Britain’s Chief Rabbi Mirvis Is Helping to Stoke Antisemitism against Corbyn

By Jonathan Cook

Source

Rabbi Mirvis a5f4f

Chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has not only misrepresented the known facts about Labour and its supposed antisemitism crisis. He has not only interfered in an overtly, politically partisan manner in the December 12 election campaign by suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn – against all evidence – is an antisemite.

By speaking out as the voice of British Jews – a false claim he has allowed the UK media to promote – his unprecedented meddling in the election of Britain’s next leader has actually made the wider Jewish community in the UK much less safe. Mirvis is contributing to the very antisemitism he says he wants to eradicate.

Mirvis’ intervention in the election campaign makes sense only if he believes in one of two highly improbable scenarios.

The first requires several demonstrably untrue things to be true. It needs for Corbyn to be a proven antisemite – and not just of the variety that occasionally or accidentally lets slip an antisemitic trope or is susceptible to the unthinking prejudice most of us occasionally display, including (as we shall see) Rabbi Mirvis.

No, for Mirvis to have interfered in the election campaign he would need to believe that Corbyn intends actively as prime minister to inflame a wider antisemitism in British society or implement policies designed to harm the Jewish community. And in addition, the chief rabbi would have to believe that Corbyn presides over a Labour party that will willingly indulge race-hate speeches or stand by impassively as Corbyn carries out racist policies.

If Mirvis really believes any of that, I have a bridge to sell him. Corbyn has spent his entire political career as an anti-racism campaigner, and his anti-racism activism as a backbencher was especially prominent inside a party that itself has traditionally taken the political lead in tackling racism.

Rising tide of nationalism

The second possibility is that Mirvis doesn’t really believe that Corbyn is a Goebbels in the making. But if that is so, then his decision to intercede in the election campaign to influence British voters must be based on an equally fanciful notion: that there is no significant threat posed by antisemitism from the right or the rapidly emerging far right.

Because if antisemitism is not an issue on the right – the same nationalistic right that has persecuted Jews throughout modern history, culminating in the Nazi atrocities – then Mirvis may feel he can risk playing politics in the name of the Jewish community without serious consequence.

If there is no perceptible populist tide of white nationalism sweeping Europe and the globe, one that hates immigrants and minorities, then making a fuss about Corbyn might seem to make sense for a prominent Jewish community leader. In those circumstances, it might appear to be worth disrupting the national conversation to highlight the fact that Corbyn once sat with Hamas politicians – just as Tony Blair once sat with Sinn Fein leaders – and that Corbyn’s party has promised in the latest manifesto to stop selling weapons to Israel (and Saudi Arabia) of the kind that have been used to butcher children in Gaza. Mirvis might believe that by wounding Corbyn he can help into power a supposedly benevolent, or at least inoffensive, Tory party.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis

@chiefrabbi

CR: “I am delighted to congratulate Boris Johnson on becoming the next leader of the Conservative Party & our next PM. May he be blessed with the wisdom to successfully navigate the political uncertainties we face & bring healing & prosperity to our great country.”

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But if he is wrong about the re-emergence of a white nationalism and its growing entry into the mainstream – and all the evidence suggests he would be deeply wrong, if this is what he thinks – then undermining Corbyn and the Labour party is self-destructiveness of the first order.

It would amount to self-harm not only because attacking Corbyn inevitably strengthens the electoral chances of Boris “watermelon smiles” Johnson. It plays with fire because Mirvis’ flagrant intervention in the election campaign actually bolsters a key part of the antisemitic discourse of the far right that is rapidly making inroads into the Conservative party.

Succour to white nationalists

White nationalists are all over social media warning of supposed Jewish global conspiracies, of supposed Jewish control of the media, of supposed Jewish subversion of “white rights”. It was precisely this kind of thinking that drove European politics a century ago. It was arch-antisemite Arthur Balfour who signed off the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that sought to end Britain’s “Jewish problem” by encouraging European Jews to move far away, to a part of the Middle East then known as Palestine.

That is, of course, why today’s white supremacists love Israel, why they see it as a model, why they call themselves “white Zionists“. In creating a tribal democracy, and one heavily fortified, land hungry, belligerent and nuclear-armed, Israel has done for Jews exactly what white nationalists hope to do again for their white compatriots. The white supremacists’ love of Israel is intimately bound up with their hatred and fear of Jews.

Mirvis has given succour to white nationalist discourse both because he has spoken out against Corbyn without offering evidence for his claims and because those entirely unsubstantiated claims have been echoed across the media.

There is good reason why the billionaire-owned print media and the Establishment-dominated BBC are happy to exploit the antisemitism smears – and it has nothing to do with concern for the safety of Jews. The corporate media don’t want a Labour leader in power who is going to roll back the corporate free-for-all unleashed by Margaret Thatcher 40 years ago that nearly bankrupted the rest of us in 2008.

But that is not what those flirting with or embracing white nationalism will take away from the relentless media chorus over evidence-free antisemitism claims.

Mirvis’ intervention in the democratic process will drive them more quickly and more deeply into the arms of the far-right. It will persuade them once again that “the Jews” are a “problem”. They will conclude that – though the Jews are now helping the right by destroying Corbyn – once the left has been dealt with, those same Jews will then subvert their white state. Like Balfour before them, they will start thinking of how to rid Britain and Europe of these supposed interlopers.

This is why Mirvis was irresponsible in the extreme for meddling. Because the standard of proof required before making such an intervention – proof either that Cobyn is an outright Jew hater, or that white nationalism is no threat to the UK – is not even close to being met.

The left’s anti-imperialism

In fact much worse, all the evidence shows the exact reverse. That was neatly summed up in a survey this month published by The Economist, a weekly magazine that is no friend to Corbyn or the Labour party.

It showed that those identifying as “very left-wing” – the section of the public that supports Corbyn – were among the least likely to express antisemitic attitudes. Those identifying as “very right-wing”, on the other hand – those likely to support Boris “piccaninnies” Johnson – were three and a half times more likely to express hostile attitudes towards Jews. Other surveys show even worse racism among Conservatives towards more obviously non-white minorities, such as Muslims and black people. That, after all, is the very reason Boris “letterbox-looking Muslim women” Johnson now heads the Tory party.

