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Israeli People & Politics

Israel’s close Netanyahu-Gantz vote is a victory for democracy by Yossi Klein Halevi, Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2019Israel's 22 Knesset, September 2019

Israel is neither Bibi nor the United States by Daniel Gordis, The Times of Israel, August 21, 2019

If you evaluate Israeli politics through the prism of American democracy, you will be disappointed (and embarrassed). You will also miss what Israel is all about

As the PA and Jordan foment riots, Israeli Arab imams preach peace by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, August 14, 2019

Most Israeli Arabs shun violence. Indeed, just last month, defense officials reported that terrorist activity among Israeli Arabs—never high to begin with—has dropped sharply.

The opportunity presented by the Arab political crisis by Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, July 23, 2019

Zionist parties must return to the Arab street and incorporate Arabs in their Knesset lists, not just to earn their votes come Election Day but to make them legitimate and long-term political partners.

A case study in why Israel’s democracy is alive and well by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, July 17, 2019

The true measure of whether a democracy is functioning properly isn’t whether problems exist; they always will. Rather, it’s whether democracy’s self-correcting mechanisms are working effectively to mitigate those problems.

Betting on Avigdor Liberman by Evan Gottesman, Israel Policy Forum, Israel Policy Exchange, June 20, 2019

Israel’s drive for legal reform won’t disappear when Netanyahu does by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, June 5, 2019

Too many legislators and voters have seen policies they cared about nixed merely because unelected justices or an unelected attorney general decided to substitute their own policy judgments for those of the elected government.

If You Like Israeli Elections, It’s Your Lucky Day by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, May 30, 2019

Best of Both Worlds for Netanyahu? by Seth Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2019

Israel’s New Election Is an Opportunity for Its Arabs by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, May 30, 2019

The idea of Netanyahu forming a coalition with Arab parties was a joke this week in the Knesset. What if it wasn’t?

No Illusions, No Despair by David M. Weinberg, The Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2019

A new national security plan says avoid risky diplomatic escapades and prepare for war.

No, Israel isn’t a country of privileged and powerful white Europeans by Hen Mazzig, The Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2019

From Ben-Gurion to Netanyahu: The Evolution of Israel’s National Security Strategy by Jacob Nagel and Jonathan Schanzer, Foundation for Defense of Democracy, May 13, 2019

Should Bereaved Israelis and Palestinians Grieve Together? by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, May 9, 2019

How to destroy Jewish and democratic values in one easy step by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, April 10, 2019

The problem isn’t racism, it’s the electoral system by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, March 13, 2019

Many Israelis are willing to tolerate a racist party in the Knesset because they fear that the alternative is a government that will make life-threatening territorial concessions. And when voters think human life is at stake, telling them to “just say no” won’t work.

Netanyahu Is Now Attacking His Own Democracy by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, March 13, 2019

Faced with the possibility of losing his post, Israel’s prime minister makes stunning claims.

Netanyahu Already Won by Rabbi Kaufman, We Are for Israel, March 6, 2019

Time for Netanyahu to Go by Bret Stephens, The New York Times, March 1, 2019

The Party of Israel’s Past Languishes Without a Vision for the Future by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, January 24, 2019

Netanyahu isn’t loved, but his opposition hasn’t presented a strong alternative.

Everybody loses from the left’s false narrative about Netanyahu by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, January 16, 2019

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff of Israeli Election Politics by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, January 3, 2019

If this week is indicative of what is to come, Israeli politics will remain the world’s best reality show.

Israel’s Political Balagan by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, November 15, 2018

While Israel is accustomed to political upheaval, this week was unusual even by Israeli standards. It began with a botched operation in Gaza and with southern Israel blanketed with Hamas rockets, continued with an unusual Jerusalem mayoral election, and culminated with Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation as defense minister and the unofficial kickoff of the next Knesset election campaign. While not all of these events are directly related, they are linked in that they will all determine to a large degree the composition and direction of the next government.

Now it’s our turn to save Israel by Daniel Gordis, The Jerusalem Post, August 23, 2018

Like most of our immigrant friends, we have not a shred of regret about having come. It was the best decision we made in our entire lives.

Israeli Arabs and Jews Drive Past Another Turning Point by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, August 20, 2018

An opportunity to come together to protest the controversial nation-state law dissolves into ugly Palestinian chants.

The Nation-State Law and Israel’s Challenge by Daniel Gordis, The Jerusalem Post, August 10, 2018

Israel’s New Right-Left Divide by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, August 9, 2018

Hold the heated rhetoric, please by David M. Weinberg, The Jerusalem Post, August 3, 2018

Everything You’ve Heard about Israel’s Nation State Bill Is Wrong by David Hazony, The Forward, July 23, 2018 (see also The Nation State Law and its Detractors by Rabbi Phil Cohen, We Are For Israel, July 23, 2018)

Thursday the rabbis defied the spirit of Judaism by David Horovitz, The Times of Israel, July 18, 2018 (see also Soul-Searching After a Rabbi Was Detained in Israel by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, July 23, 2018)

For decades, Israel wisely managed to reconcile democratic principles with respect for the faith that sustained Jews in exile. A rabbi’s detention shows that wisdom is ebbing away

Israel proves exceptional, once again by Evelyn Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, April 11, 2018

The very existence of a Jewish state, whatever its flaws, is grounds for rejoicing.

Celebrating the argument by Einat Wilf with Shany Mor, Fathom, March 2018

What Just Happened With Israel’s Elections Crisis? by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, March 15, 2018

Don’t Count Bibi Out — Yet by Bret Stephens, The New York Times, February 23, 2018

Netanyahu’s foreign critics are demanding that he replicate on a large scale [in the West Bank] what has failed catastrophically on a smaller scale [in Gaza].

The Demand for Sovereignty Over Judea and Samaria Is a Waste of Zionist Energy by Efraim Inbar, Jewish News Service, February 20, 2018

Invoking Rabin, Labor’s Gabbay says he’s the decisive leader Israel needs as PM by David Horovitz, The Times of Israel, December 27, 2017

Netanyahu’s challenger says 10 years of playing the blame game with Abbas hasn’t helped anybody, Israel mustn’t alienate US Democrats, and the tide of corruption starts at the top

Israeli Arabs’ Growing Israeli Identity by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, October 17, 2017

Court Forces Israel to Face Its Ultra-Orthodox Problem by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, September 14, 2017

Minorities by Ira Sharkansky, The Jerusalem Post, August 3, 2017

What the Labor Party Primary Says about Israel’s Consensus by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, July 14, 2017

Pass the nation-state bill by David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, May 12, 2017 (see also Full text of MK Avi Dichter’s 2017 ‘Jewish State’ bill by Raoul Wootliff, The Times of Israel, May 10, 2017)

Bill would reject all conversions in Israel but those performed by Chief Rabbinate, JTA, May 11, 2017

Only those who have been converted by the Reform and Conservative movement abroad are recognized now as Jewish for the purpose of immigration to Israel.

Israeli democracy is not at risk by David M. Weinberg, The Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2017

The Left That Cried Wolf by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, November 6, 2016

The Obligations of States and Citizens by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, Koplow Column, October 6, 2016

Burkini Bans and Jewish Democracy by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, August 29, 2016

Israel’s Culture War Is Getting Ugly by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, July 26, 2016

An Institutional Explanation for Political Cynicism: On the Recent Changes in Coalition in Israel by Reut Itzkovitch-Malka, Israel Policy Forum/Matzav Blog, June 21, 2016

The Israel Narrative Is Wrong by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, June 20, 2016

The Return of Bernard Lewis by Martin Kramer, Mosaic, June 1, 2016

Forty years ago, nobody foresaw the rise of radical Islam—except for the preeminent historian who both predicted and explained it, and much else besides

Israel’s Socialist Dreams vs. Capitalist Realities by Steven Plaut, Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2016

What Israel’s New Coalition Means by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, May 18, 2016

