Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Saturday, 6 January 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 22 October 2020) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund (Israel Bonds), timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 255 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.


Timetable of wars and violent events

The nature of the conflict has shifted over the years from the large-scale, regional Arab–Israeli conflict to a more local Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which peaked during the 1982 Lebanon War. The interim Oslo Accords led to the creation of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, within the context of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. The same year Israel and Jordan reached a peace accord. In 1988 the Palestinian Authority recognized the state of Israel. A cease-fire has been largely maintained between Israel and Baathist Syria, as well as with Lebanon since 2006. However, developments in the course of the Syrian Civil War reshuffled the situation near Israel’s northern border, putting the Syrian Arab Republic, Hezbollah (whose military arm is classified by the Western community as a terrorist organization – The Guardian, 25 February 2019: UK to outlaw Hezbollah’s political wing) and the Syrian opposition at odds with each other and complicating their relations with Israel. The conflict between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza, which resulted in the 2014 cease-fire, is usually also considered part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and therefore the Arab–Israeli conflict. Its 2006–2012 phase is, however, also attributed to the Iran–Israel proxy conflict in the region (Government of Syria and Hezbollah are being supported by Iran). Since 2012, Iran (predominantly Shia) has cut ties with the Sunni Hamas movement on account of the Syrian Civil War. Despite the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, interim peace accords with Palestine and the generally existing cease-fire, the Arab world and Israel remain at odds with each other over many issues.

National movements
The roots of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict lie in the rise of Zionism and the reactionary Arab nationalism that arose in response to Zionism towards the end of the 19th century (at that time, Zionism was still a liberal, political, religious, nationalist movement with a clear democratic orientation, which has only experienced a major right-wing, racist, nationalist spin during the past decades and is therefore discussed controversially in the diaspora, in particular because the Zionist movement in Israel isn’t only claiming to speak for all Jews worldwide, but also to determine who is a Jew and how Jews have to live. As expected, this is received well only in parts of the diaspora). Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and presently belonging to the Palestinian Arabs. Before World War I, the Middle East, including Palestine (later Mandatory Palestine), had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. During the closing years of their empire, the Ottomans began to espouse their Turkish ethnic identity, asserting the primacy of Turks within the empire, leading to discrimination against the Arabs. The promise of liberation from the Ottomans led many Jews and Arabs to support the allied powers during World War I, leading to the emergence of widespread Arab nationalism. Both Arab nationalism and Zionism had their formulative beginning in Europe. The Zionist Congress was established in Basel in 1897, while the “Arab Club” was established in Paris in 1906. In the late 19th century European and Middle Eastern Jewish communities began to increasingly immigrate to Palestine and purchase land from the local Ottoman landlords. The population of the late 19th century in Palestine reached 600,000 – mostly Muslim Arabs, but also significant minorities of Jews, Christians, Druze and some Samaritans and Bahai’s. At that time, Jerusalem did not extend beyond the walled area and had a population of only a few tens of thousands. Collective farms, known as kibbutzim, were established, as was the first entirely Jewish city in modern times, Tel Aviv. During 1915–16, as World War I was underway, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, secretly corresponded with Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi, the patriarch of the Hashemite family and Ottoman governor of Mecca and Medina. McMahon convinced Husayn to lead an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which was aligned with Germany against Britain and France in the war. McMahon promised that if the Arabs supported Britain in the war, the British government would support the establishment of an independent Arab state under Hashemite rule in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine. The Arab revolt, led by Thomas Edward Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) and Husayn’s son Faysal, was successful in defeating the Ottomans, and Britain took control over much of this area. A very relaxed phase reached the relationships, as Baron Edmond James de Rothschild 1882 began to buy land in Palestine. All parties were satisfied with the solution, especially as Rothschild pushed ahead with his own goals, while the Arabs laughed that they had sold another piece of desert to the “batty European”. This could have gone on happily and endlessly, if there had not been fundamental upheavals in Europe and finally the Holocaust.


Following the Camp David Accords of the late 1970s, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in March 1979. Under its terms, the Sinai Peninsula returned to Egyptian hands, and the Gaza Strip remained under Israeli control, to be included in a future State of Palestine. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal and recognition of the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways (Foreign Policy, 15 January 2019: Club Med: Israel, Egypt, and Others Form New Natural Gas Group, Al Jazeera, 17 June 2019: Egypt in $500m settlement with Israel Electric Corp, Times of Israel, 17 June 2019: Egypt agrees to pay Israel $500 million to end gas dispute, Bloomberg, 24 July 2019: Israel Gas Partners to Change Egypt Deal to Avert Supply Halt, Arab News, 25 July 2019: Israel to start exporting natural gas to Egypt in November — minister, Israel Hayom, 7 August 2019: At summit, Israel, US, Greece, Cyprus agree to boost energy cooperation, Reuters, 8 September 2019: Pipeline operator EMG signs terminal deal for Israel-Egypt gas exports, Reuters, 9 September 2019: Plans for Israeli gas exports to Egypt on track: Egyptian minister, The Wall Street Journal, 12 September 2019: Security Threats Delay Egypt-Israel Gas Deal, Says U.S. Official, Bloomberg, 2 October 2019: Israeli Gas Shares Soar After Egypt Planned Supply Boost, Al Jazeera, 16 December 2019: Israel authorises gas exports from offshore fields to Egypt, Times of Israel, 15 January 2020: In milestone, Israel starts exporting natural gas to Egypt, Israel Hayom, 17 January 2020: Growing Hamas-Iran ties spark concern in Egypt, Times of Israel, 16 February 2020: Worshipers fete ‘very emotional’ Shabbat in refurbished Alexandria synagogue, Jerusalem Post, 5 April 2020: German sub about to be delivered to Egyptian Navy – report, 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Egypt, The Guardian, 1 May 2020: Egyptian TV show about Israel’s destruction opens real world rift, The Hill, 7 May 2020: Trump administration approves $2.3B helicopter deal for Egypt, $556M in vehicles for UAE, Jerusalem Post, 8 May 2020: Steinitz: US, Israel to discuss drawing down peacekeeping force in Sinai).

In October 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement, which stipulated mutual cooperation, an end of hostilities, the fixing of the Israel-Jordan border, and a resolution of other issues. The conflict between them had cost roughly 18.3 billion dollars. Its signing is also closely linked with the efforts to create peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) representing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). It was signed at the southern border crossing of Arabah on 26 October 1994 and made Jordan only the second Arab country (after Egypt) to sign a peace accord with Israel (BBC, 21 October 2018: Jordan seeks to end Israel land lease, Al Jazeera, 30 October 2019: Jordan recalls ambassador in Israel to protest citizen detentions, Jerusalem Post, 9 November 2019: Israel to lose Naharayim, Tzofar to Jordan on Sunday, Haaretz, 9 November 2019: Twenty Five Years After Peace Treaty: Jordan Resumes Control of Enclaves Leased to Israel, Times of Israel, 9 November 2019: Gate closes at ‘Isle of Peace’ park as border lands to return to Jordan, Times of Israel, 22 November 2019: King Abdullah: Israeli-Jordanian relations are at ‘an all-time low’, Haaretz, 23 November 2019: Relations Between Israel and Jordan at an All-time Low, King Abdullah Says, Times of Israel, 23 November 2019: Jordan FM: Amman not enjoying full ‘peace dividend’ from ties with Israel, The National, 23 November 2019: Jordan’s King Abdullah says Israel relations worst ever, The Guardian, 26 November 2019: Jordan and Israel’s 25-year peace deal under more strain than ever, Israel Hayom, 6 December 2019: Preserving the peace with Jordan, Haaretz, 8 December 2019: Israel’s Campaign to Destabilize Jordan, France24, 26 January 2020: Jordanian charged with ‘terror’ over tourist stabbings, Arab News, 30 April 2020: Last Israeli farmers leave enclave after Jordan deal ends, Der Spiegel, 15 May 2020: Jordan’s King Abdullah II: “The Danger of People Starving to Death Is Greater than the Danger from the Virus”, 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Jordan).

