Liberals should follow Yair Netanyahu’s dating saga closely. Not because of what it tells us about him, but because of what it tells us about ourselves, writes Emily L. Hauser.
The son of Benjamin Netanyahu is not dating a non-Jewish Norwegian girl, an official in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office reportedly told the head of the haredi Orthodox Shas party.
Israel’s latest announcement of permits for 1,200 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has stirred a hornets’ nest of angry responses. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said it could undermine the negotiating process before it’s even started. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said America does “not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity” and had communicated its “concerns” to the Israeli government. And Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid wrote in a scathing blog post today that Bibi Netanyahu still hasn’t decided whether he’s ready to “cross the Rubicon.”
Israel’s Shas Party has long been a pillar of the right wing. After the election earthquake that bounced it from power, the party is making an unexpected — and sharp — turn to the left.
Shas, the Sephardic Orthodox Israeli political party founded by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is experiencing what looks increasingly like an internal power struggle. The rebels represent something that most people didn’t even know existed: the party’s progressive wing.