The Economist findings reveal something else of relevance in assessing Mirvis’ meddling. Not only is the real left (as distinguished from the phoney, centrist left represented by Labour’s Blairites) much less antisemitic than the right, it is also much more critical of Israel than any other section of the British public.

That is easily explained. The real left has always been anti-imperialist. Israel is a particularly problematic part of Britain’s colonial legacy.

Elsewhere, the peoples who gained independence from Britain found themselves inside ruined, impoverished states, often with borders imposed out of naked imperial interest that left them divided and feuding. Internal struggles over the crumbs Britain and other imperial powers left behind were the norm.

But in a very real sense, Britain – or at least the west – never really left Israel. In line with the Balfour Declaration, Britain helped to establish the institutions of a “Jewish home” on the Palestinians’ homeland. British troops may have departed in 1948, but waves of European Jewish immigrants were either encouraged or compelled to come to the newly created state of Israel by racist immigration quotas designed to prevent them fleeing elsewhere, most especially to the United States.

The west helped engineer both the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and Israel’s creation to solve Europe’s “Jewish problem”. It provided the components necessary for Israel to build a nuclear bomb that won it a place at the international top table and ensured the Palestinians were made Israel’s serfs in perpetuity. Ever since, the west has provided Israel with diplomatic cover, military aid and special trading status, even as Israel has worked relentlessly to disappear the Palestinian people from their homeland.

Even now, our most prized rights, such as free speech, are being eroded and subverted to protect Israel from criticism. In the US, the only infringements on the American public’s First Amendment rights have been legislated to silence those seeking to pressure Israel over its crimes against the Palestinians with a boycott – similar to the campaign against apartheid South Africa. In the UK, the Conservative manifesto similarly promises to bar local councils from upholding international law and boycotting products from Israel’s illegal settlements.

Rewarding war crimes

The real left focuses on this continuing colonial crime against the Palestinians not because it is antisemitic (a claim the Economist survey amply refutes), but because the left treats Israel as emblematic of British and western bad faith and hypocrisy. Israel is the imperial west’s Achilles’ heel, the proof that war crimes, massacres and ethnic cleansing are not only not punished but actively rewarded if these crimes accord with western imperial interests.

But ardent friends of Israel such as Mirvis are blind to these arguments. For them, one western antisemitic crime – the Holocaust – entirely obscures another western antisemitic crime: seeking to rid Europe of Jews by forcing them into the Middle East, serving as pawns on an imperial chessboard that paid no regard to the Palestinians whose homeland was being sacrificed.

In his state of historical and political myopia, Mirvis cannot begin to understand that there might be political activists who, in defending the Palestinian people, are also defending Jews. That they, unlike him, understand that Israel was created not out of western benevolence towards Jews, but out of western malevolence towards “lesser peoples”. The real left in Britain speaks out against Israel not because it hates Jews but because it holds dear a commitment to justice and a compassion for all.

Mirvis, on the other hand, is the Zionist equivalent of a little Englander. He prefers particularist, short-term interests over universalist, long-term ones.

It was he, remember, who threw his full support behind Israel in 2014 as it indiscriminately bombed Gaza, killing some 550 children – a bombing campaign that came after years of an Israeli blockade on the Palestinian population there. That siege has led the United Nations to warn that the enclave will be uninhabitable by next year.

It was Mirvis, along with his predecessor Jonathan Sacks, who in 2017 endorsed the fanatical Jewish settlers – Israel’s equivalent of white supremacists – on their annual march through the occupied Old City of Jerusalem. This is the march where the majority of the participants are recorded every year waving masses of Israeli flags at Palestinians and chanting “Death to the Arabs”. One Israeli newspaper columnist has described the Jerusalem Day march as a “religious carnival of hatred”.

It was Mirvis and Sacks that encouraged British Jews to join them on this tub-thumping trip to Israel, which they suggested would provide an opportunity to spend time “dancing with our brave soldiers”. Those soldiers – Israeli, not British – occupy West Bank cities like Hebron where they have locked down life for some 200,000 Palestinians so that a handful of crazed religious Jewish bigots can live undisturbed in their midst.

What is so appalling is that Mirvis is blind to the very obvious parallels between the fearful Palestinians who hastily have to board up their shops as a Jewish mob parades through their neighbourhood and today’s white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the west who seek to march provocatively through ethnic minority communities, including Jewish neighbourhoods, in places like Charlottesville.

Mirvis has no lessons to teach Corbyn or the Labour party about racism. In fact, it is his own, small-minded prejudice that blinds him to the anti-racist politics of the left. His ugly message is now being loudly amplified by a corporate media keen to use any weapon it can, antisemitism included, to keep Corbyn and the left out of power – and preserve a status quo that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

Bennett Says ‘Israel’ Must Take Advantage of Protests to Strike Iranian Troops in Syria: Hezbollah Can’t Engage in War Now

Capture

November 29, 2019

The Zionist Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said that ‘Israel’ had to seize the chance of the ongoing protests in Tehran, Baghdad and Beirut in order to strike the Iranian troops in Syria, considering that those disturbances can mitigate the axis of resistance.

Bennet added that the Israeli army must launch a continuous campaign till driving the Iranian troops out of Syria, estimating that Hezbollah cannot engage in such a confrontation because of its involvement in the domestic issues.

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that ‘Israel’ had to move against the Iranian troops in Syrian in order to prevent Hezbollah from repeating the same experience of accumulating dozens of thousands of missiles on the occupation entity’s border.

Yedioth Ahronoth also revealed that the Institute for the Zionist National Security Studies simulated a large scale military confrontation with Hezbollah after trading fire on border.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Related News

 

Occupied Palestine: The Most Enduring Media Cover-up

Global Research, November 28, 2019

Clearing the FOG hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese interviewed Alison Weir, journalist and founder of If Americans Knew, a website that provides factual information about the Israeli State and Palestine. Weir describes how she learned firsthand that US media provide a false and one-sided narrative about Occupied Palestine and why she has dedicated the past twenty years to counter that. She also explains some of the most common myths and what she learned as she did research for her book, “Against Our Better Judgment.” Weir is a very clear thinker on the issue of Palestine-Israel and provides the data and language we need to speak to a propagandized population. You can listen to the entire interview and the week’s news analysis on Clearing the FOG.

