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Why do Central European nationalists love Israel?

Central European leaders view Mr. Netanyahu as a close ally. For his part, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated relationships with Central European populist leaders. It is widely believed in the region that in order for a leader of a small Central European country to get an invitation to visit the White House, he should either buy a lot of American military equipment or Mr Netanyahu should lobby for the visit. Many of the founders of the Jewish state were from Central and Eastern Europe and their political imagination was shaped by the politics of the newly independent states that emerged in the region after World War I. It has preserved the heroic ethos of sacrifice in the name of the nation that nationalist politicians covet for their own societies. Central and Eastern Europeans see Israel as the only Western society that is winning the population war by reversing the trend of demographic decline. Central European nationalists’ fascination with Israel East European populists also share Mr. Netanyahu’s mistrust in anything that appears post-national or hints of cosmopolitanism. They agree with Yoram Hazony, a conservative Israeli political philosopher and Netanyahu supporter who is the author of the influential ‘The Virtue of Nationalism,’ who says that the major political clash in world history is neither between classes nor nations, but between nationalists who believe that the nation state is the best form of political organisation and imperialists who advocate for universal empire. Mr Orban sees much to admire there. Populist leaders in Central Europe view Israel as the model of how a small state could be sovereign and heroic.

Letter to the Editor: Politics professor responds to Ithacan editorial

Thank you for your editorial on IC Loves Israel Day pointing out that the name is politicized and misleading, hence inappropriate (April 18). I would have said as much had I accepted The Ithacan’s invitation to share my thoughts on the subject, but I didn’t. I feel it shouldn’t fall largely to Muslim critics of Israel’s policies to do the work of pointing out what should be obvious to anyone with a conscience: that the Israeli state has dispossessed Palestinian people, occupied their territories, and feels no compunction using disproportionate violence against them. (I distinguish between the Jewish people and the state of Israel since plenty of Jewish people are also critics of the state’s policies.) I also hesitated to say anything because Muslims who support the right of Palestinian people to their homes and homeland are invariably dubbed anti-Semitic, as I have been, and as was Ilhan Omar in a recent op-ed in The Ithacan. For that matter, Jewish critics of Israel’s policies are routinely labeled self-hating. It is terribly wearisome to be slandered in this way. Surely, loving Israel does not carry with it an obligation to support colonizing, dehumanizing and terrorizing the Palestinian people or impugning and silencing those who speak up against such practices. Asma Barlas Professor Department of Politics 328 Muller Center

Europe urged to reject US Middle East plan if it is unfair to Palestinians

High-ranking former European politicians have condemned the Trump administration’s one-sided Israel-Palestine policy and called in a letter for Europe to reject any US Middle East peace plan unless it is fair to Palestinians. The letter, sent to the Guardian, the EU and European governments, was signed by 25 former foreign ministers, six former prime ministers, and two former Nato secretary generals. Europe must stand by the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine | Letter Read more Europe, it said, should reject any plan that does not create a Palestinian state alongside Israel with Jerusalem as the capital for both countries. Since taking office, and amid praise from Israel’s government, Trump has taken measures seen as both punishing to Palestinians and which also stifle the viability of a Palestinian state. Friedman told the pro-Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington last month that Trump was “Israel’s greatest ally ever to reside in the White House” and now was the time to push through a plan as his administration understood Israel should have permanent military control over the Palestinian territories. On Tuesday, Netanyahu won the Israeli election and is expected to secure a fifth term in office by forging a coalition government from rightwing and pro-settler parties. A few days before the polls, the prime minister said that, if he won, he planned to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move Palestinians see as the end of their hopes for a state as there would be no unbroken land on which to build it. There aren’t going to be any settlers or settlements that are going to be torn. Queried about Netanyahu’s annexation plans, Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said they would not damage the undisclosed peace plan, hinting the US proposal did not envision Palestinian statehood. “I think that the vision that we’ll lay out is going to represent a significant change from the model that’s been used,” said Pompeo, who has previously stated he believes, as a Christian, it was possible God made Trump president to save the Jewish people.
Israel fails to land spacecraft on the moon

Israel fails to land spacecraft on the moon

Beresheet probe crash-lands on the moon; Phil Keating reports. #ShepSmith #FoxNews FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, and the direct-to-consumer streaming service, FOX Nation. FOX News…

Judeo-Christian Politics … in Israel?