Israel and Iraq have been implacable foes since 1948. Iraq sent its troops to participate in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and later backed Egypt and Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War (Haaretz, 9 May 2020: Military Intelligence Chief Misled Israeli Leaders Ahead of 1973 War, Declassified Doc Reveals). In June 1981, Israel attacked and destroyed newly built Iraqi nuclear facilities in Operation Opera. During the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel, in the hopes of uniting the Arab world against the coalition which sought to liberate Kuwait. At the behest of the United States, Israel did not respond to this attack in order to prevent a greater outbreak of war (BBC, 25 October 2019: Iraq protests: 40 dead as mass unrest descends into violence, The Guardian, 25 October 2019: At least 40 killed and dozens injured in Baghdad amid protests sweeping Iraq, Arab News, 25 October 2019: At least 40 dead in renewed Iraq protests, 11 die setting fire to armed faction HQ, Al Jazeera, 25 October 2019: Dozens killed as fierce anti-government protests sweep Iraq, The National, 25 October 2019: More deaths as Iraqis resume anti-government protests, France24, 26 October 2019: Deadly protests flare again in Iraq after day of bloodshed, Arab News, 27 October 2019: Iraqis defy bloody crackdown, protest for third day, The National, 28 October 2019: Iraq protests continue despite mounting death toll, Saudi Gazette, 28 October 2019: 2 die, 112 hurt as Iraq declares Baghdad curfew amid protests, Al Jazeera, 29 October 2019: Iraqi protesters pack Baghdad’s Tahrir square, The National, 31 October 2019: Iranian general met Iraqi security officials as Baghdad and Kerbala continue to rage, Arab News, 31 October 2019: Iran’s theory on events in Iraq, Lebanon, The National, 31 October 2019: Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi willing to resign, says Barham Salih, France24, 1 November 2019: Iraq’s top clerics warn of foreign interference amid largest anti-government demonstrations yet, The National, 1 November 2019: As Iraq protests enter month two, on the streets people vow to remain peaceful, Al Jazeera, 10 November 2019: Iraq gov’t urged to rein in security forces to end ‘bloodbath’, Gulf Times, 17 November 2019: Strikes resume in Iraq to bolster anti-regime protests, The New York Times, 18 November 2019: The Iran Cables: Secret Documents Show How Tehran Wields Power in Iraq, The Guardian, 18 November 2019: Leaked cables reveal scale of Iran’s influence in Iraq, The National, 18 November 2019: Iraqi officials say Iran runs ‘shadow government’ in Baghdad, The National, 19 November 2019: Iraq: threats, violence and kidnap taking a psychological toll on protesters, Arab News, 19 November 2019: Iraqi protesters block commercial ports, split capital, Arab News, 23 November 2019: Protester shot dead and dozens wounded in Iraq, France24, 24 November 2019: Deadly clashes in Iraq as protests flare once again, Al Jazeerra, 24 November 2019: Death toll rises as anti-gov’t protests grip Iraq, Al Jazeera, 28 November 2019: Why are Iraqi protesters targeting Iranian buildings?, BBC, 28 November 2019: Iraq unrest: 24 killed in fresh wave of protests, France24, 28 November 2019: Dozens of Iraqi protesters killed in crackdown after Iranian consulate torched, Al Jazeera, 28 November 2019: ‘Bloodbath’: Dozens of protesters killed as army deploys south, Arab News, 28 November 2019: Iraqi forces kill 22 protesters in Nassiriya after Iranian consulate torched, The Guardian, 29 November 2019: Iraqi PM says he will resign after weeks of bloody protests, Times of Israel, 30 November 2019: Iraqis keep up anti-regime demos despite PM’s vow to quit, The Guardian, 30 November 2019: Iraq risks breakup as tribes take on Iran’s militias in ‘blood feud’, France24, 1 December 2019: Iraq parliament approves PM Abdul Mahdi’s resignation as thousands mourn fallen protesters, Al Jazeera, 1 December 2019: Uncertainty remains as Iraq parliament accepts PM’s resignation, The National, 1 December 2019: As Iraq uprising intensifies, parliament accepts Abdul Mahdi’s resignation, Arab News, 3 December 2019: Talks in Baghdad as violence hits Iraq’s shrine cities, Al Jazeera, 8 December 2019: Tensions flare as unidentified gunmen kill protesters in Baghdad, The National, 8 December 2019: ‘Outlaw criminals’ responsible for Baghdad protest shooting, says Barham Salih, Arab News, 9 December 2019: Iraq summons Western ambassadors for condemning protest attacks, Al Jazeera, 29 December 2019: US ‘strikes’ target pro-Iran militia bases in Iraq, Syria, The National, 18 January 2020: Renewed clashes leave two protesters dead in Baghdad, The National, 20 January 2020: Iraq’s protests escalate as frustration grows over lack of reform, Al Arabiya, 20 January 2020: Iraqi protesters block main roads on day of deadline for government, Jerusalem Post, 20 January 2020: Dozens of Iraqi protesters wounded as anti-government unrest resumes, Jerusalem Post, 24 January 2020: ‘Million-Man March’ in Baghdad against US presence in Iraq, France24, 24 January 2020: Loudspeakers blast ‘No, no America!’ as Baghdad protesters demand US troops quit Iraq, BBC, 25 January 2020: Iraqis security forces raid Baghdad protest site, l Jazeera, 25 January 2020: Tensions high in Baghdad as police fire tear gas, live bullets, The National, 25 January 2020: Iraqi security fire on crowds as Baghdad crackdown begins, Arab News, 2 February 2020: Iraqi protesters dig in heels despite new PM-designate, Al Arabiya, 7 February 2020: Nearly 550 Iraqis killed in anti-government demonstrations: Commission, France24, 13 February 2020: Rocket hits Iraq base hosting US troops: military, Al Jazeera, 13 February 2020: Rocket attack hits northern Iraq base hosting US troops, The National, 13 February 2020: Nato chief: Iraq gives permission for training mission, Al Arabiya, 13 February 2020: Iran-backed Hezbollah steps in to support Iraqi militias after Soleimani’s death, The National, 24 February 2020: How Nato’s Iraq expansion is a test for its Middle East plans, Al Arabiya, 9 May 2020: Who is Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi?, 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Iraq).

In 1970, following an extended civil war, King Hussein expelled the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan. September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the “era of regrettable events”. It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the autonomy of Palestinian organisations and restore his monarchy’s rule over the country. The violence resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, the vast majority Palestinians. Armed conflict lasted until July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon. The PLO resettled in Lebanon, from which it staged raids into Israel. In 1978, Israel launched Operation Litani, in which it together with the South Lebanon Army forced the PLO to retreat north of the Litani river. In 1981 another conflict between Israel and the PLO broke out, which ended with a ceasefire agreement that did not solve the core of the conflict. In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. Within two months the PLO agreed to withdraw thence. In March 1983, Israel and Lebanon signed a ceasefire agreement. However, Syria pressured President Amine Gemayel into nullifying the truce in March 1984. By 1985, Israeli forces withdrew to a 15 km wide southern strip of Lebanon, following which the conflict continued on a lower scale, with relatively low casualties on both sides. In 1993 and 1996, Israel launched major operations against the Shiite militia of Hezbollah, which had become an emergent threat. In May 2000, the newly elected government of Ehud Barak authorized a withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, fulfilling an election promise to do so well ahead of a declared deadline. The hasty withdrawal lead to the immediate collapse of the South Lebanon Army, and many members either got arrested or fled to Israel. In 2006, as a response to a Hezbollah cross-border raid, Israel launched air strikes on Hezbollah strongholds in Southern Lebanon, starting the 2006 Lebanon War. The inconclusive war lasted for 34 days, and resulted in the creation of a buffer zone in Southern Lebanon and the deployment of Lebanese troops south of the Litani river for the first time since the 1960s. The Israeli government under Ehud Olmert was harshly criticized for its handling of the war in the Winograd Commission (see Israeli–Lebanese conflict, Israel–Lebanon relations, and Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon).

The 1970s were marked by a large number of major, international terrorist attacks, including the Lod Airport massacre and the Munich Olympics Massacre in 1972, and the Entebbe Hostage Taking in 1976, with over 100 Jewish hostages of different nationalities kidnapped and held in Uganda. In December 1987, the First Intifada began. The First Intifada was a mass Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the Palestinian territories. The rebellion began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinian actions ranged from civil disobedience to violence. In addition to general strikes, boycotts on Israeli products, graffiti and barricades, Palestinian demonstrations that included stone-throwing by youths against the Israel Defense Forces brought the Intifada international attention. The Israeli army’s heavy handed response to the demonstrations, with live ammunition, beatings and mass arrests, brought international condemnation. The PLO, which until then had never been recognised as the leaders of the Palestinian people by Israel, was invited to peace negotiations the following year, after it recognized Israel and renounced terrorism. In mid-1993, Israeli and Palestinian representatives engaged in peace talks in Oslo. As a result, in September 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords, known as the Declaration of Principles or Oslo I; in side letters, Israel recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people while the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism, violence and its desire for the destruction of Israel. The Oslo II agreement was signed in 1995 and detailed the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C. Area A was land under full Palestinian civilian control. In Area A, Palestinians were also responsible for internal security. The Oslo agreements remain important documents in Israeli-Palestinian relations (see Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the film “The Oslo Diaries” by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan) – 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the State of Palestine.

