Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party has hired a former strategist for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in hopes of strengthening its campaign to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud in the upcoming September 17 election/Allison Kaplan Sommer, HAARETZ
Joel Benenson is a leading Democratic strategist and pollster who served as a senior strategist for Barack Obama‘s successful presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, as well as Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist in 2016, when she lost to President Donald Trump.
AIWA! NO!||Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward a historic fifth term as Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday, with close-to-complete unofficial election results giving his right-wing Likud and other nationalist and religious parties a solid majority in parliament.
The outcome affirmed Israel’s continued tilt to the right and further dimmed hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Re-election will also give Netanyahu an important boost as he braces for the likelihood of criminal charges in a series of corruption scandals.
With 97.4% of the vote counted, Likud and its traditional political allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in parliament. A couple of small parties were still teetering along the electoral threshold and fighting for their survival, so the final makeup of the next parliament has yet to be decided. Final results were expected Thursday.
Two of his potential allies, hawkish former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and economic-centric Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, have yet to formally confirm they would sit with Netanyahu and could emerge as wildcards. In any case, the country now faces what could be weeks of political negotiations over the composition of a ruling coalition.
Damascus condemned on Friday U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement that it was time for the to recognition of Israeli sovereignty on Golan Heights, declaring Syria would recover the area using “all available means”.
Syria expressed outrage and said it was determined to recover the area “through all available means”.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Trump’s statement had brought the region to the edge of a new crisis. In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Erdogan said: “We cannot allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights”.
Syria’s state news agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying Trump showed “the blind bias of the United States” towards Israel.
“The Golan is a territory occupied by Israel since 1967. France does not recognize the Israeli annexation of 1981,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a daily briefing, according to Reuters.
“The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognize an illegal situation.”
It did not change “the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab”, the source said.
“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the source said, adding that Mr Trump’s statement was “irresponsible” and showed “contempt” for international law.
Russia’s foreign ministry said Mr Trump’s statement was a direct violation of United Nations decisions, RIA news agency said.
Mr Trump said on Thursday that it was time to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in 1967, marking a dramatic shift in US policy and giving a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign.
The disputed area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.
Israel will be holding general elections on April 9. The country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is backed into a corner due to corruption accusations, wants to win the elections by establishing an alliance with the most radical groups of Israel’s rightists. The alliance that Netanyahu, who is up against strong competitors, formed with the racist “Jewish Force” and “Jewish Home,” divided the Israeli lobby in the US – Abdullah Muradoğlu, YENISAFAK
As is known, U.S President Donald Trump had a peace plan, which he describes as the “deal of the century,” prepared to be a final solution to the “Palestine issue.” However, the details of this plan are yet to be announced to the public. The plan implemented by Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser Jared Kushner, has, for months, turned into the case of the blind man describing the elephant. Trump had postponed the announcement of the plan till after the April 9 elections in Israel. Trump did not want the so-called peace plan to turn into a referendum at the elections. This is how Trump’s excuse to postpone the announcement has been explained.
The outline of Trump’s plan is drawn not by a team that is unbiased toward the parties involved, but by a small, strict group known to be pro-Israel. The Palestinian sides withdrew from the meetings due to Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Diplomatic ties between Palestine and the U.S. are broken. The Trump administration took pro-Israel decisions the previous U.S. governments could not dare to do. The U.S.’s Israel embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the financial contribution the U.S. made to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees was cancelled; and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington office was closed. The U.S. also withdrew from the UN’s UNESCO and Human Rights Council as it took decisions that disturbed Israel.
In addition to the sanctions on the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the law package including a $38-billion military aid to Israel was also approved in the U.S. Senate. If the package passes the approval stages in Congress, it will be enacted. By withdrawing from the “Iran Nuclear Deal,” Trump fulfilled another demand of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bringing out a law that identifies Israel as a “Jewish state,” Netanyahu reduced an Arab population of close to 2 million to second class citizens. Trump remained silent in the face of this fait accompli.
In exchange for the favors his did for Netanyahu, Trump is waiting for Israel to approve the peace plan he states is the “deal of the century.” However, Netanyahu has not given any positive signal with respect to the project. On the contrary, he made statements indicating that he will not approve of a Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem, and that he will make no compromise on the settlement in the West Bank. Certain Zionist writers are warning that the plan is harmful in terms of Israel.
One of Netanyahu’s signs that he will interrupt Trump’s peace plan was his election alliance with three minor parties that are known for being Jewish racists. Netanyahu’s cooperation with these parties that are affiliated with the “Meir Kahane” movement, which is on the U.S.’s terrorist organizations list, is bad news for Trump’s peace plan. These parties, which do not intend to give even a pebble to Palestinians from Palestine’s territory, entering the Israeli parliament, or taking place in the Israeli government, is one of the most serious obstacles standing before Trump’s plan.
The main organizations of the Israeli lobby in the U.S. also made statements criticizing Netanyahu’s alliance move. According to some commentators, this alliance is equivalent to the U.S. president striking a deal with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). In the case that Netanyahu wins the elections, there is no likelihood that a coalition government with these parties will take a positive approach to Trump’s peace plan. This alliance move has shown what Netanyahu, who got Trump to do everything he wanted until now, cannot make Trump do too.
If Netanyahu loses in the April 9 elections, will the new government take a positive approach to Trump’s Palestine plan? Whether is a government with Netanyahu, or another government, can Trump apply serious pressure for Israel to accept the U.S.’s plan? Or will the “deal of the century” end in a fiasco? It is too soon to see what Trump has up his sleeve, but we can say that a great uproar will break out in Israel after April 9.
President Doland Trump said on Thursday, ahead of a decision by Israel’s attorney general on whether to indict Benjamin Netanyahu of corruption, that the latter “has done a great job as prime minister.”
Speaking at a press conference in Vietnam following a second summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Trump was asked about the upcoming indictment decision. “He’s tough, smart, strong,” the president said on Netanyahu.
The U.S. president then spoke of his plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a plan said to be unveiled following Israel’s April 9 general election.
“All my life I heard that the toughest of all deals – and everyone loves deals – would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “They say it’s the impossible deal, I’d love to be able to produce it.”
Speaking about the plan, Trump mentioned the military aid Israel is receiving from the United States and the U.S. aid cut to the Palestinians. “We were paying the Palestinians a lot of money and we ended that a couple of years ago because they weren’t saying the right things. And they’ve been much better. We have a great shot at peace.”
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is expected to announce Thursday his decision on whether to charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, subject to a hearing, in the three criminal investigations pending against him.
In Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of providing regulatory concessions to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq telecommunications, in exchange for favorable coverage from Bezeq’s news website, Walla, Mendelblit is expected to announce an indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
In Case 1000, in which the prime minister is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy business figures in violation of the law, the PM is expected to be charged with fraud and breach of trust.
Charges are also expected to be filed in Case 2000, which centers on negotiations between the prime minister and Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, allegedly involving limiting the circulation of the rival Yisrael Hayom daily in exchange for favorable coverage for the prime minister. It is not yet clear what charges Mendelblit will file against the prime minister for that case. Mendelblit is also expected to announce plans to charge Mozes in that case.