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Israel’s New Settler Government–Formed Just in Time for Obama Visit

The new Israeli cabinet announced today is a government of the settlers, by the settlers and for the settlers.  Of course, in the past government the settlers maintained dominance over all issues that concerned them.  But the new coalition will solidify such control.  Not only will there not now nor ever  be a settlement freeze, there will be massive increases in settlement construction.  This will also entail expanded thefts of Palestinian land.  There will no longer be illegal outposts.  There will only be sacred outposts on their way to becoming official settlements with the blessing of the government.

The most important position after prime minister is defense.  Manning that portfolio will be the settler’s favorite minister, Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon.  He deputy will be an MK, Zeev Elkin who is himself a settler.  Naftali Bennet, the Palestine-denying leader of Bayit Yehudi, will become Hasbara (Public Diplomacy in English) and Trade minister.  You can look forward to more of those wonderful YouTube videos in which a disembodied hand uses a magic marker to make the Palestinian problem disappear with a few lines and strokes of the pen.

Yair Lapid will take the finance portfolio and another Yesh Atid MK, Rabbi Shai Piron, will bump Gideon Saar, to become education minister.  Piron is the fellow who told his followers some years ago that they must not rent or sell property to Arabs.  He swears that he’s seen the error of his ways and doesn’t believe this any more.  But whether that’s real conviction or political expediency remains to be seen.  Saar will take the Interior portfolio.  Tzipi Livni will bring up the rear as Justice minister, while taking on the added responsibility of pretending to have an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Avigdor Lieberman will not be foreign minister until his legal problems evaporate.  Bibi will hold that job for him until he returns.

Speaking of Bibi, he appears weaker in this government than in the last.  He conceded many points and positions to his coalition partners and rivals.  He was forced to drastically reduce the number of ministers so he had less patronage to dispense.  While he’s still a masterful tactician, he may become increasingly irrelevant politically.  This could be the gradual sunset of Bibi’s political career.  Though it’s hard to count him out precisely yet.

All this happens with the background of Barack Obama’s upcoming first ever visit as president to Israel.  There are almost no expectations of anything substantive arising from his visit.  Tom Friedman, with his usual noblesse oblige, says that the Israel-Palestine peace process has become a “hobby” for Obama.  I couldn’t think of a more infelicitous choice of words.  But certainly expected from Tom Terrific.

The irony of a supposedly liberal U.S. leader arriving in a country that has just elected the most extremist government in its history shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

The U.S. embassy is trying to drum up interest in Obama’s speaking engagements by auctioning off tickets via Facebook.  They ask you to explain why you deserve to hear the president.  If I were interested in hearing Obama speak my pitch would shower the president with praise for adopting the worst of Israel’s anti-terror tactics and strategy and claiming that they honor the Constitution.  That really is a miracle of transformative rhetoric.

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{ 47 comments… add one }
  • mary March 14, 2013, 4:58 AM

    Obama is scheduled to lay a wreath on Theodor Herzl’s grave. This ought to tell us all we need to know about this visit. Will Obama ever stop groveling?

    • Davey March 14, 2013, 8:29 PM

      I can’t believe this. This is true?

      • mary March 15, 2013, 1:03 AM

        So saith the New York Times.

  • shachalnur March 14, 2013, 9:01 AM

    Lapid got a lot less than he could have demanded.
    And there’s still no coalition as of now.
    This coalition is based on mutual blackmail.
    Or this or Shas.
    What unites Lapid and Bennet is “sharing the burden”.(main vote getter and possible cause for civil confrontation inside Israel).
    An assault on religious judaism,the last part Religious Zionism(contradiction in terms)and their European Banker backers want to destroy.
    There’s a fight going on over who controls Israel;Israel or Banker controlled Lapid,Bennet,Livni,Stanley Fisher.
    This coalition can be toppled any moment,look at the opinion polls.
    New electionswill be the end of Nethanyahu,unless he starts a war.
    NATO-rebels taking control of Syrian side of Golan is a good opportunity for nethanyahu.
    This coalition is a fake and a prelude to a very instable goverment having to face Israel’s “friends”.
    Israel is being pushed into the Samson option,and with Bennet,livni and Lapid around this option is getting closer.