“We are the only party to give Christian and Messianic candidates parity in the candidates’ list,” said Avi Lipkin, the Orthodox Jewish head of the Bible Bloc Party, known as Gush Hatankhi in Hebrew. “For the first time in 2,000 years, Jews and Christians are … brethren and allies.” In Israel’s proportional system, a party must claim at least 3.25 percent of the nearly 6.4 million eligible voters—so roughly 200,000 votes total—in order to enter parliament. The Bible Bloc only won 367. 4 was a Messianic Jew; No. “Our goal is to establish a strategic Jewish-Christian alliance to stand up for all Jews and Christians around the world who are facing the threat of terrorism,” said the Bible Bloc ad, “as well as to preserve Judeo-Christian culture around the world and in the State of Israel.” Lipkin identified roughly 520,000 potential voters for his party, drawn from Israel’s Russian, Arabic Christian, and Messianic Jewish communities—and the Christians who have married into them. He also hoped their Arab candidate could better represent Christians. And CT reported in 2015 how 75 percent of evangelical leaders identified as “Arab Israeli,” rather than “Palestinian.” But Arab Christian support for the Bible Bloc is nil, said Botrus Mansour, co-chair of the Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation in Israel/Palestine, citing other recent research showing Christians, like Muslims, oppose Israeli policies that divide the Arab community on the basis of religion. A Haaretz poll found 27 percent of Israelis support full annexation also of the West Bank; 42 percent support some annexation, and only 28 percent oppose integrating any Palestinian territory into Israel proper. Critical of Netanyahu’s government, Cowen is a member of the Yesh Atid party, which merged with Gantz’s Blue and White. “Messianic Jews and Arab Christians should get involved in politics but join broader-based and more popular parties,” he said.

Israel’s political kaleidoscope

One showed that the opposition Blue and White party of Benny Gantz had a clear lead. Two others showed it was tied with Likud, the party of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. This fragmentation is partly because of the sheer diversity of a country made up of Jews and Arabs, Jews of European and Middle Eastern origins, and Jews of varying degrees of piety. The next prime minister will be the leader of the party who can form a majority coalition. Despite its ever-shifting political landscape, Israel has known some form of two-party alternation. In 1977, though, the more nationalist Likud party dethroned Labour and formed its own coalition of right-wing and religious parties. Especially in the 1990s, power passed between Labour and Likud every few years. If he wins a fifth election victory, Mr Netanyahu may yet become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, beating the record of the country’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion. Israel’s last Labour prime minister, Ehud Barak, left office in January 2001. In today’s election, for the first time, some young Israeli voters will have never have known a Labour prime minister.

Israel’s identity politics is failing voters

On almost every issue on the agenda, most Israelis think, one thing and vote, the opposite. 81% of the Jews in Israel support equality for all streams in Judaism and 60% of the Israelis support an easier conversion process. Some 50% of those who define themselves as religious support civil marriage while half of those defined as Orthodox support a core curriculum in all Orthodox learning institutions. But it seems that on primary issues, before we bring up the political controversy, surveys referred to here, do reflect public opinion reliably, since multiple surveys were done by multiple pollsters. Only 10% support annexation of the West Bank according to the Institute of Nations Security Studies (INSS). Even considering sampling errors, The conclusion must be that there is a large gap between the positions of the right-wing coalition, which is now and may continue to be in power, and the majority of the public. Tomorrow the Israeli public will vote. Some surveys, show that the attitudes of Israeli Arabs are much more moderate than those of the Arab political parties. It turns out that both Arabs and Jews treat their parties a bit like a soccer team. When Israelis, Arabs and Jews, vote according to their true positions, common interests will prevail.
Stein: Netanyahu's friendship with Trump may help him win re-election

Stein: Netanyahu’s friendship with Trump may help him win re-election

The impact on the race of the prime minister’s friendship with President Trump. FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, and the direct-to-consumer streaming service, FOX Nation.…