies and understands the necessity of possessing and, when necessary, using force.

He seeks stable balances, not permanent solutions. He’s sane.

There you have it. The bottom line for the Times and the establishment Israel lobby is, They are having a rough go selling Israel to American elites so they want a new face on the product. There is not a word in these articles about Palestinian human rights. And btw, it is perfectly clear why the Times has an endless supply of Zionist columnists, who defend the killing of Palestinian demonstrators, and no anti-Zionist columnists. It sees its function as marketing Israel.

Michael Koplow of Israel Policy Forum spoke at a forum in NY and agreed that getting rid of Netanyahu would make Israel an easier sell to Democrats:

“For a lot of folks on the Democratic side, Netanyahu is a very easy and convenient punching bag. Democrats are still furious about Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2015. They view him as essentially a Republican in every thing but name. It makes Israel… an easy target on the Democratic side. I think if there’s a different prime minister in the short term, it will take a little bit of that heat off.”

For liberal Zionists, a Gantz government offers hope that there will be no annexation of the West Bank, thereby preserving the notion of a two-state solution.

Even though Gantz said he’s for annexing large portions, Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street says that was political positioning. “Blue and White is far more likely than Likud to listen to the protests of the Israeli security establishment and to be cautious in its actions.”

Ben-Ami acknowledges that a Gantz government would be a rightwing government:

While the positions of Blue and White on the Palestinian issue are still up in the air, any government that includes so many right-wing leaders and MKs is very unlikely to accept a move away from permanent occupation or toward a two-state solution.

It must be noted that the Palestinian issue, the Palestinian state, were never further from Israeli politics than in this election. Yossi Alpher of Peace Now:

the Palestinian issue was barely on the agenda for these elections. Other than Meretz-Democratic, no one talked about it. Netanyahu’s bluster about annexing territory and settlements and settling scores with Hamas generated protests from Ramallah and Gaza but did not promote an Israeli election debate.

There was a large rightward shift in the election, says Koplow in a post after the election. Don’t have any illusions that Blue and White– Kahol Lavan in Hebrew– is left of center, it’s not.

Then there is Kachol Lavan and its 32 seats [now 33], which is always put atop the left-center bloc in polls but is actually a right of center party…. The only clear left-wing seats left in the Knesset are the 11 that are split between Democratic Union and Gesher, and the Joint List’s 13. Even if you identify six individual Kachol Lavan MKs who are more comfortable on the left, you only get to 30 overall. This is an overwhelmingly right of center Knesset, and the Jewish Israeli left at this point is even smaller than the Arab faction.

Israel is a society that cares less about “democracy and equity” and more “about nationalism and identity,” former State Departent official Tamara Cofman Wittes explained at that forum in NY.

Israeli politicians are driving the breakup between Democrats and Israel, she said. Not just Netanyahu. Israeli voters used to punish politicians for alienating the U.S. Now they like it when Israeli politicians flip off Amerian politicians who try to tell them what to do. Like Obama.

And though “You are not going to see Benny Gantz doing to Trump what Netanyahu did to Obama in his second term,” Wittes said, U.S. Democrats aren’t going lukewarm on Israel because of Netanyahu, but because of Israeli policies.

“Growing constituencies in the Democratic Party expecially among younger Americans who identify as Democrats, Latinos and African Americans… look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict through the lens of human rights,” she said. Policies like “collective punishment, housing demolitions, checkpoints, separation wall….These resonate with these constituencies because of their own political lenses. That makes them more critical of Israeli policies.”

And the U.S. can point to no policy that it has in force to change these Israeli practices, Wittes added. (As the Democratic platform debate is sure to point out next summer.)

She went on to assure that the “imperative” of U.S. cooperation with Israel remains “very strong at the policy level.” When it comes to security, regional diplomacy, counter terrorism, military technology, there is a lot of mutual benefit. (No mention of the Israel lobby, of course; that would require reflecting on the role of Zionists such as herself in the power structure.)

The Times argument that Israel just needs a new poster child is also unconvincing to Koplow. He noted that a New York state Senate delegation said it is not going to Israel because of Israel refusing to let in Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. That strain is far deeper than Netanyahu.

Though liberal Zionists are exulting over the showing of the Joint List, the mostly-Palestinian parties. They imagine the 13 seats as a sign of greater Palestinian buy-in into Israeli democracy.