  • Joel March 14, 2013, 12:27 PM

    [comment deleted for comment rule violation]

    • yankel March 14, 2013, 2:00 PM

      “Israel was created by (God), If not then there is no right to the land at all”.
      Apparently even avid liars like you might find themselves uttering some inadvertent truth.

      • Joel March 14, 2013, 2:12 PM

        What was the lie Mr. Name caller from the 1st grade

        • shachalnur March 14, 2013, 4:04 PM

          For Joel.
          Ther’s nothing wrong with your believes,everyone can believe what he wants.
          But since you claim the Torah as a basis for the existence of the (Zionist) state of Israel,you should stick to the Torah;
          Rambam,Profet first,than the Meshiach,than the Jews will rule in Israel.
          Even muslims don’t have a problem with that order and result.
          Haridim,Netorei Karta,Satmar all agree;Zionist israel is not Judaism ,it is a political program that has nothing to do with Torah judaism and is gonna lead to a disaster ,like the Shoah,and they are warning for a repeat because the same people that created Zionism ,are the same ones pushing Israel into the Samson option.
          Religious Zionism is worse than any past ideology,because it’s Fascism/Racism with a supposed religious basis.
          Religious Zionism is unacceptable to the world and the mayority of Jews,and is nothing less than a program for the extermination of Judaism and Jews.
          So if you claim Jews have a right to Israel ,please base that on Torah Judaism ,and not on some British Banker invented program to use Judaism as a tool and a weapon towards a New World Order.

          • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:53 AM

            @Shachalnur:

            Religious Zionism is unacceptable to the world and the mayority of Jews,and is nothing less than a program for the extermination of Judaism and Jews.

            I find this comment objectionable. Read the comment rules and respect them. This sort of overstatement is reprehensible.

          • Joel March 18, 2013, 2:15 PM

            [Comment deleted–Religious evangelism is off limits here.]

    • Davey March 14, 2013, 8:28 PM

      Torah is the only basis for this theft? Torah was written in the time of David/Solomon, by Jews apparently. That’s the basis?

      • shachalnur March 14, 2013, 9:48 PM

        If you would read more carefull,you might see that I claim Torah is NOT the basis of “this theft”.
        “Torah” is more than what was written”in the time of David/Salomon”.
        You might not have enough knowledge to throw such strong opinions around.
        I leads to disinformation and over-simplification.
        A bit like Unitarianism.
        Having strong opinions based on limited knowledge, doesn’t only make you look silly,but you will be used by people more knowledgeable than you.

        • Davey March 14, 2013, 10:09 PM

          I wasn’t addressing you. As to your thoughts about my knowledge, poof!

  • Katy March 14, 2013, 12:54 PM

    And you criticize the Islamists for extreme religious fundamentalism, Joel? Sort your own back yard out first….

    • Joel March 14, 2013, 1:49 PM

      [comment deleted because it violated a number of major comment rules]

      • mary March 14, 2013, 3:06 PM

        God is not a real estate agent. He did not “give land” to the Jews or anybody else. And if you expect the world to abide by your fantasy, don’t hold your breath.

        • Joel March 14, 2013, 3:15 PM

          [comment deleted for comment rule violation]

          • Davey March 14, 2013, 8:24 PM

            There are people who believe that I created all the land and gave it all to the Arab peoples. It is evident that I exist and I am as good as my word because i have caused Arabs to inhabit the land for a very long time and….in addition, 2+2=4.

            If this idiocy is the face of Judaism, I’m a Unitarian.

          • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:50 AM

            @Joel: I do NOT need you to state what is written in the Torah nor to tell us what God did for the Jews.