Interview

Clearing the FOG (CtF): Alison, your website is a great source of information. Before we get into the site, why don’t you tell us about how you got involved in this issue.

Alison Weir (AW): People always wonder that because I don’t happen to be Jewish or Arab or Muslim or Palestinian and like most Americans 20 years ago, I knew very little about this issue. I had been active on other issues, anti-war during the Vietnam war, civil rights, that type of thing but I had never focused on Israel-Palestine until the Second Intifada began in the Fall of 2000. I’m sure you know intifada just means “Uprising,” a Palestinian Uprising. When that began, in Fall of 2000, I got curious about it.

My background is journalism. At that time, I was the editor of a very small weekly newspaper in Northern California. This wasn’t for my job, it was just my personal curiosity. I started to follow the news coverage on this uprising and I quickly noticed that it was very one-sided, that we were hearing from and about Israelis in great detail, but we got very little information from and about Palestinians.

I went on the internet and discovered a great deal of information from the region itself, from humanitarian agencies that were there, Israeli media in English, Palestinian media. And I discovered that Israeli forces were shooting Palestinians every day in large quantities, including many children and I noticed this reality was not being reported on the news sites that I usually looked at. The San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, especially NPR, seemed to be covering that up.

So the more I looked into it, the more I felt this was a truly significant cover-up. I felt and I do feel now that this was the longest-lasting and most enduring cover-up I had ever seen and that it was occurring across the political spectrum. After a few months of looking into that, I decided, it seemed so significant that I quit my job in Sausalito and traveled as a freelance reporter throughout Gaza and the West Bank. It was a very intense trip, I was not part of any delegation. There really weren’t any delegations at that time.

When I came back, I started the organization, If Americans Knew. The goal has been to be very factual, to show the sources of our information. It’s very transparent. It gives Americans without ideological slant the facts on Israel-Palestine and especially the American connection, the fact that we are in many ways responsible for what Israel does because our tax money goes to Israel. It’s now over 10 million dollars per day. We’ve given Israel far more than we’ve given anybody else.

Most Americans, I think, are the way I was. I felt I had no connection to this confusing issue on the other side of the world, but I learned I have a very direct connection to it and therefore it’s my responsibility to know about it and to act in ways that I feel are morally required. In a nutshell, that’s how I ended up 20 years later still working on this issue.

CtF: That was a very courageous thing to do. Of course, the US also provides cover for Israel in the United Nations or when the International Criminal Court wants to investigate Israel. How were you received by Palestinians when you went there to cover the Intifada?

AW: The perception was and is that you will be in great danger from Palestinians. But I discovered it was the opposite. I was welcomed. I was invited to stay in people’s homes, which I often did. People were very excited to learn that an American journalist was there. I told people I’m here to see what’s going on and people would smile at me in places like Gaza where there were really very few Americans at that time. I didn’t see any other journalists traveling around.

Crowds of people would come up to me and they wanted to show me their bullet-riddled homes and show me what was happening to them. So I found it then and on my other trips there since, people are very welcoming, very friendly. Often they’re very aware of how much money the US gives to Israel. Even though most Americans don’t know that, it is known in the region. Despite their knowledge of that and despite their knowledge of how the US has supported Israel in so many ways, they’re still very welcoming to Americans and very willing to not blame us for what our government is doing. So it’s really the opposite of what people have been led to believe it would be like.

CtF: We were just in Occupied Palestine recently and what you describe is very consistent with our experience as well. Your website focuses on correcting the misconceptions. What are some of the most important misconceptions that people in the United States have about the situation in Occupied Palestine?

AW: That’s at the heart of the problem because there are so many that it’s hard to make people realize it’s really as different as they expect. If there were only one or two, people can accept that. It’s harder for them to realize that almost everything they thought was true is not accurate. And that is what I am often telling them.

One of the main things is that we are directly related to the conflict. We give Israel massive amounts of money. This is per capita on average 7,000 times more than we give other people. One of the other things is that many people are unaware that Israel was established in my lifetime, that when I was born there was no Israel. There was a region called Palestine that had been there called Palestine for really millennia.

Many intelligent and knowledgeable people are not aware of what Israel Palestine is about, that basically Israel was established through warfare. It was not established by the United Nations, another misconception. It was established by a war of ethnic cleansing. That’s what we now term that type of war. It’s the title of an excellent book by an Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, so, the very foundation of Israel is very different than people realize.

This was an intentional dispossession of the indigenous population. It started with the beginning of the establishment of the modern state of Israel and continues through today. Constantly Israel is confiscating additional Palestinian land and taking it over for Jewish-only settlements, as they’re called. Many people are unaware that many Palestinians are Christians. This is where Christianity began. It’s rarely mentioned in the US media.

The other thing people are often unaware of these days is media coverage always focuses on “rockets from Gaza.” Every news report mentions rockets from Gaza. The fact is that I was there traveling around by myself as a reporter before any rockets had been fired and I saw already at that time in early 2001 extreme devastation. I saw neighborhoods in Gaza that were bullet-riddled, that looked like the pictures you see of World War II ruins. In the West Bank too shelling was going on. This was before any rockets had been fired.

People think Israel is defending itself from rockets, but the rockets were actually resistance groups in Gaza trying to fight back with really very ineffectual rockets. In the whole time they’ve been used, they’ve killed at most a few dozen Israelis. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed many thousands of Gazans. The only statistic we get in the typical news report is thousands of rockets have been fired from Gaza. They never tell that the total number of Israelis who have been killed is perhaps by now, maybe 50, perhaps not even that high and they never tell that during that time about 5,000 Gazans have been killed. We don’t hear about the massive bombardment of Gaza that’s been going on for a very long time and that has killed thousands of Gazans. And of course, killed many people in the West Bank also.

CtF: When we were there, we saw fighter planes flying over Jerusalem on their way to bomb Gaza. Over 30 Gazans were killed, including a family. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homes in the recent siege of Gaza. And these so-called rocket attacks, they’re like little pipsqueak rockets. These rockets were a response to an Israeli assassination in Gaza. It’s really amazing they use that as an excuse, but they do.

AW: They get away with it because the media only tell about the response and don’t tell about what came before. The American population is completely misled. Most of these are small homemade projectiles, but media will report them as missiles and people are imagining a Nike missile or something. That’s just not what’s going on.

