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Read previewThe US plans to send more than $1 billion in arms and ammunition to Israel despite growing tensions between President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Getting the weapons to Israel could be a lengthy process. AdvertisementBiden later warned he would withhold additional weaponry if Israel went ahead with a widespread ground assault on the city. Seth Binder, an expert on US weapons sales with the Middle East Democracy Center, told the Journal that Biden's apparent U-turn weakens his influence over Netanyahu. Analysts say that Biden's handling of the Gaza war is among the issues corroding his support among them.
Persons: , Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden, Israel, Nathan Howard, Netanyahu —, Seth Binder, Netanyahu, Sen, Chris Van Hollen, BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, he's, Dave Harden Organizations: Service, Israel's, Officials, Street Journal, Business, CNN, White, Getty, Middle East Democracy Center, Washington Post, Pentagon, Israel, Gaza, US Agency for International Development, West Bank, BBC Locations: Israel, Gaza, Rafah, Washington , DC, Iran, Lebanon, Damascus, Syria
CNN —When Hamas declared on Monday evening that it has “agreed” to a ceasefire deal, it caught many off guard. But US officials have pushed back on Hamas’ claim that it had “agreed” to a ceasefire deal, instead characterizing the response as a counterproposal with changes. The Hamas proposal calls for an end to the war, which is a red line for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a senior American official told CNN. “Both sides only want a ceasefire deal that ensures their political survival,” Lowenstein said. It is not a list of individuals who can be killed or infrastructure and equipment that can be destroyed,” Ibish told CNN.
Persons: CNN —, , Israel, Bill Burns, Benny Gantz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Matan Golan, Frank Lowenstein, Barack Obama, ” Lowenstein, Netanyahu — “, Netanyahu, Barak Ravid, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hamas’s, Biden, doesn’t, Lowenstein, “ Bibi, he’s, Khan Younis, , that’s, Bibi, it’s, ” Hussein Ibish, Ibish, ” Ibish, “ Netanyahu Organizations: CNN, Hamas, CIA, Qatari, Israeli, Palestinian, Israel, AFP, Getty, Gulf States Institute Locations: Gaza, Rafah, Egypt, Cairo, Israel, , American, Tel Aviv, Washington ,, Qatar
Civilians in the southern part of the country, areas near the border with Gaza, were under a brutal, ongoing attack. Frida Ghitis CNNSix months after Hamas launched that deadly rampage, knowing that Israel’s response would be ferocious, there are only losers in this terrible war. It’s hard now to find many winners with the death toll mounting among Gazans and hunger growing in the strip. For Hamas, the fact that war continues may count as a victory, but thousands of Hamas’ fighters — the exact number is disputed — have been killed. Hamas — the Iran-allied group that rules Gaza — killed more than 1,200 Israelis and dragged back hundreds more as hostages.
Persons: Frida Ghitis, Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden, José Andrés, Israel, Ahmad Gharabli, Israel —, , Netanyahu —, , Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Abraham Organizations: CNN, Washington Post, Politics, Frida Ghitis CNN, Hamas, Israeli, vise, , Gaza, IDF, Getty, Israel, Abraham Accords Locations: Gaza, Israel, Europe, Iran, AFP, Egypt, United States
Most Jewish men are required to serve nearly three years in the military, followed by years of reserve duty. Netanyahu asked the court Thursday for a 30-day extension to find a compromise. Israel’s Channel 12 reported Friday that the state provides only 7.5% of all funding for the institutions. “Without the Torah, we have no right to exist," said Yitzchak Goldknopf, leader of the ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism. But the powerful bloc of ultra-Orthodox parties — longtime partners of Netanyahu — want draft exemptions to continue.
Persons: , Benjamin Netanyahu's, Netanyahu, David Ben Gurion, Anshel Pfeffer, Israel's, , , Aryeh Deri, Haredim, Yitzchak Goldknopf, NETANYAHU, Benny Gantz, Netanyahu — Organizations: JERUSALEM, Jewish, Haaretz, Shas, Cabinet Locations: Gaza, Israel, Jewish
One of my ironclad rules of journalism is this: When you see an elephant flying, don’t laugh, don’t doubt, don’t sneer — take notes. Something very new and important is happening and we need to understand it. Last week, I saw an elephant fly: The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer — an authentic, lifelong supporter of Israel — gave a speech calling on Israelis to hold an election as soon as possible in order to dump Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right cabinet. And it produced predictable responses from the Jewish right (Schumer is a traitor), from Netanyahu (Israel is “not a banana republic”) and from cynics (Schumer’s just cozying up to the Democratic left). All predictable responses, and all wrong responses.
Persons: don’t, Chuck Schumer, Israel —, Benjamin Netanyahu, Schumer, Israel, , Netanyahu, Netanyahu —, Biden Organizations: Democratic Locations: Netanyahu, cynics, U.S
Look no further than the close and historically complicated relationship that American presidents and congressional leaders have negotiated with Israel leaders over the last 75 years. Obama declined to invite Netanyahu to the White House during the visit, with White House officials saying that holding such a visit so close to Israel's election would be inappropriate. The standard Obama set for a White House visit wasn't one Bill Clinton subscribed to years earlier. The bigger the ally's economy, the less likely American leaders are to meddle openly in its elections. “There are moments when American leaders want to and need to speak out and have their say.
Persons: Chuck Schumer, Benjamin Netanyahu's, Mitch McConnell, Schumer, , Mike Johnson, Benny Gantz, Netanyahu, Schumer's, Netanyahu —, , , Aaron David Miller, Donald Trump, John Boehner, Boehner, Barack Obama's, Obama, wasn't, Bill Clinton, Clinton, Shimon Peres, Peres, Edward Frantz, meddle, ” Frantz, November's, Donald Tusk, Tusk, Andrzej Duda, Johnson, Biden, Viktor Orbán, Orbán, Trump, David Pressman, Jake Sullivan, ” Sullivan, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H.W, Bush, ” Miller Organizations: WASHINGTON, — Republicans, Democratic, Republican, Israel, Carnegie Endowment, International Peace, U.S, White, Israeli, University of Indianapolis, November's Biden, Trump, NATO, Polish, Biden, Republican House, Hungarian, White House Locations: Gaza, Israel, East, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, U.S, Hungarian, ” Hungary, Budapest, Sinai, Suez
Opinion | Netanyahu’s Cynical Political Game
  + stars: | 2024-01-27 | by ( Serge Schmemann | ) www.nytimes.com   time to read: +1 min
It has become clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is not the leader for this critical moment. But Mr. Netanyahu blocks the way. As a majority of Israelis and their allies can see, Mr. Netanyahu and his insistence on “total victory” over Hamas, with no consideration of the consequences or costs, have become a part of the problem. He is playing a cynical game, using the war to serve his political ends, and Israelis, most of whom support the effort to wipe out Hamas, are getting tired of it. He has even managed to alienate Israel’s most important ally.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu, , Biden’s, Israel —, Netanyahu —, Israel’s, Biden Organizations: Israel, Mr Locations: Israel, Gaza, United States
Opinion | The Man Who Could Unseat Netanyahu
  + stars: | 2024-01-24 | by ( Anshel Pfeffer | ) www.nytimes.com   time to read: +1 min
But the most complex challenge facing Mr. Gantz sits with him at the war cabinet table: Mr. Netanyahu. He has accused the prime minister numerous times in the past of dividing Israeli society. Several security officials and foreign diplomats were also interviewed about Mr. Gantz. Mr. Gantz, 64, is in a unique and contradictory position. At the same time, according to polls, he is also the man most likely to replace Mr. Netanyahu and his disastrous government.
Persons: Benny Gantz, Gantz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Mr, Netanyahu —, Israel — Organizations: Defense Ministry Locations: Tel Aviv, Gaza, Iranian, Lebanese
The Israeli war cabinet member and former military chief Gadi Eisenkot, as he attended the funeral of his son Gal Meir Eisenkot in December. General Eisenkot has also paid a devastating personal price in the war: His 25-year-old son, Master Sgt. In the televised interview, which was prerecorded, General Eisenkot said Mr. Netanyahu carries “sharp and clear” responsibility for the country’s failure to protect its citizens on Oct. 7. Early in the war, Israeli officials weighed whether to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah — risking a two-front war that deeply concerned U.S. and Israeli military planners. The Israeli public must head to the polls “within months,” General Eisenkot said.
Persons: Gadi Eisenkot, Gal Meir Eisenkot, Israel, Uvda, , Eisenkot, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Mr, Netanyahu —, , , Israel’s, General Eisenkot, Yahya Sinwar, Netanyahu’s Organizations: Mr, Hamas, Locations: Gaza, Israel, Entebbe, , Uganda, Iran, Lebanon
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not consider the war against Hamas finished until the border between Egypt and Gaza is closed. Israeli officials have not decided exactly how they would proceed with closing Gaza’s border with Egypt, according to Netanyahu — but doing so would signify a renewed Israeli control over the enclave not seen in years, and a blow to Palestinians’ limited sovereignty in Gaza. The border crossing with Egypt, at the town of Rafah, is the only crossing point not controlled by Israel, though it has still been subject to limited access and lengthy Egyptian bureaucratic and security processes. As the war enters its 100th day, the main United Nations agency operating in Gaza issued a stark warning that famine will spread across the enclave if more supplies are not allowed into the strip. These are the biggest updates you need to know for Sunday:
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu — Organizations: Hamas, United Nations Locations: Israel, Egypt, Gaza, Rafah
The trip was Mr. Netanyahu’s first to Gaza since the Israeli ground invasion began almost a month ago, according to officials. Photographs released by the Israeli government showed Mr. Netanyahu — wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a khaki flak jacket and helmet — looking at a map, consulting with commanders and standing just inside a tunnel that his office said the Israeli military had recently exposed. “We are making every effort to bring back our hostages and eventually we will return them all,” Mr. Netanyahu said. Israeli officials have said about 240 people were taken to Gaza as hostages by Hamas and its allies on Oct. 7 in an attack that also killed about 1,200 people. But the prime minister emphasized that rooting out Hamas remained a central objective for Israel.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, , Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s, Tzachi Hanegbi, Avi Gil, Amir Baram, Netanyahu —, , ” Mr Organizations: Israel Locations: Gaza, Israel
That concept has fallen flat in Arab nations, where many view it as a weak proposal that shows the U.S. is either unwilling or unable to hold Israel back. Jordan and Turkey have recalled their ambassadors to Israel in protest over the war, while United Nations officials have implored Israel not to impose “collective punishment” on Gazans for atrocities committed by Hamas. That ambiguous message reflects the challenges Bahrain’s American-allied royal family faces as they balance protecting their ties with the U.S. and Israel with insulating themselves from popular anger. “I have not seen such a large number in a spontaneous demonstration in Bahrain for a long time,” said Ibtisam al-Sayegh, a human-rights activist who attended a protest last month. Some Bahrainis carried signs depicting their king holding hands with Mr. Netanyahu — accusing the monarch of complicity in the murder of Palestinians as long as Bahraini relations with Israel continue, she said.
Persons: Blinken, Israel —, ” Khalid al, Suleiman, , , Bahrainis, Biden, , Ibtisam, Netanyahu — Organizations: Israel, Saudi, Okaz, United Nations, Bahrain’s, U.S, ” Riot Locations: U.S, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Gazans, Bahrain, American
The assault on Gaza has left thousands of Palestinian civilians dead and worsened the humanitarian crisis in the enclave. Aid has been slow to enter and civilians, including hundreds of Americans, have been unable to leave. Sullivan said Israel was solely responsible for its military operations. The US remains in “hourly contact” with its partners in the region to try securing the release of hostages, Sullivan said. CNN has previously reported on intensifying efforts brokered by the government of Qatar to secure a large number of hostages held by Hamas.
Persons: Jake Tapper, ” Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu –, Sullivan, Israel, , , “ I’m, Biden, Netanyahu —, “ We’ve, We’ve, ” Sullivan, we’ve, Netanyahu Organizations: CNN, Union, Israeli, West Bank Locations: United States, Gaza, Israel, “ State, Egypt, Qatar
President Joe Biden landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, amid the Israel-Hamas war. He'll have to address a hospital blast in Gaza that's sparked global outrage and cancelled his summit with Arab leaders. AdvertisementAdvertisementAs President Joe Biden landed on Wednesday morning in Tel Aviv, Israel, he found himself having to contend with two critical developments threatening to undermine his wartime visit. Injured Palestinians taken to Al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli airstrike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on October 17, 2023. All eyes are on Biden to address Gaza hospital blastThen there's the hospital explosion that Biden will most definitely be pressed to address.
Persons: Joe Biden, it's, , Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu —, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Abbas, Sisi, Ali Jadallah, John Kirby, Carl Skadian, Mr Biden, Netanyahu, Stringer, Getty Images Biden, Israel —, Slim Organizations: Service, Palestinian Authority, Associated Press, White, Shifa, Ahli Baptist Hospital, Getty, National Security, Israel Defense Forces, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore, Air Force, Embassy, Getty Images, Hamas, Bloomberg Locations: Tel Aviv, Israel, Gaza, Jordan, Egypt, Al, Ahli, Gaza City, Anadolu, Turkey, Lebanon, Lebanese, Washington
That the massacres were “pure, unadulterated evil.” That there is “no excuse” for what Hamas did. Four days after the Hamas attacks, Trump also called Hezbollah, without reprobation, “very smart.” About Vladimir Putin, he said, “I got along with him very good.”Very good. Now Biden is going to Israel. That path is a long one, but Biden gets the big thing right — the former is the basic precondition for the latter. No Israeli leader can ever allow a Palestinian state to exist if a group like Hamas has even the whisper of a chance of gaining power.
Persons: , , Israel, Donald Trump’s, Netanyahu —, Biden, Trump, Vladimir Putin, It’s Organizations: Hamas, Trump, Republican Locations: Israel, United States, Palestinian
Israel’s Supreme Court convened on Tuesday to begin considering whether to strike down a deeply contentious law that limits the court’s own power, in a hearing that sets the stage for a constitutional showdown between the country’s judicial and executive branches of power. The high court is considering a bill passed by Parliament in July that ruled that judges could no longer overrule ministerial decisions using the legal standard of “reasonableness.”The case is considered one of the most consequential in Israeli history, because Israelis from all political backgrounds say the country’s future and character partly depends on the hearing’s result. Justices could take until January to reach a decision. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the most nationalist and religious conservative in Israel’s history — sees the court as an obstacle to its vision of a more conservative, nationalist society. The court has historically acted as a check on religious influence on public life, some Israeli activity in the occupied West Bank, and decisions that favor Jews over Arabs.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu —, Organizations: West Bank Locations: Israel’s
On the second day of his trip to Israel, Mayor Eric Adams of New York City will seek to strike a political balance by meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and with leaders of the country’s pro-democracy protest movement. On Tuesday morning, Mr. Adams met with protest leaders, although his office did not specify which leaders or where the meeting was being held, and reporters were barred from attending. Later, at around 5 p.m. local time, Mr. Adams planned to meet with Mr. Netanyahu — part of a routine itinerary for New York mayors who have long visited Israel to show solidarity with Jewish voters in the city. But the political implications of such a meeting may be more fraught than usual, following the move by Mr. Netanyahu and his far-right government to limit the powers of Israel’s judiciary. The rollback, part of a broader fight over the country’s future, has prompted widespread protests among those who fear that Israel is abandoning its democratic traditions.
Persons: Eric Adams, Benjamin Netanyahu, Adams, Netanyahu Organizations: New, Mr, New York, Jewish Locations: Israel, New York City, New
When Israeli lawmakers passed a deeply contentious law last Monday to weaken the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not linger in the voting chamber to celebrate. Instead, the justice minister, Yariv Levin, an architect of the legislation, stayed to pose for selfies with fellow lawmakers as Mr. Netanyahu walked somberly from the room. Mr. Levin, not the prime minister, made a celebratory speech from the podium. “We have made the first step in the important historic process of repairing the justice system,” Mr. Levin said. The prime minister was no longer there to hear him.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu, Yariv Levin, Netanyahu, somberly, Levin, Mr, Netanyahu — Israel’s,
Lawmakers, including Yariv Levin, the Justice Minister, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Minister of National Security, at the Knesset in Jerusalem after the vote on Monday. Israel’s nationalist right celebrated a hard-won victory Monday after seven months of struggling to advance the contentious plan to weaken Israel’s judiciary in the face of mounting opposition. Many on Israel’s right say Israel’s Supreme Court is staffed by activist judges who have tied the hands of elected leaders. Right-wing voters commonly say they “vote for the right and get the left” and blame the courts for striking down popular policies. A weakened court would allow Mr. Ben-Gvir to fulfill such campaign promises, he said.
Persons: Yariv Levin, Itamar Ben, Gvir, , , Benjamin Netanyahu —, Rafi Sharbatov, Ben, Arnon Segal, Segal, , we’ve, Bezalel Smotrich, God’s, Mr, Smotrich, Smotrich’s, Dan Odenheimer, Odenheimer, “ It’s Organizations: of National Security, West Bank, Air Force, West Locations: Jerusalem, Israel’s, Israel, West Bank, Efrat
Demonstrators gather with national flags outside the Israeli parliament (Knesset) in Jerusalem on July 23, 2023. JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli lawmakers on Monday approved a key portion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's divisive plan to reshape the country's justice system despite massive protests that have exposed unprecedented fissures in Israeli society. The vote came after a stormy session in which opposition lawmakers chanted "shame" and then stormed out of the chamber. In Monday's vote, lawmakers approved a measure that prevents judges from striking down government decisions on the basis that they are "unreasonable." Ahead of Monday's vote, opposition leader Yair Lapid had declared: "We are headed for disaster."
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu's, Netanyahu, Netanyahu —, , Yariv Levin, Netanyahu's, Yair Lapid Organizations: Movement for Quality Government Locations: Jerusalem, JERUSALEM, United States
The northern West Bank was once viewed by Israeli, Palestinian and international authorities as a kind of pilot program for Israeli disengagement from the occupied territory, and by some even as a potential prototype for a future Palestinian state. But a sharp escalation of violence in the region in recent days involving Palestinian militants, Israeli security forces and extremist Jewish settlers underlines the failure of that vision. The northern West Bank is witnessing an explosive mix of the rise of local, armed Palestinian militias carrying out shooting attacks against Israelis; almost daily raids by the Israeli military to arrest militants, which often turn deadly; and reprisals by extremist Jewish settlers, who have rampaged through Palestinian villages setting fire to property. Heightening tensions, the coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — which includes far-right, ultranationalist parties that reject any talks with the Palestinian leadership — has been pressing a more aggressive military response to attacks. The government is also pushing for the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which most countries see as an obstacle to resolving the conflict and a violation of international law.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu —, Organizations: West Bank, Palestinian Locations: West, Palestinian, West Bank
Israel is looking into sending its Iron Dome system to Ukraine, Prime Minister Netanyahu said. The Iron Dome is arguably the world's most advanced missile defense system, designed to intercept barrages of rockets and artillery shells. In an interview with French TV outlets TF1 and LCI broadcast on Sunday, Netanyahu was asked about sending the missile defense system to Ukraine, in response to the country's continuing appeals for military support. Ukraine made a formal request to Israel for Iron Dome and other high-tech defense weaponry in October last year, as The Times of Israel reported. Asked about the attack, Netanyahu stopped short of denying responsibility, but gave no definitive answer as to whether Israel was responsible.
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