Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
“Israel Hayom”, January 25, 2013, http://bit.ly/Y3fD7w
The political system
The January 22, 2013 Israeli election highlighted the urgent need to overhaul Israel’s entire political system, not just the proportional electoral system.
34 parties participated in the proportional election, and 12 parties (including anti-Israel parties) will be represented in the next unicameral 120 member legislature, the Knesset. The more fragmented the Knesset, the more difficult it is for the Prime Minister to establish – and to manage – the governing multi-party coalition. The Israeli political system is replete with mid-size and small-size parties, devoid of any large-size parties. Therefore, the political system tends to be volatile and unmanageable, lending itself to short-lived governments and early elections. (Read more…)
ALL THE MORE REASON TO EMBRACE THE LEVY REPORT
Jerusalem rejects ‘biased’ Human Rights Council finding that West Bank Jewish communities are illegal
TIMES OF ISRAEL January 31, 2013, 2:36 pm 4
JTA — A United Nations investigation into the impact of Jewish West Bank settlements on the Palestinian population said that Israel should immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from the territory.
The report issued Thursday by the UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva said that settlement violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions and that failure to withdraw could lead to a finding of war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
By Jonathan S. Tobin, COMMENTARY
As we noted last week, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s attempt to explain his anti-Semitic and anti-American televised rant to a group of visiting American senators was that his claim that Israelis were “the descendants of apes and pigs” was taken out of context. That was bad enough but as it turns out the first reports about the meeting fell far short of conveying just how offensive Morsi’s rationalization of hate was. As Josh Rogin reported yesterday at Foreign Policy’s blog The Cable, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware who was at the meeting said the Morsi implied that Jewish control of the media was the reason why he was being called to account for his hate speech.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2013,
Binyamin Netanyahu starts coalition talks
The new arrival to Israeli politics, Yair Lapid and his Future (Yesh Atid) party, have kicked off the bargaining to join Binyamin Netanyahu’s next government armed with a substantial shopping list for jobs and other demands. DEBKAfile’s political sources report he is claiming the foreign ministry for himself and the right to veto the prime minister’s choice of defense minister in case it is Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s partner as co-leader of Likud-Beitenu.
If Lieberman is kept from his old job as foreign minister, he has told Netanyahu he wants Defense.
Lapid is also refusing to sit in the same government as Shas leader Arie Deri, who served time for fraud – although he does not disqualify the Shas party per se.
The other newcomer, Naftali Bennett, head of Jewish Home (12 seats), has so far posted a single demand for the Religious Affairs portfolio.