The Second Intifada forced Israel to rethink its relationship and policies towards the Palestinians. Following a series of suicide bombings and attacks, the Israeli army launched Operation Defensive Shield. It was the largest military operation conducted by Israel since the Six-Day War (“Censored Voices” by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan). As violence between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants intensified, Israel expanded its security apparatus around the West Bank by re-taking many parts of land in Area A. Israel established a complicated system of roadblocks and checkpoints around major Palestinian areas to deter violence and protect Israeli settlements. However, since 2008, the IDF has slowly transferred authority to Palestinian security forces. Israel’s then prime minister Ariel Sharon began a policy of disengagement from Gaza from the Gaza Strip in 2003. This policy was fully implemented in August 2005. Sharon’s announcement to disengage from Gaza came as a tremendous shock to his critics both on the left and on the right. A year previously, he had commented that the fate of the most far-flung settlements in Gaza, Netzararem and Kfar Darom, was regarded in the same light as that of Tel Aviv. The formal announcements to evacuate seventeen Gaza settlements and another four in the West Bank in February 2004 represented the first reversal for the settler movement since 1968. It divided his party. It was strongly supported by Trade and Industry Minister Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, the Minister for Immigration and Absorption, but Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned it. It was also uncertain whether this was simply the beginning of further evacuation. On 16 March 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist was crushed to death by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer in Rafah during a non-violent protest of the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes. Corrie stood in confrontation with the bulldozers for three hours wearing a bright orange jacket and carrying a megaphone. Although the Israeli government has denied responsibility in the incident and ruled her death as an accident, several eye-witness reports say that the Israeli soldier operating the bulldozer deliberately ran her over. In June 2006, Hamas militants infiltrated an army post near the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip and abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Two IDF soldiers were killed in the attack, while Shalit was wounded after his tank was hit with an RPG. Three days later Israel launched Operation Summer Rains to secure the release of Shalit. He was held hostage by Hamas, who barred the International Red Cross from seeing him, until 18 October 2011, when he was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. In July 2006, Hezbollah fighters crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel, attacked and killed eight Israeli soldiers, and abducted two others as hostages, setting off the 2006 Lebanon War which caused much destruction in Lebanon. A UN-sponsored ceasefire went into effect on 14 August 2006, officially ending the conflict. The conflict killed over a thousand Lebanese and over 150 Israelis, severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million Lebanese and 300,000–500,000 Israelis, although most were able to return to their homes. After the ceasefire, some parts of Southern Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to Israeli unexploded cluster bomblets. In the aftermath of the Battle of Gaza, where Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in a violent civil war with rival Fatah, Israel placed restrictions on its border with Gaza borders and ended economic cooperation with the Palestinian leadership based there. Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007. Israel maintains the blockade is necessary to limit Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza and to prevent Hamas from smuggling advanced rockets and weapons capable of hitting its cities. On 6 September 2007, in Operation Orchard, Israel bombed an eastern Syrian complex which was allegedly a nuclear reactor being built with assistance from North Korea. Israel had also bombed Syria in 2003. In April 2008, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a Qatari newspaper that Syria and Israel had been discussing a peace treaty for a year, with Turkey as a go-between. This was confirmed in May 2008 by a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As well as a peace treaty, the future of the Syrian Golan Heights is being discussed. President Assad said “there would be no direct negotiations with Israel until a new US president takes office.” Speaking in Jerusalem on 26 August 2008, then United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel’s increased settlement construction in the West Bank as detrimental to the peace process. Rice’s comments came amid reports that Israeli construction in the disputed territory had increased by a factor of 1.8 over 2007 levels. A fragile six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired on 19 December 2008; attempts at extending the truce failed amid accusations of breaches from both sides. Following the expiration, Israel launched a raid on a tunnel suspected of being used to kidnap Israeli soldiers which killed several Hamas fighters. Following this, Hamas resumed rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli cities, most notably firing over 60 rockets on 24 December. On 27 December 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against Hamas. Numerous human rights organizations accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes (United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report). European Coalition for Israel, which one day dreams of having the same power over the EU Parliament as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has over parts of the US Senate and Congress). In 2009 Israel placed a 10-month settlement freeze on the West Bank. Hillary Clinton praised the freeze as an “unprecedented” gesture that could “help revive Middle East talks.” A raid was carried out by Israeli naval forces on six ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. After the ships refused to dock at Port Ashdod. On the MV Mavi Marmara, activists clashed with the Israeli boarding party. During the fighting, nine activists were killed by Israeli special forces. Widespread international condemnation of and reaction to the raid followed, Israel–Turkey relations were strained, and Israel subsequently eased its blockade on the Gaza Strip. Several dozen other passengers and seven Israeli soldiers were injured, with some of the commandos suffering from gunshot wounds (The National, 9 July 2019: Israeli court rules Palestinian Authority responsible for Second Intifada attacks).