There have been studies of the chronology of the violence in the conflict. There was one excellent study by an MIT professor who looked at periods of calm, at various truces through the years. Her study showed that it was something like 96% of the time in the shorter truces it was Israel that had first resumed violence against Palestinians and in the longer truces, it was 100% of the time that Israeli forces resumed the violence. This is just not known to the American public because it’s very filtered news coverage that people are getting.

Your point of hearing jets flying over to bomb Gaza is very significant. People don’t know that here we have one of the most powerful militaries on the planet, largely due to our tax money and often US weaponry, fighting against a population that has no Air Force, no Navy, no aircraft, no helicopter gunships. The disparity is astounding and the media try to call it a war. A war is between two military forces. That’s not what we have when we look at Gaza and Israeli forces.

CtF: It’s such an asymmetric situation. Palestinians have been forced from their homes, living in an apartheid state and have the right under international law to defend themselves. But the Palestinians we met with while we were there, activists, said we are nonviolent, we believe in using non-violence and talked about teaching their children not to hate other people, how giving in to that was destructive. One of the things that people push back in the United States is they say that there never really was a Palestine, that Palestinian nationality didn’t start until the 20th century. Can you comment on that?

AW: Yes. This is one of the Israeli talking points that many people have fallen for. You see this on Facebook and Twitter and various places. It’s a nonsensical argument. It’s true, there was not a state of Palestine. There was not a state of Israel. There was a region called Palestine. You can look at old maps.

Palestine was a region back in biblical times. It was talked about in more recent times. It was talked about in more recent centuries. It was under the Ottoman Empire. It was what we call multicultural. Around 1900, the population was about 80 percent Muslim, about 15 percent Christian and a little under five percent Jewish. This was a region. It was not a nation-state, as we know nation-states came relatively late to the world. Germany wasn’t a nation-state for many years. The United States did not used to be a nation-state. Palestine was a region. Palestinians have existed.

There was a book published some years ago by an Israel partisan who went by the name Joan Peters claiming the Palestinians did not exist, that they were just nomads that had come in because the Zionists’ wonderful entrepreneurial spirit had created jobs for these nomads to join them. This is the thesis of her book called “From Time Immemorial.” Many people read it. It was praised by pretty much every book review in the United States.

People like Barbara Tuchman, an Israel partisan, but known as a historian, praised it. It turned out to be a complete hoax.  Some very good historians and analysts including some Jewish Americans looked into the book and found out that these many footnotes were often fraudulent. They were actually coming from Zionist propaganda. In Israel itself, it was exposed as non-factual. In Britain, it was exposed as non-factual. In the United States, it eventually was, but I don’t think any of the people that gave it a positive review and that endorsed it then had the honesty or principle to retract their erroneous reviews.

Many people, especially many Jewish Americans, read that book and were taken in by it and then repeat the myth that there were no such thing as Palestinians. Even Golda Meir, the famous Israeli Prime Minister, said at one point that quote there were no Palestinians. That’s like Americans trying to say well there were no Native Americans here. Of course, there was.

CtF: Even in the country itself Israeli Jews seem oblivious to the reality in their own country. Home demolitions and the settlers putting settlements on Palestinian communities and on Palestinian lands. We drove on Jewish-only roads. If I Google “Jewish only roads,” I find an article about “Jewish only roads don’t exist.” One of the challenges we have in talking to people in the United States, and even in Israel, Occupied Palestine, is they don’t want to see reality. How do you communicate to people who just seem oblivious whether unintentionally or intentionally?

AW: Certainly, Israelis have been brought up to be just the way you’re describing. Nurit Peled, an academic, has done excellent work showing that Israeli textbooks are very propagandistic in the way that they depict Palestinians. They’re not even called Palestinians. They call them Israeli Arabs. So this is deeply embedded in many portions of the Israeli population.

Fortunately, there are many people in Israel that are dissenting from that and they’re trying to reach their fellow Israelis. There are Israelis Against Torture and Israelis Against Home Demolition. There are a number of Israeli groups within the society, a small fraction, but they’re doing really wonderful work in trying to expose what’s actually going on. There are some Israeli journalists, especially Gideon Levy, who write every week in the Israeli media about some of the latest atrocities being committed by Israel against Palestinians.

I would love to reach everybody. I’d love to reach every Israeli. I’d love to reach every American who’s taken in by Israeli talking points. What I focus on is the really fairly promising reality that about three-quarters of the American population, despite the pro-Israel media coverage that we’ve been getting for decades and despite Hollywood, really does not have a strong view on this issue. And general surveys will show that they say something like we shouldn’t take sides, which is sensible. If you don’t know much about an issue, you just don’t take sides.

That sounds like a fairly wimpy approach to those of us who know what’s going on there, but what that would mean if you don’t take sides is we would stop giving Israel 10 million dollars per day. We would stop vetoing UN resolutions to protect Israel from world condemnation of its violence. So it’s actually quite a good stand if we did what the majority of Americans already say we should do.

I try to focus on giving the general public the facts on this issue and the importance of making their wishes known to their elected representatives that it’s time to stop this massive aid to Israel. It prevents peace. Israeli militarists think they have a blank check from the most powerful nation on the planet, which they do right now. So my view is we give voters factual information on this. We show how extremely tragic the situation is because of what we’re funding and the fact that it hurts us as well and emphasize how important it is to tell our elected representatives that we want them to change these misguided destructive US policies of a blank check to Israel.

It’s time for us to vote and to work on the issue of Israel Palestine. Not only because of what it’s doing to Palestinians, not only because of what it then does to the US but because our support of Israel has led to our wars in the region. It has led to much of the violence in the region that has since spilled over elsewhere. It’s the core issue of the Middle East and it’s the time for us to focus on it and to address it.

CtF: I want to ask you about a topic that you’ve been writing about recently. And that is the criticism that people who question or criticize the Israeli state are anti-semitic. Can you talk about that?

AW: Yes, that’s used all the time and most of us are profoundly opposed to bigotry of all kinds. We don’t want to be splattered with such mudslinging. We don’t want to be called anti-Semitic. We don’t want to be anti-Semitic and we’re not being anti-Semitic when we speak out for justice as a principal, but that’s the attack that they try to use.

