Benjamin Netanyahu is frantically seeking to placate right-wing voters amid reports he accepted the 1967 borders as the basis for talks with the Palestinians, J.J. Goldberg reports.
A furious war of words has erupted between IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz and Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen over the question: Did Hamas plan a war or stumble into it?
J.J. Goldberg unpacks Nahum Barnea’s powerful indictment of the way the Gaza war was managed, including its costs to Israel’s long-term security and political integrity.
The tunnels zigzagging beneath Gaza are a major front in both Israel’s military campaign — and the debate over it. J.J. Goldberg explains why it’s such an important story.
Amid the outpouring of tributes to Ariel Sharon, a few offer unexpected insights — some into the life and character of Sharon, others into the character of the writers, says J.J. Goldberg.
The race for chief rabbi of Israel has been getting ugly since the collapse of a proposed deal between Shas and Jewish Home to elect their respective favorites. The deal would have amended the Chief Rabbinate laws to permit a second term for the incumbent Sephardic chief rabbi, a Shas favorite, and eliminated the age limit to permit the election of a favorite of the hardline, pro-settler of Jewish Home. The deal collapsed over liberal support for a more moderate Ashkenazi contender, as well as opposition to anything that benefits Shas.
“Have the prime minister and defense minister sealed a deal between them, one on one, to attack the nuclear reactors in Iran?” So asks Nahum Barnea, commonly described as Israel’s senior and most respected political journalist, in an article leading the top of the front page of today’s Yediot Ahronot. He writes that growing rumors to that effect have created a quiet but urgent buzz within Israel’s political and military elites. They’re also troubling foreign governments, which “have a hard time understanding what is going on here”: a fateful decision that could “seal the fate of the Jewish state” for good or ill, and yet near-total silence on the topic in the public arena.
Apparently, all it took was a speech.
Bibi Netanyahu is due in Washington next week to address the annual AIPAC Policy Conference. Nahum Barnea of Yediot Ahronot, the lead political commentator at Israel’s largest-circulation newspaper and widely considered the dean of Israeli journalism, has some advice for him. If you’re relying on the Jewish right as your main base of support in the United States, you’re walking on thin ice. It’s a bad bet.