            I’m going to put you on moderation. Once I believe you’ve read the comment rules & respect them I would be willing to revisit this decision.

        • Shoded Yam March 14, 2013, 3:45 PM

          “God is not a real estate agent.” Well duh. It should be quite obvious to anyone, that God is a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately he’s playing to an audience that ain’t laughing. lol. Except for me of course. ;-)

          • shachalnur March 14, 2013, 4:55 PM

            “Obvious to anyone G_d is a stand up comedian”.
            The name you use is Hebrew and it is derived from the word “Shod”.
            That means “violence” “havoc” “devastation” “ruin”.
            Utterly respectless remarks like the one above,will lead exactly to what you use as your name on the internet.
            If you’re a Jew,think again before you write this kind of unnuanced rubbish.
            Respect.

          • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:57 AM

            @Shachalnur: I find this sort of finger-wagging towards other commenters unnecessary & downright annoying. Cut it out. Keep you comments on topic & dealing with the post. We don’t need this sort of back & forth.

            Shoded Yam is “pirate” in Hebrew.

          • Joel March 15, 2013, 2:01 PM

            [comment deleted–you still haven’t read, understood, or respected the comment rules. If you continue posting such comments you will eventually lose your comment privileges entirely.]

          • shachalnur March 16, 2013, 11:05 AM

            I know ,Mr.Silverstein,as I speak Hebrew.
            I read the comment rules,and it l doesn’t leave too much room for any opinions.
            I thought a bit of discussion,containing alternative ways of thinking,would be an addition to your site.
            Sorry to have wasted your time,it’s your show,and it needs cheerleaders obviously.
            Joel’s comments are not that horrible,that’s what the guy believes,and it’s a common belief.
            maybe better to discuss it than censoring it.
            My ideas on (religious) zionism are mainstrean in Haridi,Satmar,Berzlev,Netorei karta and many others streams of judaism,religious and non-religious.,
            If you “object” to this opinion,you exclude a significant part of Israeli and foreign jews.
            These are times to unite ,not break apart.
            Even Veterans Today is carrying your pieces now,together with Roytov and Gilad Atzmon.

          • Davey March 16, 2013, 11:38 AM

            “unnuanced rubbish”? All the nuances, the sophistry, the details of history and tracts…these are simply a means of deception and evasion. Jews hear the clarion call to get together primarily to protect their privilege and uniqueness, the tender heart of most of the problems created by Zionism and Israel. Disputations about theology and scripture are evasion intended to shield the Zionist enterprise and its criminal and unacceptable acts from scrutiny and sanctions, from justice.

          • Richard Silverstein March 16, 2013, 6:14 PM

            @Shachalnur: You mean you read the comment rules & they don’t allow you to spill the bile you wanted to here. So no, you can’t say here that Religious Zionism is guilty of genocide. And in case you didn’t realize it, this is decidedly not anywhere near a majority view in Judaism. Nor is this a “significant part” of Israeli and foreign Jews (by the way, does the lower case “j” in “Jews” give you away?). I certainly have strong criticisms of Religious Zionism. But not the same as yours.

            People here may criticism any movement they wish within or without Judaism. But accusations of genocide & Holocaust are something entirely different. If that’s the only way you can express your disapproval, then this isn’t the place for you.

            As for Veteran’s Today, they didn’t have my permission to run my material. I told them I’d be willing to talk with them, but never OK’ed my publication there.

          • shachalnur March 17, 2013, 11:08 AM

            Mr. Silverstein,
            I’m sure you are aware of the writings of Rabbi Gedalya Lieberman,Grand Rebbe Yoel Taytelbaum.
            they can explain you all about collaboration of early Zionism and the Nazi’s.
            another good read is Anton Chaitkin “Rockefeller,Nazi’s ,the UN,and mass murder” ,can be found on tetrahedron.com
            ,a site by Dr. Leonard Horowitz.
            The period of zionism between 1897 and 1940 is little known amongst Jews,but was enough for almost all European Jews to reject Zionism as a program to destroy jewish communities in Europe.
            What I call Religious Zionism is the effort to change Torah judaism into something that fits into the fantasies of ,for instance Settlers,making the creation of the Zionist state of Israel into something that is “Jewish” according to Torah.
            All orthodox jews reject this idea.
            Remember some orthodox spraypaniting yad vashem in june last year,reminding israeli’s of Zionist collaboration with the Nazi’s

            Without adressing this part of history building bridges (or tikun olam ) will be impossible.