A member of the Israeli Parliament some years ago on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now said, and I’m paraphrasing, she said this is a trick. We always use it when somebody is critical of Israel, we call them anti-Semitic and that is exactly what going on. Nobody should be anti-Semitic. Nobody should be against any population, should be hostile and prejudiced against people. Bigotry is wrong. So that’s what they try to use.

What’s gotten worse is that not only do they try to claim somebody’s anti-Semitic when we’re talking about a nation-state and talking about injustice and trying to support principles of justice for all people, there is an effort to change the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticisms of Israel. This is extremely insidious.

It’s been going on for a number of years. There’s a new formulation in which certain criticisms of Israel, factual statements about Israel, will now be defined as anti-Semitism. Therefore it will be defined as hate speech, etc. This effort was begun by an Israeli Minister named Natan Sharansky. It has now been embedded in the US State Department and it’s being embedded elsewhere around the world. We need to learn about that and we need to oppose it. We need to stick with the traditional definition of anti-Semitism and we should oppose all anti-Semitism just as we oppose all racism, but we should not allow that incorrect epithet to be used to silence us or to prevent us from working for justice and human rights for all people including Palestinians.

CtF: One of the people we visited with when we were recently in Occupied Palestine was Rabbi Hirsh, who is with an ultra-orthodox Jew, and he makes a very strong case that Zionism is inconsistent with Judaism, that it violates the Torah. That makes the state of Israel really under his religious analysis to be against Judaism. A growing group of Jews in the United States is getting active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. A number of Jewish groups are actually beginning to criticize Zionism and Israel. It’s really is an absurd claim that people who criticize Israel or Zionism are anti-Semitic. It just shows the weakness of their arguments.

AW: It does and I’m glad you brought that up because when Zionism, political Zionism, began with Theodore Herzl and some conferences in Switzerland in the late 1800s, the majority of Jews around the world did not join that movement. They said we’re Americans, we’re British etcetera. Even a Jewish population in Palestine was opposed to it, especially observant Jews were opposed to it and considered it a heretical move. There are many Jews who for religious reasons oppose Zionism saying this is against the Bible. It’s against God’s will. That’s part of what people don’t know. And in my book, in the research I did, it was very interesting to see how Zionists were very upset that Jewish-Americans were not embracing Zionism in the early years. In fact, for a number of decades, there were groups such as the American Council on Judaism that actively and strenuously opposed Zionism.

CTF: Finally, how can people learn more about the work that you do?

AW: The first thing would be to go to our website: IfAmericansKnew.org. From there, you will also go to our blog, the If Americans Knew blog. Between those two resources, I believe there’s a lot of information that will be useful to people. My book is available on Amazon. The short title is “Against Our Better Judgment.” It can be read very quickly. It’s one of the selling points and it’s thoroughly cited. It turned out that the book is half citations. So every statement in it, you can find the source for that statement. It contains a great deal of information that many people, even experts on the issue, did not know about before because when I started researching it, I was starting from scratch. I read a huge number of books. We’re also working to encourage people to join the effort to work within their congressional district to inform the people in your community about what’s going on. You can email us at contact@IfAmericansKnew.org and help get this information off the internet and into the hands of people in your community. We also have a very active Facebook page, If Americans Knew Facebook page, where we post things every day. I especially encourage people to join our email list. We should not rely on Facebook for our communication. That is a private company and they could turn it off whenever they want to so, please join our email list also.

CtF: If you haven’t visited If Americans Knew, it’s a very deep website. If you ever want to understand a particular aspect of Israel or Occupied Palestine, you’ll find a lot of the facts right there. If you’re ever writing about it, debating it, trying to understand and discuss it with others, it’s a very fact-based and deep web site that serves a very useful purpose for engaging on this issue.

AW: We’ve certainly tried and the websites been live about 15 or 16 years. There’s really a depth of content there. We’re trying to upgrade it to a more modern look but there’s so much content, we just haven’t been able to do that yet. So it’s an old-school look but the content is there for people to find and it’s all sourced. We try to make sure that our material is factual and show people that that’s the case.

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Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

Featured image is PressTV

Bolivia Says It Plans to Renew Diplomatic Ties with Israel

New interim government in La Paz has made major foreign policy changes since former president Evo Morales was ousted

Global Research, November 29, 2019
Middle East Eye 28 November 2019

Bolivia announced that it will restore diplomatic ties with Israel, two days after the South American country’s new interim government appointed its first ambassador to the United States since 2008. 

The new government’s foreign policy shake-up comes after former president Evo Morales was ousted on 10 November.

Speaking to international media on Thursday, Foreign Minister Karen Longaric said Bolivia plans “to restore relations with Israel”, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Morales cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv in 2009 over Israel’s war on Gaza, which killed at least 1,383 Palestinians, including 333 children.

At the time, Morales said he would ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring genocide charges against top Israeli officials.

Following his resignation last month under pressure from the military following his contested re-election, Morales has taken exile in Mexico.

On Thursday, Longaric said she planned to re-establish diplomatic ties with Israel “out of respect for the sovereignty of the state”, Haaretz reported.

She said she hoped “that relations could lead to positive aspects for both sides and contribute to Bolivian tourism”.

Israel’s foreign ministry welcomed the move.

“This will contribute to the strengthening of the State of Israel’s foreign relations and its standing in the world,” Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz said in a statement.

“The departure of President Morales, who was hostile to Israel, and his replacement by a government friendly to Israel, allows the fruition of the process.”

Bolivia’s foreign policy change comes after the country’s self-appointed interim president, Jeanine Anez, was accused of cracking down on human rights in the country.

Last week, Human Rights Watch said Anez’s government had adopted “alarming measures that run counter to fundamental human rights standards”. More than 30 have died in protests against the new government.

Several countries in Central and South America have adopted more pro-Israel positions in recent years, as well, putting them in line with US President Donald Trump‘s policies.

In August, Honduras recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said it intended to open a diplomatic office there.

In May 2018, Guatemala opened a new embassy in Jerusalem, just two days after the American embassy was inaugurated in the holy city, a widely criticised move that infuriated Palestinians.

The Trump administration, which has taken a staunchly pro-Israel line, recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in December 2017 and urged other countries to do the same.