Israel’s Hottest TV Show Is All Black Hats and Beards by Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, February 26, 2016

Two seasons in, Israeli TV drama ‘Shtisel’ offers fervently Orthodox viewers a cathartic glimpse into their own community

The Sad State of the Two State Debate by Rabbi Kaufman, We Are for Israel, January 20, 2016

Where You Stand Depends On Where You Sit by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, January 7, 2016

All Politics Is Local, U.S. Visit Edition by Michael J. Koplow, Israel Policy Forum, December 17, 2015

It’s a Happy Israel, After All by Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, June 10, 2015

Israel’s President Sings a Different Tune by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, May 31, 2015

Israeli Voters Reacted to the Threats They Face by Jonathan Schanzer, The New York Times, May 8, 2015

Israeli Arabs press their MKs to focus more on domestic issues by Evelyn Gordon, The Jerusalem Post, April 28, 2015

Reform and Conservative Judaism Have Failed in Israel. And It’s Their Own Fault by Liam Hoare, The Tower Issue 24, March 201519th Knesset

Israel’s Left-Wing Right Wing by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, March 2015

The Role of the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s Election Results by Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, March 18, 2015

The Half-Full Cup of Jewish-Arab Relations by Evelyn C. Gordon, Commentary, March 14, 2015

Pushing a false choice between Jewish and democratic by Evelyn Gordon, The Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2015

65 Percent of Israeli Arabs Say They’re Proud to Be Israeli by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, January 8, 2015

Haredim and the State: A Possible Turning Point by Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem, January 6, 2015

Armed and Ready for Synagogue in Israel by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, December 17, 2014

Netanyahu Loses His Grip by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, December 3, 2014

A war for the soul of Israel’s Arab community by Evelyn Gordon, Jerusalem Post, November 23, 2014

The One-State Reality by David Remnick, The New Yorker, November 17, 2014

The high poverty rate and other Israeli myths by Evelyn Gordon, Jerusalem Post, November 3, 2014

Israel’s Overdue Reckoning With Its Arab Citizens by Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg View, October 28, 2014

Using a Double Standard on Hate Crimes to Bash Israel by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, October 8, 2014

The new politics of Israel’s ‘Minister of Facebook Affairs’ by Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor, September 23, 2014

Stuck in the ‘90s: Israel’s peace camp is losing public interest by Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor, August 18, 2014

When the Guns Fall Silent by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2014

Because They Were Jews by Daniel Gordis, New York Daily News, July 3, 2014 (on the murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer, and Naftali Frenkel)

Inching Back Toward Tradition by Gary Rosenblatt, Jewish Week, June 18, 2014

It’s about Israelis becoming Jewish, not the secular becoming religious.

The Myth of Ethnic Inequality in Israel by Steven Plaut, Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2014

Jewish Population by Religiosity

#BringBackOurConscience by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, May 15, 2014

The quiet rise of the Israeli center by Yossi Klein Halevi, Times of Israel, March 23, 2014

What lies behind ultra-Orthodox embrace of Labor leader? By Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, March 12, 2014

Putting All Israelis to Work by Naftali Bennett, New York Times, February 20, 2014

Israel at a Point of No Return – In the Right Direction by David P. Goldman, PJ Media, February 12, 2014

Looking for the center by Ira Sharkansky, Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2014

The peace process and the fear factor by Barry Shaw, The View from Israel, February 2, 2014

The Impatient Israeli Political Left by David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, January 28, 2014

Leap of Faith: Israel’s National Religious and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, International Crisis Group, Middle East Report N°147, November 21 2013

How Israeli society remained intact by Yossi Klein Halevi, Times of Israel, October 22, 2013

Israel’s Next Best Thing? It’s Bibi by Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, October 22, 2013

Time Favors Israel: The Resilient Jewish State by Efraim Inbar, Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2013

Israel: Jewish and Democratic by Prof. Gil Troy and Martin J. Raffel, Jewish Federations of North America/Israel Action Network, August 2013

Can the Israeli Center Hold?, by Justin Finkelstein, Foreign Policy Research Institute, FPRI E-Notes, August 2013