Koplow hopes that Palestinian legislator Ayman Odeh will lead the oppsoition.

This means that Odeh will have a formal position in the Israeli system, along with regular security briefings from the government, and an unprecedented public platform to raise attention to issues that have been neglected for decades. It would be a huge step forward not only for Arab parties, but for normalizing Arabs’ roles in Israeli politics and society. It would hopefully make the incitement and delegitimization of Arabs that has become so routine become beyond the pale of what is acceptable..

H/t Donald Johnson, Adam Horowitz and Scott Roth.


Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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35 Responses

  1. edwardm on September 21, 2019, 4:32 pm

    Progressives will be asking questions especially WRT his role in 2014 debacle in Gaza. He’s another child killer – he won’t have any answers.

    • Misterioso on September 24, 2019, 9:42 am

      Off topic, but an extremely important game changer:

      “The drone attacks in Saudi Arabia have changed the nature of global warfare” by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Sept. 20/19

      “The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally.

      “On the morning of 14 September, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – all cheap and unsophisticated compared to modern military aircraft – disabled half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and raised the world price of oil by 20 per cent.

      “This happened despite the Saudis spending $67.6bn (£54bn) on their defence budget last year, much of it on vastly expensive aircraft and air defence systems, which notably failed to stop the attack. The US defence budget stands at $750bn (£600.2bn), and its intelligence budget at $85bn (£68bn), but the US forces in the Gulf did not know what was happening until it was all over.

      “Excuses advanced for this failure include the drones flying too low to be detected and unfairly coming from a direction different from the one that might have been expected. Such explanations sound pathetic when set against the proud boasts of the arms manufacturers and military commanders about the effectiveness of their weapons systems.

      “Debate is ongoing about whether it was the Iranians or the Houthis who carried out the attack, the likely answer being a combination of the two, but perhaps with Iran orchestrating the operation and supplying the equipment. But over-focus on responsibility diverts attention from a much more important development: a middle ranking power like Iran, under sanctions and with limited resources and expertise, acting alone or through allies, has inflicted crippling damage on theoretically much better-armed Saudi Arabia which is supposedly defended by the US, the world’s greatest military super-power.

      “If the US and Saudi Arabia are particularly hesitant to retaliate against Iran it is because they know now, contrary to what they might have believed a year ago, that a counter-attack will not be a cost-free exercise. What happened before can happen again: not for nothing has Iran been called a ‘drone superpower.’ Oil production facilities and the desalination plants providing much of the fresh water in Saudi Arabia are conveniently concentrated targets for drones and small missiles.

      “In other words, the military playing field will be a lot more level in future in a conflict between a country with a sophisticated air force and air defence system and one without. The trump card for the US, NATO powers and Israel has long been their overwhelming superiority in airpower over any likely enemy. Suddenly this calculus has been undermined because almost anybody can be a player on the cheap when it comes to airpower.

      “Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, succinctly sums up the importance of this change, writing that ‘the strikes on Saudi Arabia provide a clear strategic warning that the US era of air supremacy in the Gulf, and the near US monopoly on precision strike capability, is rapidly fading.’ He explains that a new generation of drones, cruise missiles, and precision strike ballistic missiles are entering the Iranian inventories and have begun to spread to the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

      “Similar turning points in military history have occurred when the deployment of an easily produced weapon suddenly checkmates the use of a more complicated one.

      “A good example of this was the attack on 11 November 1940, on five Italian battleships, moored at their base at Taranto by 20 slow moving but sturdy British Swordfish biplanes, armed with torpedoes and launched from an aircraft carrier. At the end of the day, three of the battleships had been sunk or badly damaged while only two of the British planes were missing. The enormity of the victory achieved at such minimal cost ended the era when battleships ruled the sea and replaced them with one in which aircraft carriers with torpedo/bomber were supreme. It was a lesson noted by the Japanese navy which attacked Pearl Harbour in similar fashion a year after Taranto.

      “The Saudis showed off the wreckage of the drones and missiles to assembled diplomats and journalists this week in a bid to convince them that the Iranians were behind the air raid. But the most significant feature of the broken drone and missile parts was that, in full working order, the weapons that had just rocked the world economy would not have cost a lot. By way of contrast, the US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, the main air defence of Saudi Arabia that were so useless last Saturday, cost $3m (£2.4bn) apiece.