          • Richard Silverstein March 17, 2013, 4:10 PM

            Everyone collaborated with the Nazis, both Palestinians and Zionists. So what difference does this make? Do you know anyone who’s pure?

            It doesn’t matter what Jews did between 1897 & 1940. What matters is the current situation in which Jews who believe they are Zionists are in the majority. This doesn’t mean they’re right (depending on how they define “Zionism”). But it does mean that pretending that anti-Zionists are a significant force in contemporary Jewry is simply delusional. You have to deal with where people are & not pretend they’re in a place ideologically where they are not.

            Saying “all Orthodox Jews” reject this is ridiculous. A small minority of Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist. They are an important segment of Orthodox Jews, but by no means a majority or even close.

            Now I want you to explain to me why you place the words “Orthodox” and “Jews” in lower case. Please try to use conventional orthography in these matters. If not, I will make assumptions about who and what you are. It’s possible this is just the result of sloppiness or laziness, in which case I’ll reserve judgment.

          • shachalnur March 17, 2013, 4:56 PM

            Mr. Silverstein,
            “Lower case” is sloppy,and typing in internet cafe’s,where the button is faulty,I apologize.
            I agree with most of wat you say.
            But I’m looking at the problem from different angles;
            First of all ,very little is written about the fact that after ww2 there were about 13,5 million Jews worldwide.
            Today the number is the same.
            I did some research into these numbers and taking general population growth and Jewish birtrates in account since 1945,there should be about 35 million Jews now.
            So where did these 20 million Jews go?
            I’m a Dutch Jew,most of my family erradicated,Holland was no fun,125.000 Jews before ,15.000 after ww2.
            The ones that were left became anti-zionist and even more assimiated.
            I’m a traveller and I keep on running into large amount of people with Jewish names but want to have nothing to do with Israel,which for them represents Judaism,or Judaism itself.
            In 1940 only 4% of Jews married outside their faith,in the US the number in 1990 was 52%.
            About a million Israeli Jews live more than a year outside Israel,with no plans of returning.
            They are being counted as living in Israel,so are their children who were born outside israel and have never been there.
            Half a million russian Jews in Israel are not Jewish according to Halacha,having no Jewish mother or even grand mother,just there to make up the numbers.
            in short ,since 1945 about 20 million Jews have assimilated or turned their back on Judaism disgusted with what Judaism has become.
            That’s more than three Holocausts in 60 years.
            Than there is the importance of studying what happened with Zionism after Otto Warburg took over as head of the World Zionist Congress,1911.
            1913,the creation of the Federal reserve,1914 wwI,1917 Bolshevik Revolution,1917 Balfour declaration(a letter to Rothschild by the British Foreign Minister promising a piece of land to Rothschild ,that was than controlled by the Turks).
            As you know there are many people that believe that Rothschild ,Warburg,Rockefeller are doing a lot more than just being rich Bankers.
            Political Zionism,Communism,Nazism were all creations of this cabal.
            Read Anton Chaitkin on the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Eugenics in Nazi Germany.
            This Global Eugenics Control Grid is in place and very succesfull.
            Jewish Zionist leaders bought into this program,even in Israel.
            “Ringworm affair”1950’s,Fluoride in tapwater,Israeli children being the most vaccinated in the world.
            And I’m not even gonna bother you with some very dubious quotes by Zionist leaders before and during ww2.
            Ben Gurion ,Weizman,Hertzl etc.(read Rabbi Gedalya Lieberman)
            In short ,in my opinion the same people that created Zionism(Bankers that call themselves Jews),are gonna “Samson option” Israel ,since Israel has served it’s purpose.
            This cabal doesn’t care about Jews,Cristians,Muslims or kanguroos
            They’ll kill ‘m all ,on their way to the New World Order.(Maybe “Endgame.blueprint for global enslavement” would be a good documentary to watch,made by Alex Jones,accused by many sites to be an Israeli Hasbarist)
            So if you state that the mayority of Jews are Zionist,why don’t you include the 20 million Jews that assimilated in the last 60 years?
            I’m quite sure you won’t find a lot of Zionists among them.
            I believe a lot of these Jews will be able to return “home”,after the Zionist nightmare is over,and if we survive it.