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Featured image: Jeanine Anez receiving the presidential sash from a representative of the Bolivian military (photo: EFE).

Blinded Palestinian Journalist Exposes Israel’s Increasing Violence Against Media

Muath Amarneh Feature photo

Blinded Palestinian Journalist Exposes Israel’s Increasing Violence Against Media

On November 15, Palestinian photojournalist Muath Amarneh covered a demonstration in Surif, a West Bank city where residents were protesting against the theft of their land by Israeli settlers. Wearing a press jacket and helmet, Amarneh was shot in the head by an Israeli bullet while taking pictures on a nearby hill — about 330 feet from the soldiers.

“Everything just changed. I felt the whole world was circling around me. And I felt my whole life flash before me. I felt like I was dying,” Amarneh said, describing his reaction when hit.

With blood dripping from his eye, Amarneh was taken to a hospital in Hebron, West Bank. He was eventually transported to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where his left eye was removed. He remains there awaiting further operations to have the bullet removed from his head. 

Videos and photos capturing Amarneh after the bullet pierced his eye went viral online. Using the hashtags #MuathEye#EyeofTruth and #MuathAmarneh, “journalists across the world posted images of themselves with an eyepatch or one hand over their eye as a way to stand in solidarity with Amarneh.

Increasing Israeli violations against Palestinian press

After being shot, Israeli soldiers rushed to Amarneh claiming he wasn’t hit by one of their bullets but rather with stones thrown by protesters, but Amarneh was behind a line of demonstrators hurling stones.

“The army told me that, “This is not from us. This is from the people who are protesting and throwing stones. It’s the Palestinian who threw stones at you. It’s not a bullet from us,” Amarneh said.

Israeli police said they used “non-lethal means” to “disperse the rioters.” “The use of the non-lethal means was not directed at all at the photographer, and his injury could have been caused by the violent rioters,” Micky Rosenfeld, the Israeli police’s foreign press spokesperson, said.

Palestinian journalists take cover from tear gas shot by Israeli police during a solidarity protest on November 17, 2019 in Bethlehem. Photo | Musa Al-Shaer

However, Amarneh believes he was directly attacked by Israeli forces.

Four days before Amarneh lost his eye, Omar al-Badawi was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers during clashes near Hebron. Video captured al-Badawi as he was shot in the chest by Israeli forces. Soldiers claimed they assumed al-Badawi was carrying a molotov cocktail, but he was merely holding a towel to extinguish a fire engulfing a tree near his home. Amarneh was one of the journalists who documented al-Badawi’s murder.

“After what happened, the Israeli army really doesn’t want journalists to show the world what’s going on,” Amarneh said. He feels that since al-Badawi’s killing was broadcast globally, the Israeli army is intensifying its crackdown on Palestinian journalists. He mentioned how an area in Bethlehem designated for journalists for years by the Israeli military is now an unwelcome location.

“This Thursday, they started telling journalists that if you stay in this place, we will arrest you,” Amarneh said, describing how the soldiers pushed the journalists and seized their cameras.

The following Sunday after Amarneh was shot, Palestinian journalists held a sit-in in Bethlehem to express their support. Israel Police dispersed the crowd using tear gas, with dozens of demonstrators suffocating from tear gas inhalation and seven individuals lightly wounded.

Israeli polcie grab a member of The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate during a solidarity protest on November 17, 2019, in Bethlehem. Photo | Musa Al-Shaer

On Wednesday, the Israeli army closed the office of Palestine Television in Jerusalem for six months after storming Al-ArzMedia Services Company which provides services to Palestine TV.

Mousa Rimawi, Director General of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), believes the Israeli army targeted Amarneh.

“I think they are targeting him. Witnesses say that. He said that. This is not the first time they are targeting journalists,” Rimawai said.

We saw it in Gaza, especially last year. When the Israeli army was targeting journalists, killing two of them and injuring tens of journalists by snipers.”

In 2018, Palestinian journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmad Hassan Abu Hussein were killed by Israeli snipers just one week apart from each other while covering the Great March of Return protests at the Gaza border.

According to The Palestinian Center Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), 455 Israeli violations and 129 Palestinian violations occurred against Palestinian journalists in 2018  — a more than 52 percent increase in the last two years. During the first half of 2019, 330 violations were documented against Palestinian media  — a 19 percent increase from the same period last year. The majority of these violations comprise physical abuse, arrests or detentions, questioning, preventing coverage and shutting down websites and social media accounts.

Palestinian journalists

Palestinian journalists help a colleague injured during a solidarity protest on November 17, 2019 in Bethlehem. Photo | Musa Al-Shaer

“They want to silence this media who is covering the events relating to the Israeli occupation and to cover their crimes and daily practices in Palestine,” Rimawi said.

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) places the number of violations in 2019 higher, at more than 630, with 90 percent of reported attacks executed by Israel. Musa Al-Shaer, a board member of PJS, said MADA’s calculation is lower because they adjust the statistics in order to receive financial aid from the international community.

 

Facebook’s censorship of Palestinian media

Of the 330 documented violations by MADA, 65 of them were committed by Facebook. In 2016, the Israeli government and Facebook announced they were working together to combat incitement on social media. The driving force behind this partnership was Israel’s accusation that Palestinian violence is fueled by incitement online.

“After that announcement, Facebook began to block Palestinian sites for journalists and media outlets,” Rimawi said. He explained that Facebook has adopted Israel’s definition of incitement when deciding what content to censor. But going by Israel’s standards poses a problem for Palestinians.

“If someone posts a picture of a martyr, that’s incitement for Israelis, but for Palestinians that is normal. You could be posting a picture of your cousin who is a martyr,” Rimawi said.

Palestinians call those who died resisting the Israeli occupation “martyrs”, while Israelis refer to them as terrorists. He mentioned that words like Hamas (which literally translates to excitement in Arabic) and Qassam, the name of the military wing of Hamas, are consistently flagged. In some instances, a person named Qassam might end up with a deactivated Facebook account.

Facebook censorship of Palestinian media is increasing, and Israel appears to be the one steering the wheel. In 2017, 85 percent of Israeli government requests to “remove content deemed harmful or dangerous” was approved.

“We know Israel is pressuring other social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, but there are no agreements between them and Israel,” Rimawi said. “But with Facebook there is.”