Following the latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, 13 Palestinian militant movements led by Hamas initiated a terror campaign designed to derail and disrupt the negotiations. Attacks on Israelis have increased since August 2010, after 4 Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas militants. Palestinian militants have increased the frequency of rocket attacks aimed at Israelis. On 2 August, Hamas militants launched seven Katyusha rockets at Eilat and Aqaba in Jordan, killing one Jordanian civilian and wounding 4 others. Intermittent fighting continued since then, including 680 rocket attacks on Israel in 2011. On 14 November 2012, Israel killed Ahmed Jabari, a leader of Hamas’s military wing, launching Operation Pillar of Cloud. Hamas and Israel agreed to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire on 21 November. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that 158 Palestinians were killed during the operation, of which: 102 were civilians, 55 were militants and one was a policeman; 30 were children and 13 were women. B’Tselem stated that according to its initial findings, which covered only the period between 14 and 19 November 102 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, 40 of them civilians. According to Israeli figures, 120 combatants and 57 civilians were killed. International outcry ensued, with many criticizing Israel for what much of the international community perceived as a disproportionately violent response. Protests took place on hundreds of college campuses across the U.S., and in front of the Israeli consulate in New York. Additional protests took place throughout the Middle East, throughout Europe, and in parts of South America. Following an escalation of rocket attacks by Hamas, Israel started Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip on 8 July 2014 (Palestine Chronicle, 17 December 2019: Dugard: ICC Prosecutor Bensouda Biased In Favor Of Israel, Unwilling to Deliver Justice for Palestine, France24, 20 December 2019: ICC to investigate alleged war crimes in Palestinian territories, The Guardian, 20 December 2019: ICC to investigate alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes, BBC, 20 December 2019: ICC wants to open ‘war crimes’ investigation in West Bank and Gaza, Arab News, 20 December 2019: International prosecutor from ICC preparing to open Palestine war crimes probe, Al Jazeera, 20 December 2019: ICC to investigate alleged war crimes in Palestinian territories, Haaretz, 20 December 2019: Fearing Investigation, Israel Says Hague Has No Jurisdiction in West Bank or Gaza, Times of Israel, 21 December 2019: Israel fears ICC could issue global arrest warrants for top officials — report, Haaretz, 21 December 2019: Israeli Attorney General ‘Resolutely Rejects’ ICC Prosecutor’s Call to Probe Israel’s War Crimes Against Palestinians, Jerusalem Post, 21 December 2019: Palestinians welcome ICC ‘war crimes’ probe, Times of Israel, 22 December 2019: International Criminal Court probe of Israel is ‘pure anti-Semitism,’ says PM (for these hateful lies alone, Netanyahu should be jailed for 2 years straight), Haaretz, 22 December 2019: ‘Anti-Semitic Decrees’: Netanyahu Slams ICC Prosecutor’s Call to Probe Israel for War Crimes, Haaretz, 22 December 2019: The Road to an ICC Probe of Alleged Israeli War Crimes: What Happens Next?, Israel Hayom, 22 December 2019: Netanyahu accuses ICC of waging ‘political war’ against Israel, Jerusalem Post, 22 December 2019: It’s as if ICC issued guilty war crime verdict for Israel without a trial, Haaretz, 23 December 2019: ‘What About Hamas?’: Fact-checking Israel’s Response to ICC Prosecutor’s Call to Probe War Crimes, Times of Israel, 23 December 2019: The Hague vs. Israel: Everything you need to know about the ICC Palestine probe, Haaretz, 23 December 2019: The Right Has Eroded Israel’s Protection Against an International Probe, Israel Hayom, 24 December 2019: How B’Tselem is helping the ICC target Israel, Haaretz, 24 December 2019: Fearing Israel Will Shun ICC Proceedings, Prosecutor Presents Its Legal Opinion to Judges, Palestine Chronicle, 24 December 2019: Israel Considers Preventing Entry of ICC Investigators, Jerusalem Post, 25 December 2019: European hypocrisy (“Netanyahu clan’s nut jobsy” would had been the far better and more precise headline), Israel Hayom, 25 December 2019: Siding With Israel, Germany Says ICC Has No Jurisdiction in Palestinian Territories“>Defense minister warns ICC: ‘Israel will provide a legal Iron Dome to its service members’ (which, in return, means “We absolutely don’t care about (international) laws and never will. For us, the rules of the Torah apply only.”), Jerusalem Post, 25 December 2019: Naftali Bennett: The Hague’s ICC is home of modern antisemitism, Arab News, 25 December 2019: Israel will discredit the ICC ahead of historic probe, Times of Israel, 25 December 2019: Australia rejects ICC Palestine probe; Germany warns against politicization, Jerusalem Post, 26 December 2019: The ICC decision on Israel would make Himmler proud (conspiracy theories have never really worked. Certainly not if they are directed against fully integre institutions such as the International Criminal Court), Times of Israel, 26 December 2019: From The Gambia to The Hague: Meet Israel’s new public enemy number one (priceless, how a “possible investigation” is making that much waves. Most likely, because the Israelis know themselves, that International Criminal Court prosecutor Bensouda’s conclusions are spot on. Hopefully everyone got enough popcorn to enjoy the show), Jerusalem Post, 26 December 2019: Refusing to play the Palestinians’ ICC game, Israel Hayom, 27 December 2019: They say every Jewish settler is a ‘war criminal’ (and when looking at international law, “they” are absolutely right, except you are a Likudnik or another type of right-wing fruit cake, because then of course there are no laws, but the Torah only), Israel Hayom, 27 December 2019: Tiptoeing around the ICC (so the Israeli answer shall be: criminal acts of serious violence against the ICC, which, of course, would finally add-up to an image of Israel as a criminal country in general and not only on some aspects), Jerusalem Post, 29 December 2019: Think about it: Israel and the ICC, Arab News, 1 January 2020: ICC poses real threat to Israel’s hypocrisy and lies, Jerusalem Post, 2 January 2020: ICC Prosecutor to ‘Post’: Probe of Gantz, IDF officers, is premature, Israel Hayom, 6 January 2020: ICC is undercutting its own legitimacy, Times of Israel, 8 January 2020: ICC probe won’t deter Israel from expanding settlements, Netanyahu vows, Palestine Chronicle, 8 January 2020: Justice at Last? ‘Panic’ in Israel as the ICC Takes ‘Momentous Step’ in the Right Direction, Haaretz, 11 January 2020: Hungary Backs Israel in Fight Against ICC Call to Probe War Crimes Against Palestinians, Times of Israel, 11 January 2020: Backing Israel, Hungary says it opposes potential ICC probe of Jewish state, Jerusalem Post, 11 January 2020: Netanyahu asks friendly countries to say ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel, Israel Hayom, 12 January 2020: The legal threat posed by The Hague is real, Times of Israel, 14 January 2020: ICC prosecutor: Netanyahu’s anti-Semitism charge is ‘particularly regrettable’, Haaretz, 21 January 2020: Netanyahu to Use Holocaust Forum to Boost Support for Israel Against the ICC, Times of Israel, 22 January 2020: ICC delays jurisdiction ruling on Israel war crimes case over document length, The National, 26 January 2020: Netanyahu tries to rally global opposition to ICC case, Haaretz, 13 February 2020: Czech Republic Offers ICC to Be ‘Friend of the Court’ in Israel-Palestine Case, Haaretz, 14 February 2020: Siding With Israel, Germany Says ICC Has No Jurisdiction in Palestinian Territories, Times of Israel, 14 February 2020: Germany, Hungary tell ICC they support Israeli position against war crimes probe, Haaretz, 15 February 2020: As Dozens Ask to Join Israel-Palestine Case, Request From Within the ICC Could Be the Deciding One, Haaretz, 16 February 2020: When It Comes to Israel, Merkel Is No Different Than Trump, Reuters, 16 February 2020: Israel hopes Germany, other ICC members will help stave off Palestinian investigation, Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2020: The Palestinians’ statehood gamble at the ICC – analysis, Jerusalem Post, 19 February 2020: The ICC judge who could determine Israel’s fate – analysis, Palestine Chronicle, 26 February 2020: Canada Joins ‘Friendly States’ in Opposing ICC War Crimes Investigation in Palestine, Palestine Chronicle, 4 March 2020: On the ICC and Canadian Government Hypocrisy, Times of Israel, 6 March 2020: Israeli delegation said holding talks in US on countering ICC war crimes probes, Jerusalem Post, 12 March 2020: B’Tselem: Israeli objection to ICC on ‘Palestine’ divorced from reality, Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2020: Visitors from Europe are quarantined, but not their diplomatic challenges, Jerusalem Post, 16 March 2020: Palestinians to ICC: We have sole sovereignty over ‘State of Palestine’, Jerusalem Post, 18 March 2020: ICC decision on Israel delayed by coronavirus shutdown, Times of Israel, 19 March 2020: ICC prosecutor requests more time to weigh jurisdiction over Palestinian areas, Jerusalem Post, 30 April 2020: ICC Prosecutor to give final position on if Palestine is a state, Times of Israel, 30 April 2020: Chief prosecutor insists ICC has jurisdiction to probe war crimes in ‘Palestine’, Jerusalem Post, 30 April 2020: ICC Prosecutor doubles down that Palestine is a state, Haaretz, 10 May 2020: The Real Victims of the International Criminal Court’s Obsession With Israel, Jerusalem Post, 10 May 2020: ICC: Smear campaigns don’t change facts about ‘Palestine’ probe, Times of Israel, 15 May 2020: Congressional letters urge Pompeo to protect Israel from ICC, Times of Israel, 16 May 2020: Pompeo warns ICC of ‘consequences’ for potential war crimes probe of Israel, Times of Israel, 17 May 2020: Netanyahu: Fighting ICC war crimes probe among government’s key objectives, Haaretz, 28 May 2020: Palestinian Leadership Argues Severing Ties With Israel Shouldn’t Influence International Court, Jerusalem Post, 8 June 2020: ICC Prosecutor: Israel war crimes probe can go on despite Oslo Accords, Times of Israel, 11 June 2020: Netanyahu hails Trump for announcing sanctions against ‘corrupt’ ICC (the two corrupt buddies are again trying to distract from their inabilities. It won’t work because the ICC has had to deal with such people more often in the past), Jerusalem Post, 24 June 2020: Why didn’t Israel respond to ICC about Oslo deal? – analysis, Haaretz, 25 June 2020: Israel Preparing for International Court to Launch Probe Into War Crimes ‘Within Days,’ Officials Say, Haaretz, 27 June 2020: Instead of Standing With the ICC, Israel’s Defenders of the Law Are Silent, Times of Israel, 9 July 2020: These three judges could send Israel to the dock in The Hague, Haaretz, 15 July 2020: Israel Forms Secret List of Hundreds of Officials Who May Stand Trial at International Court, Palestine Chronicle, 17 July 2020: ‘Secret List’ of Likely Suspects: Israel Readies Itself for ICC Investigation, Palestine Chronicle, 29 July 2020: List of Israeli Targets Leaked: Tel Aviv Fears the Worst in ICC Investigation of War Crimes, Al Jazeera, 29 July 2020: ‘Little hope’: Gazans see no ICC justice for Israeli ‘crimes’, Palestine Chronicle, 31 July 2020: Israel’s List of Compromised Officials Suggests Their Guilt of War Crimes.


Consensus in Europe and North America is, that Israel within the 1967 borders is non-negotiable (Times of Israel, 14 February 2019: Is it really legitimate to talk about legitimacy?). This position has prevailed in most of the rest of the international community as well. Such a basic agreement between the two parties to the dispute is only partially given yet. In all other challenges, of which there are many, significant national and international differences in interests are evident. Of course, it is easier to classify and assess the conflict when not affected personally or emotionally, especially because of the differentiation in countries, states, policies, governments, populations and religions is easier. The closer you get to the action, the more emotional it becomes, and the differentiation hardly succeeds or is going lost at all. Even in this blog post it become clear how difficult it is to keep a semi-neutral observer role in order to include as many voices and views as possible, so that all readers can find themselves at one point or the other and at the same time familiarize themselves with the views of others. This has already been achieved on many points, while we are still working on others. This can also be seen by the selection of the media reports. There are, of course, hundreds of reports on every single topic, of which only a small portion is linked, which reflect the views of the respective journalists/authors and give a good impression of how different the views and evaluations are. Often interesting are less the individual news topics themselves, which are now presented quite similarly internationally. Especially interesting are the different interpretations on the basis of social, societal and historical aspects of the respective countries of origin, but also following political agendas, personal or collective animosities. The result is a mixed situation, which is probably best described as the “Oriental Bazaar of Opinions”, a spice bazaar with spices from all over the world – and each of them is unique in its own way. All in all, however, this is not scientific work, but rather a summary of the conflicts in the region and the approach to the topics from different perspectives, as well as the attempt to make the complexity of the conflicts more comprehensible and accessible, also against the background that the realities of life in Europe and North America are quite different from those in the Levant, which is not conducive to mutual understanding in the sometimes opposing worlds of thought (even if you “only” follow the news in the EU and North America, it becomes clear how different the views of the West are in detail, despite the very close ties. Then there is the Israeli perspective. Together, however, they only depict 180° of the conflicts, so that the remaining 180° must be included so that an all-round view is possible, because ultimately no solution can be found without the Arab perspective). Overall, it is of course also important how you approach the topic yourself. Do you want to get to know the different aspects and perspectives or just see your own worldview confirmed? In the latter case you will not always be able to stay relaxed while reading the following text.