      “Cost and simplicity are important because they mean that Iran, the Houthis, Hezbollah and almost any country can produce drones and missiles in numbers large enough to overwhelm any defences they are likely to meet.

      “Compare the cost of the drone which would be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the $122m (£97.6m) price of a single F-35 fighter, so expensive that it can only be purchased in limited numbers. As they take on board the meaning of what happened at Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities, governments around the world will be demanding that their air force chiefs explain why they need to spend so much money when cheap but effective alternatives are available. Going by past precedent, the air chiefs and arms manufacturers will fight to their last breath for grossly inflated budgets to purchase weapons of dubious utility in a real war.

      “The attack on Saudi Arabia reinforces a trend in warfare in which inexpensive easily acquired weapons come out on top. Consider the track record of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), usually made out of easily available fertiliser, detonated by a command wire, and planted in or beside a road. These were used with devastating effect by the IRA in South Armagh, forcing the British Army off the roads and into helicopters.

      “IEDs were used in great numbers and with great effect against US-led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Immense resources were deployed by the US military into finding a counter to this deadly device, which included spending no less than $40bn (£32bn) on 27,000 heavily armoured vehicles called MRAPs. A subsequent army study revealed that that the number of US servicemen killed and wounded in an attack on an MRAP was exactly the same as in the vehicles which they had replaced.

      “It is unthinkable that American, British and Saudi military chiefs will accept that they command expensive, technically advanced forces that are obsolete in practice. This means they are stuck with arms that suck up resources but are, in practical terms, out of date. The Japanese, soon after they had demonstrated at Pearl Harbour the vulnerability of battleships, commissioned the world’s largest battleship, the Yamato, which fired its guns only once and was sunk in 1945 by US torpedo aircraft and bombers operating from aircraft carriers.”

      • Keith on September 24, 2019, 11:05 am

        MISTERIOSO- “This happened despite the Saudis spending $67.6bn (£54bn) on their defence budget last year…. The US defence budget stands at $750bn (£600.2bn), and its intelligence budget at $85bn (£68bn)….”

        The Saudi “defence” spending is primarily a form of tribute to the empire by way of the MIC. The US “defence” budget is primarily a form of military Keynesianism in our national security state. Our “intelligence” agencies are primarily concerned with regime change. The most likely consequence of all of this is more military/intelligence spending.

  2. DaBakr on September 22, 2019, 12:37 am

    With Putin essentially calling Israel a satellite or at least an outpost of the Russian state are far left democrats in the US as necessary as they once were.. Just a thought. It was a strange announcement by putin and not heavily covered in the west

    • Donald on September 22, 2019, 9:26 am

      Do you have a link?

      I wouldn’t guess Israel supporters in the West would want to talk about a statement by Putin supporting Israel. And it is confusing, since Russia and Israel are opposed in Syria.

    • annie on September 22, 2019, 11:29 am

      essentially calling Israel a satellite or at least an outpost

      as i recall, it was sort of a formality. netanyahu pranced up there hoping for some anointment to give him a boost in the polls and putin greeted him like a head of state. poof, no big deal.

      In his comments, the Israeli leader, who traveled to Russia less than a week before the September 17 Knesset elections, hailed bilateral relations, saying they have never been better. He cited two reasons: more than one million Russian-speakers live in Israel, building a “human bridge” between the two countries, and the “direct relationship” between himself and Putin.

      maybe you’re thinking of netanyahu’s “human bridge” statement. putin kept him waiting 3 hours, according to the headline.

      • DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 11:37 am


        I think Putin was referring to all the ex-pat Russians living in Israel

      • DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 2:05 pm


        You could be right. Don’t remember the context but yes, putin either claiming or acknowledging a bridge or a connection to israel (based on the number of Russian ex-pat) was what I took away.
        With China building our tunnels and roads, building our TV port, relations with Modi soaring and obvious some military understandings between the superior Russian military and israel as regards hezbollah, Iran, Syria it just makes the whole situation with what Phil belives is the coming divide in the US between far left and center left democrats in regards to Israel. Or, what he has been hoping for : a complete division between liberal jews where anti -Israel, anti -zionism and, imo, anti Jewish platforms gain more infuence then traditional center left democrats. Who knows? Predictions are like gambling. I just read that of the 42 MAJOR predictions by climate experts and planet destruction have NOT come true. Does that mean global warming is a joke? Absolutely not. We still must prepare just as Israelis are ready for many outcomes.

      • annie on September 24, 2019, 3:16 pm

        “Russia cares a lot about who will be elected to the Knesset, and I hope that whoever enters the Knesset will continue bilateral ties between the countries and will push out relationship forward,” he said.

        this is just normal diplomatic-speak. i wouldn’t read too much into it. and i think the headline “Meeting Putin after 3-hour wait, Netanyahu vows to stop Iran’s attacks on Israel” says it all. this was nothing more than a last ditch election gambit by netanyahu. putin did the diplomatic thing, meeting him. but at the same time putting him in his place (ie 3 hr wait: ‘don’t waste my time with your electioneering’). i found numerous sources with quotes.

        Regarding next week’s parliamentary elections in Israel, Putin said the Kremlin has an interest in who wins.

        Putin noted that more than 1.5 million immigrants from former Soviet republics now live in Israel.

        “We always considered them our people, compatriots. And, of course, we are not indifferent to what kind of people will come into the Israeli parliament,” Putin said.

        also, there are no “anti Jewish platforms” influencing center left dems, don’t confuse israeli policies with “jewish platforms”.

      • Mooser on September 24, 2019, 2:19 pm

        “I think Putin was referring to all the ex-pat Russians living in Israel…”

        …and their well-known desire to be as close as possible to old Russia. They sit around and sing “Samovar Over the Rainbow” in mournful tones.

      • RoHa on September 25, 2019, 11:10 pm

        “I just read that of the 42 MAJOR predictions by climate experts and planet destruction have NOT come true. Does that mean global warming is a joke? “

        If you mean “the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis”, that depends on whether you are looking at it with the eye of Faith or whether you want to use scientific method. A basic principle of scientific method is that when major predictions turn out to be false*, then either the hypothesis or the background assumptions of the predictions have to be rejected.

        This means you are in trouble either way. Often, the background assumptions for the predictions are the background assumptions to your hypothesis, but even if they are not, you know there is something wrong with your overall ideas.

        Of course, this principle applies to well-formed predictions. The ones you are referring to are probably mostly the “we’re all doomed” nonsense that has been fed to Greta.

        (*Regardless of however many successful predictions you have made. Successful predictions do not prove or confirm a hypothesis, and no-one who understands scientific method thinks they do. Successful predictions give a good reason for thinking that the hypothesis might not be totally false, and the more of them you get, the better reason you have for thinking that.)

      • Keith on September 26, 2019, 1:02 am

        DABAKR- “I just read that of the 42 MAJOR predictions by climate experts and planet destruction have NOT come true.”

        As usual, no link for this trolling BS. Climate change is occurring much faster than predicted and we have probably already passed the tipping point. Disaster looms.

      • Sibiriak on September 27, 2019, 10:14 am

        RoHa: …the “we’re all doomed” nonsense that has been fed to Greta.

        Greta’s comin’ for ya!

      • Mooser on September 27, 2019, 12:51 pm

        Oh, “RoHa” can afford to be smug about climate change. He lives in the Southern Hemisphere, where everything goes the other way. He is totally insulated from climate change by the reversal of earth’s magnetism at the equator.

      • Keith on September 27, 2019, 5:46 pm

        ROHA- “A basic principle of scientific method….”

        Since when did you become a scientist? Since when would anyone with common sense response to troll DeBakr’s unsupported allegation of 42 major bogus climate predictions? Your strong bias has gotten the best of you.

        ROHA- “…“we’re all doomed” nonsense that has been fed to Greta.”

        Nonsense? Humanity is in deep shit, your denier websites woefully out of touch with reality. If we cut carbon emissions to zero tomorrow, the planet would still continue to warm. And since we are not cutting carbon emissions at all, things are about to get real bad real fast. A quote and a link.

        “And two, even those miracles would probably be too late. The ten hottest years on earth, since quasi-global records began to be kept in 1850, have been between 2005 and 2019, and the hottest by far have been the last five years. (July was the hottest month since record-keeping began.) Hot temperatures cause melting ice, at the poles, in Greenland, and at glaciers worldwide, thus reducing reflection of sunlight back into the atmosphere and increasing the amount that warms the surface. Melting permafrost layers release massive amounts of methane gas, a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, increasing temperatures worldwide.

        The tragedy is that we have already increased temperatures so much, and created conditions so that they will inevitably increase further, that there is nothing that science—or any United Nations mandate of any kind—can do that will reduce temperatures in ten years. Period.

        Last year an English scientist named Jem Bendell wrote a paper that shocked many of his fellow scholars by coming out and saying what everyone knew the data pointed to but no one wanted to admit. He had devoted decades to “sustainable development,” he said, but had to conclude that “ the whole field of sustainable development research…is based on the view that we can halt climate change and avert catastrophe. By returning to the science, I discovered that view is no longer tenable,” and there was very little prospect that any kind of social change would save the world from an imminent environmental disaster and “the likelihood of near term societal collapse.” (Kirkpatrick Sale)

      • RoHa on September 27, 2019, 6:15 pm

        I’m not scared. I can pronounce her name correctly.

      • echinococcus on September 28, 2019, 5:27 am


        “what everyone knew the data pointed to but no one wanted to admit”

        … is primarily the obvious fact that, with the possible or imaginable human governance systems, there is no shred of a wisp of a shadow of a chance of a snowball in hell that anything effective can ever be done to stop, let alone reverse, anthropogenic global warming. Even with the mass madness of the religious children’s crusade. Fuggedaboudit.

        At which point it doesn’t make sense to even discuss it, beyond focal interventions for the limited, and provisional, comfort of some communities. Which of course includes Palestinians because it is a problem manufactured by the Zionists as part of the planned and ongoing genocide.

        Otherwise, though, that train left the depot. Best policy seems to pretend not to mind.

      • Keith on September 28, 2019, 10:59 am

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “Fuggedaboudit.”

        I responded primarily because of DaBakr’s unsupported allegation about 42 erroneous climate predictions. Why Roha responded as if DaBakr’s allegation was actual fact I don’t know. Most of these Zionists just say things with no evidence. I assume that they are trolling for responses. I have a real problem with misinformation being spread about our looming environmental catastrophe which is real and which encompasses more than anthropogenic warming. And I could care less about Trump’s CIA leaked phone call to the Ukraine. Russiagate has morphed into Ukrainegate.

      • Mooser on September 28, 2019, 4:38 pm

        ” Russiagate has morphed into Ukrainegate.”

        “Keith” why can’t people see that a US-Russia alliance is the key to world-wide peace love and understanding? Must be the MSM.

    • Mooser on September 22, 2019, 12:17 pm

      “With Putin essentially calling Israel a satellite or at least an outpost of the Russian state are far left democrats in the US as necessary as they once were.. Just a thought”

      A very intelligent and well informed one, too. After all, one Commie is much like another. (ROTFLMSJAO) Gosh, with both Putin and Trump in its pocket, why would Israel need the Democrats?

    • Misterioso on September 23, 2019, 10:22 am


      Putin kept Netanyahu waiting for a considerable length of time before they met.
      Putin has no interest in cozying up to “Israel.” To do so would prove to be a major liability for Russia as it has been for the U.S. for decades.

      • DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 1:46 pm


        Sorry I can’t find the link but essentially Putin was making reference to all the former Russians living in Israel. Wether he was joking, making an off-the-cuff remark or wether he had more insidious intentions he was mentioning the fact that with so many Russians in Israel ‘we think of Russia as a little enclave’ (not sure that was the word, but that was the intent). While he wasn’t suggesting sovereignty, he was implying Russia would always look out for Russians be they in Israel, the US (hah) Crimea(oh boy) or England ( watch out for polonium!)

        I really don’t know what to make of it. Putins gangster ego. His (reluctantly admitted) brilliance in manipulating, and whatever else he is holding up his sleeve. I don’t think there was any Israeli response or commentary to the piece. If it helps, I think it was in Flipboard -middle east policy section

  3. jon s on September 22, 2019, 7:13 am

    An interesting event is about to take place in the aftermath of the elections: the representatives of the Joint List will meet with the President to recommend their candidate for PM. The meeting itself is routine, part of the post-election formalities. What makes it unprecedented is that this time their decision could make a difference and will be followed with suspense. It’s incredible to what degree Netanyahu’s racist incitement has backfired: it didn’t galvanize the Likudniks -maybe even deterred some – but it did bring out the Arab vote.
    Gantz will be “recommended” by Blue-White (33 seats), Labor (6), Democratic Union(5). Obviously , 44 votes isn’t close to 61, which constitutes a majority. But if the Joint List adds its 13- well, that matters, big time.
    We’ll know in a few hours.

    • philweiss on September 22, 2019, 11:05 am

      Pls keep us posted. I saw them very excited about all this on i24 today

      • annie on September 22, 2019, 11:23 am

        I read on twitter earlier this morning joint list had not voted for gantz. i tried googling it, nothing. now there’s this

        Joint List chairman and Hadash faction chief Ayman Odeh supports recommending Gantz, but faces opposition from other factions within the Joint List. The two-hour meeting between leaders of the four factions ended without a final decision, following staunch opposition from the Balad faction to the idea of recommending Gantz, Maariv reported.

        Faction members are expected to vote Sunday afternoon on the issue, resolving the matter before Joint List representatives meet with President Rivlin to offer their recommendations for prime minister.

      • jon s on September 22, 2019, 12:16 pm

        The Joint List has made its decision to recommend Gantz:
        from Haaretz:

        Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh wrote in a New York Times opinion piece explaining the decision: “I have argued earlier that if the center-left parties of Israel believe that Arab Palestinian citizens have a place in this country, they must accept that we have a place in its politics [. . .] We have decided to demonstrate that Arab Palestinian citizens can no longer be rejected or ignored. Our decision to recommend Mr. Gantz as the next prime minister without joining his expected national unity coalition government is a clear message that the only future for this country is a shared future, and there is no shared future without the full and equal participation of Arab Palestinian citizens.”

        See here

      • Donald on September 22, 2019, 1:17 pm

        It’s happening.

        He wants equality for Palestinian citizens within Israel and a 2ss on the 67 borders.

        This could change everything, in the sense that you now have a prominent Palestinian politician with a platform pushing the Israelis to live up to what the liberal Zionists claim to want. Sort of a put up or shut up moment.

        I doubt it will work but it is something new.

      • JLewisDickerson on September 22, 2019, 5:56 pm

        ■ BBC: “Israeli elections: Arab parties back Gantz to oust Netanyahu” | 1 hour ago
        LINK –

      • DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 1:52 pm

        What’s happening? A third election?

        (And if there is, a fatigued Israeli Jewish electorate will sag but the newly powerful Arab block and it’s base voters will surely recognize the opportunity presented. If anything forces a deal it will be this fear by likud/blue /et al of more arabs voting then ever before that causes it. At least imo)

      • Mooser on September 27, 2019, 12:45 pm

        Looks like the Likud and Blue and White decided they can not occupy the same ground as the Joint List.

        And Netanyahoo is forming the new government.

  4. echinococcus on September 22, 2019, 11:59 am

    “U.S. Democrats aren’t going lukewarm on Israel because of Netanyahu, but because of Israeli policies.”

    Fiddlesticks. Anyone who, in the last three years, spent an hour in the States, can see that it is because of the Yahoo’s direct support of Trump — a direct consequence of the mass insanity of the Democrats. If human rights, colonialism, etc. were a consideration for them, they wouldn’t be so enamored of imperialism and war.

  5. ancientenough on September 22, 2019, 12:12 pm

    “Help sell Israel to Democrats”? Long ago taken care of. Nutty, Gantz or whoever leads Israel doesn’t matter. The Dems have said nothing about Nutty’s extremism, even for a hard core Zionist, except for a few verbal slaps on the wrist.

    Why? Because the American Israel Lobby long ago bought and paid for the Dems’ support of Israel, right or wrong. Look at Obama, Clinton and “Loose Lips” Biden, who “loves” Israel and Nutty. Look at Kamala Harris, who rushed to have her picture taken with Nutty, as a precursor to her Presidential campaign. Look at Booker, who supported the criminalization of BDS criticism. At least it looks like his Presidential campaign is history.

    Even Bernie won’t say “Boo”, instead saying he can’t support BDS because it might result in the destruction of Israel

    Please, Bernie, please at least say something that passes the straight face test.