 

Paving the way for Palestinian freedom of press

Amid a sharp rise in violations against Palestinian journalists, MADA is working with other civil society organizations to build a coalition to defend freedom of expression and digital freedom in Palestine. The coalition plans to tackle legislation, government policies, monitoring press freedom, Israeli violations and Facebook restrictions.

“It’s a good thing when people will not be silent, when countries will not be silent when there’s killing of journalists. But it must be linked with policies,” Rimawi said.

Muath Amarneh

Palestinian photojournalist Muath Amarneh lies injured in his hospital bed in Jerusalem. Photo | Delilah Boxstein

Amarneh has frequently experienced Israeli abuse in his ten years of working as a journalist. He was previously shot multiple times by rubber bullets on the lower parts of his body and fired at by water cannons. But this recent attack was the most severe.

Amarneh is currently focused on his recovery but asserts he will seek legal action when he is healed. Despite the trauma of losing his eye, he still plans to continue reporting.

“I won’t stop being a journalist but now I feel unsafe,” Amarneh said. “They could attack my other eye. It will be harder for me to continue what I am doing.”

Feature photo | Palestinian photojournalist Mu’ath Amarneh, seated on the left, moments after being shot in the left eye by an Israeli soldier in Surif, West Bank on November 15, 2019. Photo | Palestinian Information Center

With No End in Sight, Israel’s Election Soap Opera Rages On

By Miko Peled

Source

The Israeli election process, like a bad soap opera, has been going on for many months now with no end in sight, and precisely like a poorly made soap opera, the squabbling, blaming, threatening, scare tactics and mudslinging have lead to nothing.

The Boss

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, assumed to be the “Boss” of Israeli politics, seems to have lost his touch. In two consecutive elections, he was unable to win a majority or form a coalition government.

The rise of a united opposition to run against him led by former IDF generals – who by the way at one point or another served him – is part of the reason for his failure. Additionally, although he pandered to them and made them promises, he was unable to convince the constituency of settler gangs to support him exclusively, rather than to vote for their own parties, and this cost him valuable votes. These ultra-right-wing parties that can only be described as a combination of religious fanaticism and neo-fascism include people like Transportation Minister Bezalel Smutrich, Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and the newly appointed Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennet.

Repeat Elections

The most repeated mantra in Israeli politics today is, “no one wants elections.” In a press conference at the President’s residence, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein repeated this. In an emergency gathering of the “Right Block,” Netanyahu declared: “elections are bad!” Yet, still, as hard as they may try, none of these politicians sound convincing. Ignoring the famous Albert Einstein quote, or perhaps proving it right, that repeating the same actions and expecting different results is a sign of madness, it is clear that the main characters in this soap opera, namely, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, are hoping for another election cycle.

Their hope, delusional as it may be, is that the next round of elections will get them enough votes to become the next prime minister. While the cost of elections is enormous, the money does not come out of their pockets. Consistent with characters of bad soap operas, having large egos and a self-centered outlook, they believe they can make it if they just tweak their campaign. Maybe if they make another promise, get yet another statement by Donald Trump, or use a different slogan, they might make the cut. This, despite the fact that these tricks clearly failed them in the previous two elections.

The Israeli Electorate

The political division that is demonstrated by the result of the last two elections represents two main parts within Israeli society. The division has to do less with the issues than it does cosmetics. The first is who will sit at the head of the table, the cabinet table. While the two main parties, and most of the small ones, are quite happy to sit together in a coalition government, they want their guy to be at the head of the table.

The second touches somewhat on the issues but is in essence also cosmetic: Likud politicians and voters are proud of who they are and the ideology they espouse: violent, racist, and a settler-colonial ideology that flaunts its power and racism. It can be summed up as f*&% the Arabs, this is our land and that’s that.

The other part of the Israeli electorate, those who vote for Blue and White and parties that are considered “Liberal Zionist,” or “Zionist Left,” espouse the same ideology, but prefer to do it in the closet. It was the Zionist left that initiated the ethnic cleansing and destruction of Palestine in 1948. It was the same Zionist left that completed the conquest of Palestine in 1967 and built in the newly conquered lands for Jews only, and it is the Zionist left that brought about the disaster of the Oslo Agreements and contracted the Palestinian Authority to do its dirty work. However, it is all done under an enormous fig leaf called “Peace.” All they really ever wanted was peace.

So about half of the Israeli electorate is brutal and brutally honest and the other is brutal but shy about it.

The “Arabs”

In an emergency gathering of the “right,” Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the “Arab” political parties in the Knesset are supporters of terrorism. He said that a government that has to rely on their support will be an “existential threat” to the state of Israel. He called it a “Pigu’a Leumi” a terror attack of national proportions.

Responses were quick to appear from figures across the political spectrum, including President Rivlin. Netanyahu was reprimanded for labeling all of the “Arabs” of Israel as terrorists, even though he made it clear he was not referring to all of the “Arabs” because, according to him, “there are loyal, Zionist Arabs” out there too.

Another response came from the mayor of the Palestinian-Druze town of Daliyat El-Karmel, Rafik Halabi. It is a town within the 1948 boundaries so its residents are considered citizens of the state of Israel. Halabi himself was, for many years, a correspondent on Israeli television covering “Arab Issues.” In response to Netanyahu’s remarks, he tweeted:

Does the PM know how many Muslim Arabs serve in the IDF. Does he know how many Israeli Arabs serve in the Mossad, the Shabak (Israel’s secret police, MP), and other arms of the security forces…”

He ended the tweet with: “We are all Israelis.”

If Halabi’s tweet was an indication of anything, it is that collaborating with an oppressor does not pay off. His entire statement is an indictment of those among the Palestinian communities of 1948 who chose, for one reason or another, to work for the “security” regime of their occupier and colonizer, Israel.

The members of this community that decide to engage in this work get no great benefit for working against their own people. In fact, they are treated with the same contempt as are all other Palestinians, and if any evidence is needed for that, one only needs to look at the newest addition to Israel’s Basic Laws, The Nation State Law. More recently, the comments made by Netanyahu regarding their elected representatives is another good indication. Furthermore, the stain of being a collaborator will surely remain on their families for a long time to come.

This community, which today numbers close to two million people, was able to remain within the newly established state of Israel after the ethnic cleansing of 1948. The dubious title of “Israeli Arab” was imposed along with quasi, second class citizenship in an apartheid state that was forced upon them. A serious debate is, and always has, taken place by Palestinian citizens of Israel as to how to deal with the state, whether or not to participate in elections, and so forth. In the Knesset today, the Palestinian bloc, what is known as the Joint Arab List, makes up the third-largest bloc in the chamber, yet not a single party is willing to sit with them or even rely on their support in creating a coalition government.

Indictment

As these words are being typed, Prime Minister Netanyahu is being indicted on charges of corruption and breach of trust. There is still a very wide loophole, wide enough that he can jump through it and which will save him for at least another year. The Knesset committee that deals with members’ immunity is not in session right now and so cannot deal with the issue of his immunity.

It would be hard to imagine that an indictment will go forward without giving the prime minister, who is also a sitting member of Knesset, the opportunity to be heard on an issue of such vital importance. It is likely that Netanyahu will clear this loophole delaying the process until after a future election, which is likely to take place in the spring of 2020. This will ensure that the soap opera will continue for at least one more season.

Israel’s Netanyahu: Dead Man Walking Politically and Judicially

By Stephen Lendman

Source

He’s charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust, Israel’s first ever sitting prime minister to face prosecution for these serious offenses.

Hard evidence against him is damning. His scourge appears coming to an end once the legal process expected to take time plays out.

Make no mistake. He’s a world-class thug Time magazine called “King Bibi” in May 2012.

Saying he conquered Israel suppressed his high crimes of war, against humanity, and other offenses — compounded since then. 

The puff piece also ignored his deep-seated corruption, his governance of, by, and for privileged Israelis exclusively, his persecution of Palestinians for not being Jewish, his tenure exceeding Sharonian evil.

Arundhati Roy once called India a “limbless, headless, soulless torso left bleeding under the butcher’s clever with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart.” 

The above describes Israeli regimes throughout the country’s history, notably during Netanyahu’s time in office — his agenda pockmarked with malign viciousness, institutionalized racism, militarism and belligerence, exploitive cruelty, occupation harshness, neoliberal rapaciousness, and wars at his discretion without declaring them.

Governing anti-democratically with an iron fist, he spurns regional peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law — notions he abhors.

He once called no-peace/peace talks with Palestinians “a waste of time.” He wants all valued parts of Judea and Samaria unlawfully annexed, Palestinians dispossessed for Jews-only development.

He’s losing the fight for his political life and ability to remain free from incarceration.

A psychopathological liar, he falsely called criminal charges against him fabricated, “an attempted government coup against the prime minister through blood libels and a biased investigation process (sic).”

According to Israel’s Channel 12, he’s losing Likud support, saying senior party members admit that “the Netanyahu era is over,” plotting behind the scenes to remove him as party leader following AG Mandelbit’s indictment.

A Channel 13 report was similar, Likudniks saying: “We are trying to figure out how to wrest the party from his hands.”

Senior party members reportedly are seeking consensus on who should replace him.

Channel 12 and 13 said Mandelblit won’t demand he resign as prime minister unless convicted, but will insist he relinquish four ministerial posts he holds — agriculture, health, social and diaspora affairs.

Until recently, he also held the foreign affairs and war ministry portfolios.

On Friday, Ynet News said Mandelblit will likely issue a legal opinion, saying “significant legal difficulties” stand in the way of affording him a mandate to form a new government — given serious charges he faces.

Though Israeli law permits an indicted prime minister to remain in office unless convicted, the issue was never judicially ruled on in Israeli history.

Its Supreme Court may have final say on it given serious wrongdoing Netanyahu is charged with, making him politically damaged goods.

According to a Friday published poll, 56% of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign. Only 35% support his staying on as prime minister.

According to Israeli Law Professor Suzie Navot: “All of the questions that we are dealing with now are new questions for Israel. We’ve never been in this situation. It’s unprecedented.”

Labor party leader Amir Peretz said lawyers representing the party will petition Israel’s Supreme Court to order Netanyahu’s removal as prime minister because he’s an obstacle to resolving the election standoff while under indictment.

He may be losing US establishment media support. The NYT accused him of “attack(ing) his country’s institutions,” adding:

“(H)e turned viciously on the police and prosecutors, urging Israelis to ‘investigate the investigators,’ warning of an ‘attempted coup’ and vowing not to step down.” 

“It was a hard conspiracy theory to swallow, as the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, had been appointed by Mr. Netanyahu and had once been his cabinet secretary.”

Separately, the Times said if Netanyahu’s “allies don’t make him stand down, we are headed for chaos,” adding:

“The right way out of this sorry situation is for Mr. Netanyahu’s party and his allies to step up — and tell the prime minister it is time to step down.”

“Some (Netanyahu) supporters are sticking by him, while others are wavering.”

“(S)ome rock-solid Netanyahu voters who expressed doubts about the criminal charges said that it was untenable for him to try to continue in office while he defends himself in court.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that “Netanyahu faces growing frustrations in his Likud party,” adding:

Members are “increasingly calling for a leadership vote as they question Mr. Netanyahu’s ability to lead them to victory in a new vote.” 

“On Friday, some members of Likud’s governing body said the party should hold primaries to choose a new leader that could try to form a new government to avert a third election and give Mr. Netanyahu time to address his legal issues.”

He can’t deal with legal proceedings against him, run Likud, and govern as Israeli prime minister at the same time.

The Journal cited Likudnik MK Yoav Kisch, saying primaries are inevitable to decide who leads the party ahead.

“Other Likud members also acknowledged a growing frustration with Mr. Netanyahu’s legal struggles and its harm to the party’s electoral fortunes,” the Journal reported.

“Other Likud members also acknowledged a growing frustration with Mr. Netanyahu’s legal struggles and its harm to the party’s electoral fortunes.”

Haaretz editors called for him to “go home now,” adding: “Anyone who expected a modicum of proper conduct from the prime minister saw once again his colossal irresponsibility,” adding: 

“Netanyahu proved that Israel is not his top priority, but rather a means for him to continue in office.”

Separately, Haaretz said he “won’t go quietly and will opt for the burning torches.”

Resolving his political and legal status has a long way to go, the likelihood of his remaining PM and prevailing judicially weak at best.

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