Full Text Israel Political Brief June 7, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Featured in July Vanity Fair Article ‘The Netanyahu Paradox’

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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IN FOCUS: ISRAEL’S PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU FEATURED IN JULY VANITY FAIR STORY ‘THE NETANYAHU PARADOX’

Netanyahu, Man in Full — Tablet Magazine, 6-7-12

Bibi to Vanity Fair: ‘I’m Not Manipulative’ — Forward, 6-7-12

  • Netanyahu to Vanity Fair: ‘I’m not naturally manipulative’: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to intrigue the foreign media – after being crowned as ‘King Bibi’ on TIME magazine’s cover, he is profiled in Vanity Fair’s July issue, which tries to decipher ‘The Netanyahu Paradox.’…. – Haaretz, 6-8-12
  • ‘Sara Netanyahu can make or break anyone’: American Magazine Vanity Fair published in its July issue an article dedicated to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the people surrounding him, including his wife, Sara. The piece, titled “The Netanyahu Paradox,” begins with a depiction of the…. – Ynetnews, 6-8-12

The Netanyahu Paradox

Source: Vanity Fair, July 2012

A nuclear Iran threatens. The Palestinian conflict smolders. Meanwhile, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has largely vanquished his domestic foes—the Israeli media, the political opposition—in a battle backed by two U.S. billionaires and reportedly fueled by his wife, Sara. Interviewing the 62-year-old leader, David Margolick explores why “Bibi” is in control of his country, but not of its destiny.

Photographs by Platon

BILATERAL RELATIONS Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, photographed at his office in Jerusalem.

At one point or another for an entire week last November, most of the Israeli establishment showed up at the Bauhaus home in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem: members of the Cabinet and Knesset, security officials, rabbis, businessmen, journalists, supplicants of all stripes, “everyone who didn’t want to get in any trouble,” as one participant put it. They stood solemnly around the small stone courtyard with a tent on top, officially mourning, but also studying who else was there, who was whispering to whom. Ehud Barak, the defense minister and, by many accounts, the most vigorous proponent of an Israeli strike against Iran, was there. So was Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, who then held the key to the current government’s survival. Even an Arab member of the Knesset, Ahmad Tibi, came by later on. The guest registry also included Sheldon Adelson, the ubiquitous gambling magnate, and Ronald Lauder, an heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune—a pair of American billionaires who, improbably, have also become major Israeli media moguls.

The occasion was the shivah, or memorial observance, for a man named Shmuel Ben-Artzi, who had just died at the age of 97. Luminaries like this wouldn’t normally show up to honor a beloved but relatively obscure Israeli poet and educator like Ben-Artzi; few of the guests had even met him. They were there more for his son-in-law: Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. They had come to the prime minister’s official residence less out of friendship and respect—for Netanyahu is something of a loner, someone who antagonizes even his allies—than for reasons of realpolitik: even back then, before the shakeup that has left him with one of the largest majorities in Israeli history, Netanyahu was all-powerful. Attention had to be paid.

But, as is often the case in Israeli politics, it was even more complicated than that: many of the guests had come primarily for Sara Netanyahu, Ben-Artzi’s daughter and Bibi’s wife. Here, too, it was not so much out of love or respect, but fear. Even Bibi couldn’t stray very far, though he had other pressing business—like a memorial service commemorating the 1995 assassination of the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. So, there he was, at his wife’s insistence, sticking around for the whole week, periodically reading her late father’s poetry aloud to the mourners in a way that elicited pity even from his detractors. “I have no choice,” lamented one tycoon about his reasons for coming. “She’s running the show here in Israel. She can make or break anyone.”

It is the paradox of Israel that in Benjamin Netanyahu, 62 years old, now entering his seventh year in office, the country has both its strongest and its weakest leader in memory—and, as things now look, will have both sides of him for many years to come.

As of early May, when his coalition suddenly and surprisingly swallowed up the largest opposition party, Kadima, Netanyahu now controls 94 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. An Iranian atom bomb may be some time off, but as Yossi Verter writing in Israel’s liberal daily, Haaretz, put it, an atom bomb has fallen on Israeli politics. Until elections in the fall of 2013, Netanyahu can now do pretty much what he wants. The question is just what that is, and whether even he knows, for he’s proven better at holding power than wielding it….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief June 7, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Issue of the National Emergency Plan to Deport Illegal South Sudanese Migrant Infiltrators

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Issue of the National Emergency Plan to Remove Infiltrators

Source: PMO, 6-7-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks today following a discussion that was held on the issue of illegal infiltrators. Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, as well as IDF, Israel Police and Prison Service representatives, attended the discussion.

“I held an additional discussion – along with the Interior Minister, the Public Security Minister and the Justice Minister, as well as with professional elements – in the framework of the national emergency plan to remove infiltrators. This is a serious problem and we are dealing with it.

First, we will complete the fence as quickly as possible and deal with infiltrations until the fence is completed. Second, we will build detention facilities including thousands of units. Third, we will move infiltrators directly from the border to the facilities. We needed to make several changes and we made them. Fourth, we will punish those who illegally employ infiltrators. Next week will be the second and third Knesset readings of a law that will deal severely with such employers, and allow their businesses to be closed.

At the same time, the Interior Minister is preparing to issues orders that will allow for the detention of the infiltrators. This is still partial but it is a start. The Public Security Minister will detain infiltrator criminals in the Tel Aviv area and put them in prison, and this will be done in addition to the continued deployment of a Border Police unit in southern Tel Aviv.

I believe that these and other measures, which I will not detail here, will begin to reverse the trend and we will solve it.”

Israel Political Brief June 7, 2012: Jerusalem Court Clears Way for Deportation of South Sudanese Migrants — Annuls Collective Protection

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Jerusalem court clears way for deportation of S. Sudanese migrants

Source: JTA, 6-7-12

A Jerusalem court ruled that Israel could deport South Sudanese migrants who entered the country illegally.

Thursday’s decision in Jerusalem District Court was in response to an appeal by nongovernmental organizations representing African migrants. The appeal was filed after Israel’ s Interior Minister Eli Yishai issued a decision to return the migrants.

Israel recognized South Sudan a day after it officially announced its independence from Sudan last July 9 and initiated formal ties three weeks later.

The decision paves the way for the deportation of about 1,500 South Sudanese who entered Israel illegally. Yishai said that he hoped the decision would be a precedent to allow the deportation of African nationals from other countries.

“This is not a war against infiltrators,” Yishai said, according to The Jerusalem Post. “This is a war for the preservation of the Zionist and Jewish dream in the land of Israel.”…READ MORE

South Sudanese have 7 Days to Leave or be Deported

About 700 to 1,000 South Sudanese will face arrest and deportation, after court annuls collective protection afforded them.

Israel feeds illegal African infiltrators

Israel feeds illegal African infiltrators
Flash 90

Between 700 and 1,000 citizens of South Sudan who are illegally staying in Israel have seven days to leave the country of their own free will or face arrest, the Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) announced Thursday.

The announcement follows a court decision Thursday morning to remove the collective protection that had been given to the South Sudanese in Israel. PIBA said that those who wish to be accompanied and assisted by its Unit for Voluntary Departure, will receive assistance.

The decision by the Jerusalem District Court makes it possible for PIBA to take steps to expel the illegal immigrants and punish their employers.

The decision only applies to citizens of South Sudan, who are a relatively small group among the illegal aliens from Africa currently in Israel. The illegal aliens from Sudan number about 10,000, and those from Eritrea number over 35,000….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 7, 2012: US Condemns Israel Over PM Benjamin Netanyahu Announcing Beit El Expansion of 300 New Homes

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israel’s West Bank plans stir U.S. furor, settlers’ ire

Source: JTA, 6-7-12

The announcement of new settlement construction in the West Bank, following the defeat of a Knesset bill recognizing settlement outposts, draws U.S. rebuke….READ MORE »

State Dept. slams new West Bank housing approval

Source: JTA, 6-7-12

The Obama administration said it “does not accept the legitimacy” of announced plans for up to 851 new housing units for West Bank settlements….READ MORE »

U.S. Condemns Israel Over Beit El Expansion

U.S. says “Israeli settlement activity undermines peace efforts” after PM Netanyahu announces 300 new homes for Beit El.

Source: Israel National News, 6-7-12

Ulpana neighborhood

Ulpana neighborhood
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The United States condemned Israel on Wednesday, after Prime Minister announced that 300 new homes will be built in Beit El.

“We’re very clear that continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank undermines peace efforts and contradicts Israeli commitments and obligations, including the 2003 road map,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency.

Toner told reporters, “Our position on settlements remains unchanged. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

He added, “You know, we want to see these parties — both parties, rather, refrain from these kinds of actions and to get back into negotiations.”

Netanyahu promised to expand construction in Beit El, in a special statement he issued Wednesday, regarding the impending demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood.

“This is not a simple or easy day,” said Netanyahu. “Relocating the houses is certainly not an action that the government is eager to carry out, but the court made a decision and we respect the court system’s decisions. At the same time, the community of Beit El will be widened. The 30 families from the Ulpana Neighborhood will remain in Beit El and they will be joined by 300 new families.”

Netanyahu’s statement was made shortly after the Knesset rejected a bill aimed at circumventing a court order to destroy five residential units in the Ulpana neighborhood.

The vote was 22 for the bill and 69 against. Absent from the vote were all of the ministers and deputy ministers who vowed to test Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ultimatum to vote against the bill or be fired.

The extreme leftist group Peace Now was not happy at all with the commitment by Netanyahu to build 300 more homes in Beit El, and was quick to start an online petition calling on him to rescind what they called “a collective punishment” that he has meted out against Israel’s citizens.

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