State borders
The territory of a future State of Palestine and its border with Israel are unclear and even controversial among Israelis and Palestinians themselves. With the Arabs rejecting the UN Partition Plan of 1947 (Resolution 181 and Haaretz, 29 November 2019: Secrets and Lies: Scenes From the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine) and Israel annexing much of the Palestinian territories during the Palestinian War, the area originally planned for a Palestinian state was reduced enormously. From 1960 to about 1989, according to internal and official documents, the PLO sought a Palestinian state that included Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The PLO gave up the demand for a state in Israel in the Oslo Accords and officially recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1988 (UN Security Council Resolution 242 – at the same time proclaiming the Palestinian Declaration of Independence), while international law doesn’t provide a “right for existence of states” (if there would be a right to exist, there wouldn’t be that many wars around the world, because they wouldn’t make any sense in principle). However, the word creation has served Israel well, especially as a vehicle was needed to create an alternative to the “Territorial Integrity of States” which explicitly refers to “the inviolability of the territory and borders of sovereign states”. Israel and Palestine, Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon doesn’t have such borders yet (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194), so that it will take some time before nationally and internationally recognized borders will be given (it is astonishing that although the “right to exist” of Israel is mantra-like prayed, the fact, that the Palestinians have declared their independence in 1988 is often missed out. Both countries are only majority recognized by the UN as states, or conversely: If one country got granted the right to exist, this must be granted to the other country as well or, consequently, deny the existence to both. There is no solution in between (double standard)). Today, the PLO is seeking a state in the territory of the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, and is with solution in line with the international community. Parts of Fatah as well as the Islamist, classified by Israel and by parts of the Western community as terrorist organizations, Hamas (international positions) and Islamic Jihad (Times of Israel, 1 April 2019: Reports: Islamic Jihad planning large Gaza attack to derail ceasefire talks) continued to demand the “liberation of the whole of Palestine” including the territory of Israel, with it its elimination. In its recently revised charter, Hamas has distanced itself from this goal and is now referring to the 1967 borders, with the state of Israel still not recognized as such. On the Israeli side, there are calls from settlers and other right-wing extremist, radical and nationalist terrorist organizations (in Israel, referred to as “Taliban with Kippah“) for Eretz Israel, that is, the violent annexation of Gaza, the West Bank (the so-called, internationally unacknowledged, but supported by Christian Zionists (Second Coming of Christ), Judea and Samaria (Judea is the historical core settlement area of the Jews) and the Syrian Golan Heights to create a “Greater Israel”. The demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar in September 2018 has created further conditions for the full partition of the West Bank into two disjointed parts (on both sides of Highway 1) to illegally settle on more Palestinian lands and at the same time prevent the implementation of the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence permanently and at any cost, thereby continuing the Netanyahu government’s endless sabotage of a peace treaty and the two-state solution (Israel National News, 29 May 2017: “Netanyahu no longer supports two-state solution”, BBC, 26 September 2018: Trump: Two-state Middle East solution would work best, NPR, 30 September 2018: Netanyahu’s Not-Quite-2-State Solution, Bloomberg, 15 November 2018: Netanyahu’s Opposition Keeps the Two-State Solution Alive and Times of Israel, 5 March 2019: What if a desperate Netanyahu embraces West Bank annexation?), driving the country more and more into international isolation and turning it into a theocracy. As a result, Netanyahu’s Israel has developed at a remarkable pace backwards and thus becoming increasingly similar to neighboring countries.

Important players in the region are the Gulf States, which are aiming for the two-state solution within the 1967 borders (Arab Peace Initiative), as well as the Western community. Without these players, solving the given challenges will not be possible (Jerusalem Post, 24 March 2019: Stronger Evangelical-Muslim relations will be key in achieving Middle East peace). To signal willingness to negotiate, Saudi Arabia surprisingly announced in May 2017 that it would allow Israeli companies to do business in the country (as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 (Arab News: Road to 2030, Al Arabiya, 15 August 2019: Saudi Arabia’s reforming business landscape)). Another milestone followed in March 2018: for the first time in history, Saudi airspace was opened for commercial passenger flights of Air India to Israel. On 2 April 2018, the reform-oriented (The Washington Post, 1 March 2018: Are Saudi Arabia’s reforms for real? A recent visit says yes.) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in an interview with The Atlantic (Saudi Crown Prince: Iran’s Supreme Leader ‘Makes Hitler Look Good’) that “the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to their own land.” This is the first time ever, that a Saudi Arabian high profile awards Israel the right to exist. A statement that seemed to be unthinkable a year ago (New York Times, 3 April 2018: Saudi Prince Says Israelis Have Right to ‘Their Own Land’, BBC, 3 April 2018: Israel and Saudi Arabia: The relationship emerging into the open,, 3 April 2018: Saudi Crown Prince recognises Israel’s right to exist, Deutsche Welle, 3 April 2018: What is the Saudi prince’s strategy in recognizing Israel?, Haaretz, 1 May 2018: Palestinians Should ‘Shut Up’ or Make Peace, Saudi Crown Prince Told Jewish Leaders, Haaretz, 5 August 2018: Why Younger Saudis Won’t Fund, Facilitate or Fight for a Palestinian State, The New York Times, 23 November 2017: Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last: The crown prince has big plans for his society., The Washington Post, 7 August 2018: Saudi Arabia cannot afford to pick fights with Canada, The Guardian, 12 August 2018: The bizarre spat with Canada shows Mohammed bin Salman’s true colours, The Washington Post, 26 October 2018: Israel’s Netanyahu pays surprise visit to Oman, Middle East Eye, 26 October 2018: Netanyahu makes surprise trip to Oman and meets with Sultan Qaboos, Reuters, 26 October 2018: Israeli PM Netanyahu makes rare visit to Oman, Al Jazeera, 26 October 2018: Israel’s Netanyahu meets Sultan Qaboos in surprise Oman trip, Bloomberg, 28 October 2018: Netanyahu’s Oman Visit Sets Off Israeli Cabinet Rush to Gulf, The Washington Post, 1 November 2018: Saudi crown prince described journalist as a dangerous Islamist in call with White House, officials say, The Atlantic, 1 November 2018: Progress Without Peace in the Middle East and BBC, 6 November 2018: Israel-Arab ties warm up after long deep freeze). Even if the Gulf States and Israel officially exclude mutual diplomatic missions, there has been unofficial backroom diplomacy for years, advocated and supported by the respective country leaders. Otherwise these talks wouldn’t be held at all (Jerusalem Post, 6 August 2019: Israelis and Arabs say one thing in public and another behind closed doors). That’s why sometimes Arab delegations stroll through West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, or observers wonder which conversation partners meet in the business and conference centers of the hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Today, the state of Israel is recognized by 169 of the 193 United Nations states, and since 1988 by the Palestinians. Today, the state of Palestine is recognized by 136 137 states (The Washington Post, 7 November 2017: Map: The countries that recognize Palestine as a state, Times of Israel, 30 July 2019: Tiny island nation St. Kitts and Nevis recognizes Palestinian state). Israel isn’t among them (or as Israreli writer Amos Oz wrote: “Israel is a refugee camp, Palestine too. The conflict is a tragic clash between the right and the right … both nations don’t have another place to go. They cannot unite into a big happy family, because they are not family, and they are not happy – these are two miserable, different families. A historical compromise must be made: a two-state solution.”).

