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Opinion: Set-Up for the Showdown

IDF image of Beersheba damage from Gaza rockets. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

The recent decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to include former-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in his government and agree to make her the lead negotiator with the Palestinians is already wreaking havoc in Israeli politics. But the real showdown is yet to come. If the West thinks a Middle East peace deal can be forced by convincing the sides it’s nearly midnight, they might just end up with a duel at high noon instead. … Continue Reading

Opinion: The New War

February 3, 2013 Arab Spring, In Depth, Special Feature

The latest military strike against a Syrian military target, reportedly by Israel according to The New York Times, had the potential to be a successful strike and slink away into secrecy. Yet as the Times pointed out, Syria broke rank and announced the strike, blaming Israel in the process. The reality is that the rhetoric is heated and the potential for war is real. And for that we can blame the United Nations. … Continue Reading

Opinion: Waking Up from the Coalition Nightmare

January 24, 2013 In Depth, Politics, Special Feature

The elections in Israel are over, but there’s still no government yet. The diversity of parties in Israel has reached a critical point at which forming a coalition is extremely difficult. Forming a stable coalition? Nearly impossible. The Right bloc, according to final vote tallies from Haaretz, will take a narrow majority of 61 seats—barely enough and extremely vulnerable to internal politics.

But the Left can’t even form a government, because there’s not really a true centrist bloc that could give them the edge. In fact, it appears as though forming an effective government will be quite a challenge for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But there is one way to do it best—as long as the West lets them. … Continue Reading

Israel Holds Elections Today: Here’s What You Need to Know

January 22, 2013 Politics, Special Feature

Knesset Candidate Jeremy Gimpel. Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Gimpel.

The elections for the next Israeli Knesset (parliament) are being held today, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoping for a second term while leftist parties are looking to unseat him. Polling republished by Haaretz shows the final tally between the political Right and Left is expected to be relatively close. As noted by The Mideast Update, the religious parties in Israel could prove to be the swing votes.

While the voting will be over by tonight, the makeup of the next Israeli coalition will just be getting started. Depending on how well Netanyahu’s Likud party ends up performing, and the other Right and Left parties, it may take weeks for the nominee to be the next prime minister to bring together a coalition of parties to head the Knesset. … Continue Reading

Q and A with Jeremy Gimpel of The Jewish Home Party – Part 2

IDF image of Beersheba damage from Gaza rockets. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

There are a host of issues facing the next Israeli government, from Middle East conflicts and terrorism to the economy. With elections just a week away, now is the time to discuss the challenges in depth. The Mideast Update spoke with Jeremy Gimpel, a Knesset candidate from The Jewish Home party—or Habayit Hayehudi—to learn more about what his party wants to accomplish in the upcoming Knesset [Israeli parliament]. Here’s part two of excerpts from the interview: … Continue Reading

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