          • Joel March 14, 2013, 5:02 PM

            [comment deleted]

          • shachalnur March 14, 2013, 5:09 PM

            Joel,
            I answered you above,but it’s still in moderation.
            Respect and nuance are the weapons against ignorance and violence.

      • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:47 AM

        @Joel: This is just plain ignorant, Islamophobic & racist. You’ve violated my comment rules. READ THEM now. Do not violate them again.

        If you have a need to recount the so-called ancient history of the Jewish people to persuade someone of the truth of your views don’t do it here. It’s a BIG SNOOZE! Again, another comment violation.

  • Deïr Yassin March 14, 2013, 5:15 PM

    Since neither Shas nor United Torah Judaism are included in the new government, it seems they’ve decided to convert to hasbaristas on Richard’s blog….

  • dickerson3870 March 14, 2013, 7:22 PM

    RE: “If I were interested in hearing Obama speak my pitch would shower the president with praise for adopting the worst of Israel’s anti-terror tactics and strategy and claiming that they honor the Constitution. That really is a miracle of transformative rhetoric.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: In particular Obama has zealously adopted one of Israel’s favorite tactics, the due-process-free targeted assassination (of even U.S. citizens)!

    SEE: “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
    The US was once part of the international consensus against extra-judicial assassinations. Now it is a leader in that tactic.

    [EXCERPTS] Israel’s escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict. Overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians . . .
    . . . Meanwhile, most US media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. . .
    . . . Obama had no choice but to support these attacks, which were designed, in part, to extra-judicially assassinate Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving in his car. . .
    Extra-judicial assassination – accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children – is a staple of the Obama presidency. That lawless tactic is one of the US president’s favorite instruments for projecting force and killing whomever he decides should have their lives ended: all in total secrecy and with no due process or oversight. There is now a virtually complete convergence between US and Israeli aggression, making US criticism of Israel impossible not only for all the usual domestic political reasons, but also out of pure self-interest: for Obama to condemn Israel’s rogue behavior would be to condemn himself.
    It is vital to recognize that this is a new development. The position of the US government on extra-judicial assassinations long had been consistent with the consensus view of the international community: that it is a savage and lawless weapon to be condemned regardless of claims that it is directed at “terrorists”. From a 15 February 2001 Guardian article by Brian Whitaker on the targeted killing by Israel of one of Yasser Arafat’s bodyguards [emphasis added]:
    “International opprobrium was directed at Israel yesterday for its state-approved assassinations of suspected terrorists – a practice widely regarded as illegal. . .
    . . . “The United States, while also condemning Palestinian violence, made clear its disapproval of the assassinations. . .
    “State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: ‘The use of Israeli helicopter gunships, Palestinian attacks against settlements and motorists, the use of mortars by Palestinians and the targeted killings by the Israeli Defence Force … are producing a new cycle of action or reaction which can become impossible to control. . .

    . . . As the Council on Foreign Relations documented in April of this year:

    “The United States adopted targeted killing as an essential tactic to pursue those responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have employed the controversial practice with more frequency in recent years. . .