    • Misterioso on September 23, 2019, 10:15 am

      “Poll: Democratic Voters Support Cutting Aid to Israel” Jewish Currents, Sept. 16/19, by Emma Saltzberg

      “NEW POLLING DATA commissioned by the progressive organization Data for Progress shows that a plurality of US voters support reducing military aid to Israel based on its violations of Palestinian human rights. When asked about support for reducing military aid to governments that abuse human rights in general, even more voters are in favor, and fewer are opposed.
      Currently, Israel receives $3.3 billion in military aid and $500 million in missile defense funds each year, an arrangement laid out in a 2016 memorandum of understanding signed by the Obama administration and the government of Israel. Progressives in the Democratic Party—including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Mark Pocan, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—have raised the possibility of reducing US military aid in response to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. This rift between progressives and Israel was only further exacerbated after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel and the West Bank in August, prompting angry pushback from top Democrats.

      “The Data for Progress report accompanying the new poll, which I authored, includes detailed profiles of the records of the five leading contenders in the Democratic presidential primary field with regard to Israel. Of these five, only Bernie Sanders has endorsed the possibility of using US aid to Israel as leverage toward a negotiated solution with the Palestinians. After Netanyahu barred Tlaib and Omar from visiting Israel and the West Bank, Sanders went further, tweeting: ‘If Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country, maybe they can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.’ Pete Buttigieg has said that if Netanyahu were to annex parts of the West Bank, ‘a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill.’

      “The other frontrunners have stayed well within the parameters of the dying bipartisan consensus on Israel. Joe Biden, whose involvement with the US–Israel relationship goes back more than 45 years, has said he would wield pressure on the Israeli government ‘in terms of what they can and cannot do relative to what is accepted internationally’; he has also campaigned on the 2016 aid deal as an Obama administration accomplishment. Elizabeth Warren has promised to pressure Netanyahu to end the occupation, but the only policy proposal she has advanced is a return to the Obama administration’s negotiations-focused approach. Kamala Harris doesn’t even go that far: she has campaigned this year on her opposition to the Obama administration’s mild rebuke of Israel over settlement construction at the United Nations in 2016.

      “YouGov Blue fielded an online poll for Data for Progress based on a national sample of 1,380 US voters from August 15th–21st. As a Data for Progress senior fellow (working independently from IfNotNow, the anti-occupation organization I co-founded), I drafted two questions for the poll on the topic of US foreign military aid—one that spoke to a global context, and one that focused on Israel specifically. The questions presented a strong case for both the pro and con arguments:

      – ‘In the past, the US has cut military aid to foreign governments accused of human rights violations. Supporters of the cuts say the US shouldn’t be involved in human rights abuses and it’s a waste of taxpayer money. Opponents say that even if some governments have imperfect records, we need to do what is necessary to fight terrorism and to counter foreign powers like Russia and China. Do you [support or oppose] the US government reducing foreign and military aid to governments engaged in human rights abuses?’

      – ‘Israel is one of the largest recipients of US military aid. Some legislators in the United States say that aid should be reduced because Israel often violates the human rights of Palestinians by using lethal military force against unarmed Palestinian civilians, including children. Other legislators in the United States say aid should not be reduced; Israel does what it needs to do to protect itself from terrorism and hostile foreign powers, who deliberately provoke Israel with violence. Do you [support or oppose] the US government reducing foreign and military aid to Israel based on human rights violations?’

      “These questions were among a battery of other questions asked in a randomized order, so that some participants were asked the general military aid question before the question about Israel, while others answered the Israel question first.

      “The poll found that voters support reducing aid to Israel for human rights reasons by an 11% margin: 45% support the policy, and 34% oppose. The margin of support for reducing aid to governments that engage in human rights violations in general is even higher, at 49%: 61% of voters support it, while 12% oppose.”

  6. Boomer on September 23, 2019, 8:56 am

    So, in other words, the US will continue to help Israel oppress Palestinians.

  7. Elizabeth Block on September 24, 2019, 9:08 am

    I sent that article about the rabbi saying Palestinians should be the slaves of Jews to a Zionist friend. (I guess she’s a friend.) She said she supports Israel in general but not “oddballs” like him. He’s not an oddball, of course.
    Netanyahu is an embarrassment to Zionists like her. If he goes, they can go on supporting Israel, and so can politicians.

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