The Right Moment for Israel’s Danny Danon? by Daniel Pipes, The Washington Times, August 5, 2013

I Have No Chief Rabbi by Yossi Klein Halevi, Shalom Hartman Institute, August 4, 2013

Surprise! Israeli “Racism” Is Waning by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, July 3, 2014

Still Playing by the Rules: The Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel 2012 by Sammy Smooha, The Israel Democracy Institute/University of Haifa, 2013 [pdf] [See also analysis, Poll: Majority of Israeli Arabs Support Another Intifada by Gil Ronen, Israel and Stuff, June 25, 2013]

Time to Change the Israel Conversation by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2013

In 1762, more than a century before Theodor Herzl launched political Zionism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, writing in Emile, said, “I shall never believe I have heard the arguments of the Jews until they have a free state, schools and universities, where they can speak and dispute without risk. Only then will we know what they have to say.” Today, we have a free state. We have schools and universities. But we’re not having the conversation that Rousseau imagined we would.

Even Israel’s Far Left Thinks EU-Kerry Approach Is Wrong by Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, June 15, 2013

How to be an optimist in the Middle East by Tal Becker, Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2013

Diversity Makes Life Rich: An Ordinary Day in Israel by Diana Bletter, Huffington Post, May 20, 201319th Knesset

The Courage to Serve: A Chareidi Woman in the IDF by Fayga Marks, Jewish Action, March 4, 2013

Israel’s Arabs: Deprived or Radicalized? by Efraim Karsh, Israel Affairs, January 2013

Stand Tall: We’re Winning, Not Losing by Alon Pinkas, Israel Policy Forum, August 30, 2012

Israel must punish rabbis who preach hatred by Anat Hoffman, JTA, August 27, 2012

The Fading Left and Israel’s Flourishing Democracy by Shmuel Sandler and Efraim Inbar, BESA Center Perspectives Paper, August 16, 2012

Healing Haredi work ethics by David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, August 12, 2012

The New York Times: Misreading Israeli Democracy by Daniel Gordis, Haaretz, July 26, 2012

A Dose of Nuance: Our hope (for what?) is not yet lost by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, May 17, 2012

Israel’s Arabs, Living a Paradox by Daniel Pipes, The Washington Times, March 22, 2012

No, Israel Isn’t Turning into an Iran-Style Theocracy by Gil Troy, The New Republic, February 2, 2012

Can the Center Hold? Understanding Israel’s Pragmatic Majority by Yossi Klein Halevi, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012

Into the Fray: A nation betrayed? by Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, November 18, 2011

The list of the Left’s blunders is depressingly lengthy. It has been hopelessly wrong about… well, everything.

Decency Abhors A Vacuum by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2011

The Opposition We Really Need by Daniel Gordis, Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2011

Israel’s Evolving Security Concept by Meron Medzini, The Middle East Review of International Affairs at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary University, MERIA Journal Vol. 14, No. 4, December 2010

The undeniable Jewish state by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, October 17, 2010

Ethiopian Israelis, the right of return, and accusations of racism by Adam Levick, CiF Watch, October 14, 2010

Many countries provide immigration privileges to individuals with ethnic/familial ties to these countries (so-called ”leges sanguinis”). As examples: Bulgaria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Poland, Romania, S. Korea, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine, all have citizenship laws based partly or largely on this principle – that is, a Right of Return of sorts for people determined to share a preferred common national trait. Apart from France, ”jus sanguinis” still is the preferred means of passing on citizenship in many continental European countries, with benefits of maintaining national unity (while not in any way necessarily denying equal civil rights for minorities within the country who have citizenship, but who don’t share such traits). So, in fact, Israel is not at all unique in seeking to maintain a nation unified by a citizenry who share a similar historical memory and a common sense of political & moral destiny.

Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People: From the San Remo Conference (1920) to the Netanyahu-Abbas Talks by Joshua Teitelbaum, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Jerusalem Viewpoints No. 579, September-October 2010