April 2019 Israeli legislative election (Round 1)
Early legislative elections were held on 9 April 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 21st Knesset. Elections had been due in November 2019, but were brought forward following a dispute between members of the current government over a bill on national service for the ultra-Orthodox population, as well as impending corruption charges against incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s Likud tied with Blue and White alliance of Benny Gantz, both winning 35 seats. The balance of power was held by smaller parties, with right-wing and religious parties that have previously sat in coalition with Likud, which would have allowed Netanyahu to form the next government. Due to continuation of the disagreements over the national service of the ultra-Orthodox, a snap election was called, and is set to be held on 17 September 2019. Media coverage: The Jerusalem Post, 24 December 2018: Netanyahu’s coalition collapses; Israel heading to elections in April, Al Jazeera, 24 December 2018: Israel to hold early elections in April, The Guardian, 24 December 2018: Israeli government agrees to hold early elections in April and i24 News, 24 December 2018: Israel announces dissolution of government, snap elections in April (like Trump on Twitter and Putin with his RT channel, besides his “advertisement agency” Israel HaYom, Netanyahu now has his own fake news TV channel, named “Likud TV”, streamed on Facebook – Times of Israel, 4 February 2019: With fake media outlet Likud TV, Netanyahu sets up nakedly self-serving soapbox, matching to the upcoming elections) Times of Israel, 20 February 2019: Netanyahu’s despicable push to bring racists into Israel’s political mainstream, Haaretz, 20 February 2019: Top Posts for Merging With Kahanists: Netanyahu, Far-right Party Reach Deal, France24, 20 February 2019: Israel PM deal seeks to boost ultra-right in April vote, Haaretz, 21 February 2019: Netanyahu Just Destroyed One of Israel’s Key National Security Assets, The Guardian, 21 February 2019: Benjamin Netanyahu strikes deal with hardline parties ahead of Israel elections, Haaretz, 21 February 2019: Netanyahu Now Endorses Jewish Fascism. U.S. Jews, Cut Your Ties With Him Now, Times of Israel, 22 February 2019: AIPAC slams ‘racist and reprehensible’ extremist party wooed by Netanyahu, Haaretz, 22 February 2019: ‘Racist and Reprehensible’: AIPAC Slams Kahanist Party Backed by Netanyahu, Times of Israel, 23 February 2019: Lapid: Netanyahu puts politics before country, harms Israel’s image, Times of Israel, 23 February 2019: After AIPAC rebuke, Netanyahu defends aiding Kahanists: ‘Hypocrisy by the left’, Haaretz, 24 February 2019: For U.S. Jewry, Kahanist Caper Casts Netanyahu as Prince of Darkness and Trump on Steroids, Times of Israel, 24 February 2019: The desecration of Israel, Times of Israel, 24 February 2019: Ex-AIPAC official: By backing extremists, Netanyahu ‘overstepped the line’, Times of Israel, 25 February 2019: US Reform leader: Netanyahu’s deal with extremists is like ‘welcoming’ the KKK, The Guardian, 25 February 2019: Pro-Israel US group condemns Netanyahu pact with extremists, Times of Israel, 28 February 2019: High Court rejects Likud petition to prevent AG announcing Netanyahu indictment, France24, 28 February 2019: Israeli Justice Ministry confirms intention to indict Netanyahu and The New York Times, 28 February 2019: Prosecutor Moves to Indict Netanyahu on Corruption Charges (which is why he is no longer referred to as “Prime Minister” but as “Crime Minister” in Israel), The Guardian, 28 February 2019: Netanyahu to be indicted on corruption charges, Israeli attorney general says, The New York Times, 28 February 2019: Netanyahu Indictment Closer as Israeli Prosecutor Seeks Charges, Times of Israel, 28 February 2019: Gantz appeals to Netanyahu to put Israel’s interests first and ‘resign’, Times of Israel, 28 February 2019: Netanyahu’s illicit dealings benefited tycoon by $500 million, AG alleges, Times of Israel, 28 February 2019: ‘You knew you were taking a bribe’: The specifics of Netanyahu’s alleged crimes, The New York Times, 1 March 2019: Time for Netanyahu to Go, Times of Israel, 1 March 2019: Poll shows two-thirds of Israelis think Netanyahu should resign if indicted, Times of Israel, 2 March 2019: Bret Stephens calls Netanyahu the ‘Nixon of Israel,’ says he should resign, The New York Times, 2 March 2019: Can Israel Survive Without Netanyahu? Israelis Imagine the Future, Times of Israel, 3 March 2019: Is Netanyahu a crook? Allegedly. A threat to democracy? That verdict is sadly in, Haaretz, 4 March 2019: Netanyahu Is Going Down, but What About His Powerful Accomplice?, Times of Israel, 6 March 2019: Right-wing ally of Netanyahu proposes bill to save him from prosecution, Times of Israel, 7 March 2019: Police recommend bribery charges for Likud’s David Bitan, Times of Israel, 7 March 2019: Lapid: If Netanyahu is reelected, he’ll legislate to place himself above the law, Times of Israel, 30 June 2019: Mandelblit warns against ‘real erosion’ of Israel’s founding legal principles, Haaretz, 7 March 2019: Yair Lapid Outlines Four Demands for Peace With Palestinians, The Washington Post, 7 March 2019: Israeli electoral committee bans Arab candidates, allows extreme right to run, Haaretz, 7 March 2019: The Israeli Elections Committee Embraced Jewish Supremacists and Expelled Arab Radicals. So What Else Is New?, Times of Israel, 8 March 2019: Benny Gantz’s tall order: Convincing Israel that he can replace Netanyahu, The Guardian, 10 March 2019: Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ‘not a state of all its citizens’, The New York Yimes, 10 March 2019: Netanyahu-Trump Partnership Is Stronger Than Ever. Are These Its Final Days?, Times of Israel, 10 March 2019: Amid Likud’s ‘Bibi or Tibi’ campaign, ADL slams ‘demonization’ of Israeli Arabs, Times of Israel, 10 March 2019: There are no second-class citizens, Rivlin says, in implicit swipe at Netanyahu, Times of Israel, 11 March 2019: For Netanyahu, all Israelis are equal, but some are more equal than others, NPR, 11 March 2019: Netanyahu Says Israel Is ‘Nation-State Of The Jewish People And Them Alone’, Jewish News, 12 March 2019: Jerusalem’s cable car: Moving in the wrong direction, ynet, 12 March 2019: The Likud is the real threat to Israel, Times of Israel, 12 March 2019: Yair Netanyahu put on leave from NGO job a day after deriding Rivlin (the most important lines of the articel are “Throughout the election campaign we have been careful to be respectful toward the Netanyahu family, but now we are calling on Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu: Control the mouth and keyboard of your son Yair,” a statement from party leader Benny Gantz said. “Your incitement toward our president crosses every possible line. Israel comes before anything else, the Netanyahu family doesn’t.”), Haaretz, 14 March 2019: J Street to Offer Competing Free Trip to Israel for Those Fed Up With Birthright, Times of Israel, 14 March 2019: Clouds gather as Israel emerges from economic ‘golden decade’, Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2019: 71% of Israeli Jews find Israeli control over the Palestinains as immoral, The Guardian, 14 March 2019: The fall of the Israeli peace movement and why leftists continue to fight, Haaretz, 14 March 2019: What a Netanyahu Election Victory Will Mean for American Jewry, Haaretz, 16 March 2019: To Defeat Gantz, Netanyahu Instructs His Party to Lie, Netanyahu’s next low point (though he can barely go lower anyway, he manages to beat himself again): Times of Israel, 17 March 2019: Cyber entrepreneur says Netanyahu behind ‘Iranian hack’ of Gantz, Times of Israel, 18 March 2019: Gantz calls for state commission of inquiry into submarine scandal, Times of Israel, 18 March 2019: Gantz: Ignore phone hack, Netanyahu guilty of ‘worst scandal in Israeli history’, The Washington Post, 20 March 2019: Under investigation and up for reelection, Netanyahu’s kinship with Trump has never been clearer, Haaretz, 20 March 2019: Pocket Money, Loans and Millions for Legal Advice: Has Netanyahu’s Wallet Finally Been Found?, Times of Israel, 20 March 2019: Pompeo in region to counter Iran, boost Netanyahu, Haaretz, 20 March 2019: Pompeo Arrives in Israel to Discuss Iran Threat, Energy and Regional Issues, Times of Israel, 20 March 2019: State prosecutors said mulling criminal probe of Netanyahu in submarine case, Times of Israel, 21 March 2019: Gantz is target of most fake news for 8th week running — report, Times of Israel, 21.03.2019: Netanyahu and the submarine scandal: Everything you need to know, Jerusalem Post, 22 March 2019: UNHRC voted 26-16 against Israel’s ‘occupation’ of the Golan Heights, Times of Israel, 22.03.2019: Supreme Court orders state witness in submarines case kept in custody, Jerusalem Post, 22 March 2019: Trumpet recruits Netanyoohoo as 2020 running mate in US elex, The Guardian, 23 March 2019: Israel’s Netanyahu to play Trump card in tight election, Haaretz, 22 March 2019: U.S. Media Finally Discovers Netanyahu-Trump Similarities – and pro-Israel Groups Are Worried, The New York Times, 23 March 2019: Israel Lobby Convenes in Washington Amid Fraying Bipartisanship and Rising Tension, Times of Israel, 24 March 2019: Incredulous Gantz bashes Netanyahu for okaying sub sale to Egypt on his own, Haaretz, 24 March 2019: AIPAC Is More Divisive Than Ever. As Confab Kicks Off, Here’s How to Fix It, Haaretz, 25 March 2019: Cleared of Collusion With Russia, Trump Can Now Collude Shamelessly With Netanyahu, Times of Israel, 25 March 2019: With some of Rabin’s awkward charisma, Gantz passes the AIPAC test, Times of Israel, 25 March 2019: At AIPAC, Gantz vows to rid Israel’s leadership of racism, corruption, The Washington Post, 26 March 2019: On Israel, Charles Schumer rises to the occasion, Haaretz, 27 March 2019: It’s a Grave Mistake to Entrust American Evangelicals With Israel’s Future, Haaretz, 28 March 2019: Bank of Israel Warns of Long-term Decline in Economic Growth, Times of Israel, 31 March 2019: Gantz says Netanyahu rancor could spark ‘civil war’, Haaretz, 1 April 2019: Network of Fake Social Media Accounts Boosting Netanyahu Ahead of Election, Report Says, The New York Times, 1 April 2019: Twitter Network Uses Fake Accounts to Promote Netanyahu, Israel Watchdog Finds, Times of Israel, 1 April 2019: Gantz claims Netanyahu trying to ‘steal elections’ as fake news network revealed, Times of Israel, 2 April 2019: Twitter said to take down most fake pro-Netanyahu accounts flagged in report, The Guardian, 3 April 2019: I fought South African apartheid. I see the same brutal policies in Israel, Times of Israel, 