    In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/15/israel-gaza-obama-assassinations

    • dickerson3870 March 14, 2013, 11:26 PM

      P.S. ALSO SEE – “President Obama: I’m no Dick Cheney on drones”, By Josh Gerstein & Manu Raju, Politico, 3/14/13

      President Barack Obama’s defense to Democratic senators complaining about how little his administration has told Congress about the legal justifications for his drone policy: Dick Cheney was worse.
      That’s part of what two senators in the room recounted of Obama’s response when, near the outset of his closed-door session with the Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) confronted the president over the administration’s refusal for two years to show congressional intelligence committees Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memos justifying the use of lethal force against American terror suspects abroad. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/obama-im-no-cheney-on-drones-88853.html

    • dickerson3870 March 14, 2013, 11:41 PM

      P.P.S. AND SEE: “The Politics of Anti-Interventionism”, By Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, 3/14/13 [EXCERPTS] The response to Rand Paul’s historic filibuster continues to generate waves . . .
      . . . The neocons are absolutely right to be fearful of the junior Senator from Kentucky. Rand Paul managed to combine the conservative critique of untrammeled state power with the distinctively libertarian critique of our interventionist foreign policy, showing how the neocon program of perpetual war abroad must at some point lead to the end of constitutional law at home. . .

      SOURCE – http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/03/14/the-politics-of-anti-interventionism/

      • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:43 AM

        Please don’t bother promoting anything by that slimeball, Justin Raimondo.

        • mary March 15, 2013, 5:24 AM

          I gotta ask, what is it about Raimondo that makes him a “slimeball.” I don’t know much about him other than his “stand with Rand” stuff of late.

          • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 1:14 PM

            He forced Antiwar to take down an article of mine it had commissioned which was a critique about an Israeli-Iranian apologist for regime change. He actually became pals via Twitter with Meir Javedanfar, the subject of my article.

            As a result, I will have nothing to do with Raimondo & Antiwar.com.

  • amir March 15, 2013, 1:35 PM

    Interesting that you failed to mention the Shai Piron himself lives in a settlement. Oranit, according to wikipedia in Hebrew

  • Shoded Yam March 15, 2013, 4:51 PM

    Hey, Yankel. When I need the melamed from Chelm to give me an etymological dissertation, I’ll let you know.

    • Richard Silverstein March 15, 2013, 10:31 PM

      @Shoded Yam: That was Shachalnur giving you an unwanted etymological dissertation, not Yankel.

      • Shoded Yam March 19, 2013, 9:13 AM

        My apologies to Yankel. I stand corrected.

  • bremont March 16, 2013, 2:02 PM

    i feel things are getting wild, on my point of view, there is a disintegration of governments, worldwide, fear, as if it is fear the key of order. somehow most governments all they see is arms and armed solutions, however the ME has so many arms that it is becoming a supermarket, a mole for arms dealers, the result will be not crime, but a supermarket for crime dealers. soon it will be not just israel but the whole of EUROPE and the Maghreb that will become some-kind of wild west. everyone is arm and the Fastest gun makes its own laws. and that outcome is uncontrollable. the gun control attempts in america should be applied to the ME all nations included. curiously it is what OBAMA demands for american, citizens, while it is the proper recipe for the ME.

  • bremont March 16, 2013, 2:10 PM

    Iran is not the problem, neither Syria, the problem is an uncontrollable behavior, a fear virus, this fear virus is transform into aggression, therefore, there is no enemy! all become enemies and foes, a some-kind of communal suicide. and what is crazy about this is that this insane trend is not guided, by anyone it is a kind of thing that spreads without any master, a sort of cancer, that invades a body. an alien enemy mental and perhaps physical.

  • shachalnur March 18, 2013, 10:54 AM

    mr. Silverstein,
    Wrote you an answer ,but it never got through moderation ,without explanation.
    What was so shocking?
    It’s open Jewish sources,containing uncomfortable facts ,that’s all.
    If that’s unacceptable,you won’t be able to see the forest for the trees.

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