3 April 2019: Benny Gantz to ToI: Future of Israel as a democracy is at stake in this election, Jerusalem Post, 3 April 2019: Former Generals call for national inquiry into submarine corruption, Haaretz, 3 April 2019: Under a Decade of Netanyahu Rule the Israeli Economy Has Gone Backwards, Daily Herald, 3 April 2019: Palestinians Are Nowhere to Be Found in Israel’s Election, Times of Israel, 4 April 2019: Report: PM ‘likely benefited’ from sales by cousin’s company to Gaddafi’s Libya, Jewish News, 4 April 2019: Hidden danger behind the new US approach, Haaretz, 4 April 2019: Netanyahu Deserves to Win the Election. And We Israelis Deserve Him, Times of Israel, 4 April 2019: Who knows?, The Guardian, 5 April 2019: Best of the worst? Israel’s left looks to Gantz as election nears, The Washington Post, 5 April 2019: Israel’s Netanyahu, a political Houdini, is facing his toughest escape act yet, Times of Israel, 5 April 2019: Up to 1 in 5 Israelis said exposed to fake news smearing Gantz, Times of Israel, 5 April 2019: With Israeli election looming, liberal US Jews set their ire on Netanyahu, France24, 6 April 2019: Israeli political parties seek to integrate former generals into their ranks, Haaretz, 6 April 2019: Three Days Until Israeli Election: Netanyahu Hits the Panic Button, The Guardian, 7 April 2019: Netanyahu vows to annex Jewish settlements in occupied West Bank, Haaretz, 7 April 2019: With Gantz as Election Rival, Netanyahu Competes Against an Old Version of Himself, The New York Times, 7 April 2019: As Israel Charts a Future, Color and Chaos Abound in Its Election, Times of Israel, 7 April 2019: The simple, agonizing question for voters Tuesday: Is Netanyahu good for Israel?, The Guardian, 7 April 2019: Netanyahu’s fearmongering is working. Israelis have forgotten how to hope, Haaretz, 7 April 2019: Netanyahu Owned Shares in More Than One of His Cousin’s Companies, France24, 7 April 2019: Israeli extreme right set to become kingmaker, The Guardian, 7 April 2019: Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal would bury the two-state solution, The Guardian, 7 April 2019: The Observer view on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s elections, Times of Israel, 7 April 2019: Bibi, Trump and the Death of ‘Truth’, Times of Israel, 7 April 2019: The case for Gantz – and a return to decency, Times of Israel, 7 April 2019: Likud cancels Sunday right-wing rally in Jerusalem over fears of poor turnout, The New York Times, 7 April 2019: Will the Israeli ‘King’ Be Recrowned?, The Guardian, 8 April 2019: The secret of Netanyahu’s success? A simple tale of good versus evil, Haaretz, 8 April 2019: Non-Jews Are About to Lose the Right to Vote in Israel, Times of Israel, 8 April 2019: Day before election, Gantz says ‘the right is not in danger – Netanyahu is’. Both, Trump’s recognition of West Jerusalem as an Israeli capital forced by Netanyahu and the recognition of the Syrian Golan Heights as belonging to Israel, have only one consequence, namely that the entire international community has developed the exact opposite point of view, after Netanyahu had forced the member states of the international community to clearly define their own points of view on the two topics. By doing so, Netanyahu ensures the further isolation of Israel (at the same time, of course, he has significantly weakened Israel’s standing in the world, as it becomes increasingly clear that his claim that “Israel belongs to the West” collapses like a house of cards. On all major issues of the recent past, “the West” (with the exception of the USA) from Canada to Australia took opposing positions to his. Instead, he courtes semi-autocrats, autocrats and dictators around the globe and call them “true friends of Israel” (the term “friend of Israel” can only be understood as an pure insult by the Likudniks because one is lumped together with people like Orbán, Trump and Bolsonaro). In light of the 2019 election results, 57% of Israelis seems to like this Israeli policy and approach. This will not have a positive impact on Netanyahu’s Israel. It is to be expected a development as recently in Turkey, of course, with Judaism and not Islam as the center). After Netanyahu has already gotten a black eye in the total misjudgment that Trump’s announcement to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and thus sets the world community on the same path, he will also succeed in getting the next black eye in regard to the Syrian Golan Heights: Haaretz vom 21.03.2019: Trump: Time for U.S. to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan Heights, Times of Israel vom 21.03.2019: Trump says time has come for US to ‘recognize Israel’s sovereignty’ over Golan, The New York Times vom 21.03.2019: In Golan Heights, Trump Bolsters Israel’s Netanyahu but Risks Roiling Middle East, The Washingotn Post vom 21.03.2019: Trump endorses Israeli control of the disputed Golan Heights, France24, 21 March 2019: Trump says US recognises Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights, The Guardian, 22 March 2019: Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel’s claim to Golan Heights, Times of Israel, 22 March 2019: Trump tweet does little for Golan, but much for Netanyahu, critics charge, France24, 22 March 2019: France says Israeli sovereignty over Golan breaks international law, Reuters, 22 March 2019: EU holds position on Golan Heights despite Trump: Tusk, Times of Israel, 22 March 2019: EU says it will not follow Trump in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan, The Guardian, 23 March 2019: Israel’s Netanyahu to play Trump card in tight election, France24, 24 March 2019: Netanyahu in Washington with Golan Heights recognition on tap, France24, 25 March 2019: Trump signs US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights, Times of Israel, 25 March 2019: Alongside PM, Trump signs proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty on Golan, France, 26 March 2019: Trump’s Golan move unites Gulf States and Iran in condemnation, The New York Times, 26 March 2019: Golan Heights Recognition by U.S. Sets Precedent for Annexation, Netanyahu Says, Times of Israel, 26 March 2019: Israel says US Golan recognition helps pave way for keeping other captured lands, Haaretz, 26 March 2019: If You’re Still Voting Netanyahu After This Rocket, You’re Thinking Like Hamas, The Guardian, 26 March 2019: Israel-Hamas relations: a predictable but fatal dance, The Guardian, 27 March 2019: Trump’s Golan Heights proclamation is a cynical, dangerous move, Times of Israel, 27 March 2019: All EU countries say no to recognition of Israeli Golan Heights, Times of Israel, 27 March 2019: European envoys said sent to White House, State Department to protest Golan move, Jerusalem Post, 27 March 2019: All 28 EU member states reject Israeli souvereignty over Golan, Haaretz, 27 March 2019: Two-state Solution: U.S. Jews Won’t Budge. Will It Cost Them Their Relationship With Israel?, Haaretz, 27 March 2019: Why Golan Recognition Can’t Pave Way for Israel to Annex West Bank, Haaretz, 27 March 2019: EU States Unanimously Announce: We Do Not Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights, Times of Israel, 28 March 2019: US slammed at UN Security Council for recognizing Golan as Israeli, The Guardian, 22 May 2019: Israel plans to name settlement on occupied land after Trump (at least the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force can finally be ended). So you can get popcorn ready to watch and laugh at Netanyahu’s latest election comedy stunt, especially since it is completely unimportant what Netanyahu dictates Trump to the pen, because it is not more than ineffective symbolism anyway. Among other things (United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 497), this was ensured by the intellectually and strategically overwhelmingly superior and prudent US President Barack Obama, who helped to pass Resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 in the United Nations Security Council, declaring East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip as “non-Israeli”, creating a hurdle insurmountable to Netanyahu and Trump. The only option for the two hasardeurs and parvenus to overcome the hurdle would be to bring in their own resolution to the Security Council, which would not only neutralize Resolution 2334, but even turn it in the opposite direction. One can probably bet a larger amount of money without hesitation that such a project would be crowned by a crushing defeat. Palestine and Syria should actually cheerfully thank Obama for this even today. In addition, of course, international law explicitly prohibits the annexation of foreign territory. If Netanyahu wants to develop Israel into a pariah state, he is very well on the way. Times of Israel, 28 March 2019: Ex-Mossad chief: Netanyahu’s version on Egypt submarine deal ‘makes no sense’, Haaretz, 29 March 2019: Netanyahu’s Likud Lags Behind Gantz-Lapid Alliance, New Election Poll Shows, Jerusalem Post, 31 March 2019: Bank of Israel: Rising expenditure, reduced taxes endangers economy – with the 2019 Israeli parliamentary elections scheduled for April 9, one can only hope that former IDF Chief of Staff Aluf Benny Gantz will be able to win the election and then begin with the recovery of the deeply damaged and weakend democracy by Netanyahu over the past decades, and, as a result, will more likely be able to activate international support than is the case during the Netanyahu government (even in the US, the approval ratings for Israeli policy have been on the decline for years – Times of Israel, 7 March 2019: New poll: Americans’ support for Israel falls to lowest point in a decade and Times of Israel, 11 March 2019: Omar furor reflects increasingly polarized US debate over Israel). After the killing of Yitzhak Rabin (Times of Israel, 31 March 2019: Gantz accuses Netanyahu of role in incitement ahead of Rabin murder), Israel deserve to have another smart, serious, law-abiding and internationally welcomed statesman (and not only when he finally gets back on the plane to fly off) for Prime Minister, and with it the exact opposite of Netanyahu and his Likud, to not further damage the national and international image and perception of Israel. Following the saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”, it now looks (a few days before the election and despite the charges of fraud and embezzlement awaiting Netanyahu, as well as suspected election interference through the use of bots), as if the Likud government will get another term in order to promote the further erosion of democracy and the rule of law, deepening the right-wing radicalization, xenophobia and continued terrorist activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Overall, the election campaign in recent weeks has become a head-to-head race in a directional election, so that voters are now faced with the task of deciding in which direction the Israeli state should develop: Should Neteanjahu’s Likud continue the further de-democratization and the development of a Jewish theocracy, or should the Blue and White coalition, led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, lead the country into a process of re-democratization, including the return to lawfulness and the fight against corruption (in which Netanyahu for personal reasons, especially because of his own entanglements in numerous crooked businesses, isn’t interested at all)? The answers of the voters will be given soon. Subsequently, the certainly not easy coalition talks to form the future government will start. If the Likud should be re-elected, it would probably be likely that there will be new elections in about a year, because then the lawsuits in several cases against Netanyahu will go on trial, although he is apparently just about to tinker with an immunity law against his prosecution (Haaretz, 8 April 2019: Who Is Running in Israel’s Election? The Full List of Parties and Candidates, France24, 9 April 2019: Polls open in high-stakes election in Israel, The Guardian, 9 April 2019: Israel election: voters go to polls as Netanyahu seeks fifth term, The New York Times, 9 April 2019: In Trump, Netanyahu Sees an Ally Who Helps Him Push the Envelope, The Wahington Post, 9 April 2019: Israeli elections to decide Netanyahu’s fate as voters cast ballots, Haaretz, 9 April 2019: Israel Election 2019: ‘Arab Turnout at Historic Low’; Netanyahu Defends Hidden Cameras in Arab Polling Stations, Haaretz, 9 April 2019: Israel Votes: Everything You Need to Know About Netanyahu’s Corruption Scandal, The Guardian, 12 April 2019: Trump and his imitators are out to nobble the world’s referees, Times of Israel, 12 April 2019: Nine Jewish groups ask Trump to restrain Netanyahu on West Bank annexation, Times of Israel, 14 April 2019: Gantz warns next government will distance country from law and democracy, Times of Israel, 11 June 2019: Democrat Buttigieg warns he would cut Israel aid over West Bank annexation). The election result shows two things: Benny Gantz won the showdown in direct competition with Netanyahu, proving that there is indeed a serious, democratic and liberal alternative to the dubious and racist Netanyahu. Israel will remember it in a year, namely when Netanyahu is expected to stand trial. At the same time, “Blue and White” could not win the election altogether, because Netanyahu had already forged a coalition with nationalists, fascists and extremists before the elections, so that in the future two extremists (Israeli and US commentators compare them to the KKK) will hold ministerial posts. The erosion of democracy and the rule of law will therefore increase in speed. Neighboring states will rejoice that Israel is developing into another theocracy in the region, so that they themselves have no reason to develop their countries towards democracy and still call themselves “one of the many democracies in the Levant”. It will be a mammoth task for the future successor of Netanyahu to get Israel back on track, if at all possible (when religious fanatics are in power, the downward spiral can drag on for decades). Turkish President Erdoğan will also be pleased with the election results, as members of his Justice and Development Party has been voicing concern for some time that Israel could join the EU before Turkey (in real life, no country in the Levant will actually become an EU Member State unless Turkey has already become member). After all, his country is on the list of potential EU Member States, even when the accession talks are frozen and a timely membership is currently excluded. Netanyahu’s Israel isn’t even able to enter the list of potential candidate countries (France24, 9 April 2019: Netanyahu poised to claim victory in Israeli election, The Guardian, 10 April 2019: Israeli election: Netanyahu appears on track for victory despite tied result, France24, 10 April 2019: Right-wing world leaders congratulate Netanyahu on likely election victory, The New York Tims, 10 April 2019: It’s Netanyahu’s Israel Now, Times of Israel, 10 April 2019: Blue and White concedes race, vows to battle Netanyahu from opposition, The Washington Post, 10 April 2019: In tightly fought election, Netanyahu appears set to clinch fifth term in office, Times of Israel, 10 Apri 2019: Top Palestinian official: Israelis voted to maintain status quo, want apartheid, The Guardian, 10 April 2019: ‘The future is dark’: Palestinians react to Israel’s election, Times of Israel, 10 Apri 2019: Netanyahu won, everyone else lost: 5 takeaways from the 2019 elections, The Guardian, 11 April 2019: The Trump-Netanyahu relationship is sowing disaster for both countries, Haaretz, 12 April 2019: AIPAC-affiliated Democrats Warn Netanyahu Against West Bank Annexation, Times of Israel, 13 April 2019: Some of Israel’s best American friends worried by Netanyahu’s annexation talk, The Washington Post, 14 April 2019: Netanyahu was a cautious leader — until Trump came along, The Guardian, 15 April 2019: Europe urged to reject US Middle East plan if it is unfair to Palestinians, Times of Israel, 15 April 2019: German leader calls Netanyahu, stresses need for two-state solution, Times of Israel, 15 April 2019: Trump peace plan likely won’t include Palestinian state — report, Times of Israel, 15 April 2019: The people have spoken. They want to live in Netanyahu’s Israel (2019 electin results), The Washingotn Post, 14 April 2019: Trump peace package for Middle East likely to stop short of Palestinian statehood, Jerusalem Post, 17 April 2019: EU rejects Israeli annexation talk, warns of Middle East chaos, Times of Israel, 17 April 2019: President officially taps Netanyahu to form next government, The Atlantic, 19 April 2019: The French Ambassador Is Retiring Today. Here’s What He Really Thinks About Washington., Times of Israel, 20 April 2019: French envoy to US: Trump plan ‘very close to what Israel wants, 99% doomed’, Haaretz, 21 April 2019: Israel Already an Apartheid State Says Outgoing French Ambassador, Discussing Trump’s Peace Plan, The Guardian, 22 April 2019: Is Benjamin Netanyahu about to go rogue in Jerusalem? All the signs are there,, 23 April 2019: Netanyahu calls for new Golan settlement named for Trump, Jerusalem Post, 12 May 2019: Location found in Golan Heights for town to be named after Trump (a nice idea to give the Syrians a clue as to where they can start reconquering their national territory), Times of Israel, 24 April 2019: With immunity gambit, Netanyahu endangers his legacy and our democracy, The Guardian, 24 April 2019: Israelis are not all rightwing. But our leftist parties have lost faith in themselves, Times of Israel, 24 April 2019: Poll: Most Americans like Israelis – but not their government, Times of Israel, 29 April 2019: Mandelblit: The rule of law trumps Netanyahu’s win at the polls, Times of Israel, 13 May 2019: Netanyahu said to plan bill to override High Court, safeguard his immunity, Jerusalem Post, 13 May 2019: Gantz compares ‘threat to democracy’ from Netanyahu to Israel’s enemies, Times of Israel, 13 May 2019: In first Knesset speech, Gantz warns of ‘threat to democratic system’, Times of Israel, 16 May 2019: Full text: The criminal allegations against Netanyahu, as set out by Israel’s AG, Times of Israel, 16 May 2019: Opposition lambastes Netanyahu after report says he will push for immunity law, Haaretz, 16 May 2019: If the U.S. Goes to War With Iran, Netanyahu Will Be the Prime Suspect, Times of Israel, 19 May 2019: Veteran former Likud MK blasts Netanyahu’s ‘corrupt’ immunity bid, Haaretz, 20 May 2019: Netanyahu Is Seeking a Free Hand to Commit Crimes, Times of Israel, 23 May 2019: Former justice minister for Likud warns of Netanyahu ‘dictatorship’, Times of Israel, 25 May 2019: Thousands gather for mass rally to ‘safeguard Israeli democracy’ from Netanyahu, Haaretz, 25 May 2019: Tens of Thousands of Israelis Protest Netanyahu’s Immunity Bills in Opposition’s First Rally, Times of Israel, 25 May 2019: At rally, Gantz and Lapid vow they won’t let Netanyahu turn Israel into Turkey, Haaretz, 26 May 2019: In the Face of Netanyahu’s Threat to Democracy, Israel’s Opposition Makes Rare Show of Unity, Times of Israel, 26 May 2019: Ex-justice, AG: If Netanyahu is above the law, Israel is not a civilized country, The Guardian, 27 May 2019: Netanyahu threatens to call fresh election as coalition talks falter, France24, 29 May 2019: Israel moves towards election rerun as deadline looms, Times of Israel, 28 May 2019: Israel is already in a constitutional crisis, leading law scholar warns, The Washington Post, 29 May 2019: Israel will hold unprecedented second election after Netanyahu fails to form governing coalition, The Guardian, 29 May 2019: Israel to hold new elections after Netanyahu coalition talks fail, DW, 29 May 2019: Israeli parliament votes to hold new election in September, France24, 29 May 2019: Israel faces new election as Netanyahu fails to form coalition, The New York Times, 30 May 2019: Israel in Uncharted Territory as Netanyahu Fails to Form a Coalition, Times of Israel, 30 May 2019: Knesset votes for new elections on September 17 after PM fails to form coalition, Times of Israel, 30 May 2019: The final results of April’s election are in: No one won, Netanyahu lost, Haaretz, 30 May 2019: Netanyahu Just Suffered One of the Biggest Losses of His Political Career, Times of Israel, 31 May 2019: Behind closed doors, Likud officials blame Netanyahu and think about what’s next, France24, 31 May 2019: Great survivor Netanyahu facing fight for political future, The New York Times, 1 June 2019: Is This the End for Netanyahu?, i24News: Israel Elections 2019.

September 2019 Israeli legislative election (Round 2)
Snap legislative elections are due to be held in on 17 September 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 22nd Knesset. Following the prior elections in April, incumbent and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition, the first such failure in Israeli history. On 30 May, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and trigger new elections, in order to prevent Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz from being appointed Prime Minister-designate. This election was the first time that the Knesset voted to dissolve itself before a government had been formed. Media coverage: Israel Hayom, 11 May 2019: Israel’s economic ship is heading toward an iceberg, Haaretz, 6 June 2019: