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Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Netanyahu’s disappointing leadership casts doubt on Israel’s future'


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Serious doubts have emerged over the Israeli regime’s social and political prospect against the backdrop of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “disappointing” leadership, an article says.


A Saturday editorial at the New York Times alluded to the likelihood of the disintegration of Netanyahu’s new coalition cabinet merely 10 weeks after its formation.

The integration of centrist Kadima Party into the cabinet was basically expected “to give Mr. Netanyahu -- a disappointing, risk-averse leader -- unprecedented authority to get things done,” the article read.

It further said that after Shaul Mofaz, from Kadima, became deputy prime minister, he put a number of key issues on his agenda, including plans for integrating minority populations of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs into the military and civilian service, reviving talks with the Palestinians, passing a national budget and enacting electoral reforms.

However, the issue of military service exacerbated tensions between secular and religious Jews and Arabs, putting the coalition in imminent danger of collapse, the article added.

The New York Times article pointed to the criticism by secular Israelis to the ultra-Orthodox Jews over their refusal to participate in civil and military services, and alluded to the discriminations against the Arabs who perceive themselves as second-class citizens in the Israeli society.

Meanwhile, the demographic transformations in Israel are making political compromise more complicated.

As the growing population of the immigrant Jews from the former Soviet Union and the ultra-Orthodox community has “a cultural mistrust of the democratic values,” the expansion of the Palestinian population has increased the likelihood that “the Jews could become a minority” in the Israeli regime, it pointed out.

The article also alluded to the growing concerns among Israeli civil rights activists from the Association for Civil Rights who contend that over the past two years “more than 25 bills have been proposed or passed by the Parliament to limit freedom of speech and of the press; penalize, defund or investigate nongovernmental groups; restrict judicial independence; and trample minority rights.”

The editorial pointed out that Netanyahu’s historical reliance on hard-line parties has intensified Tel Aviv’s aggressive policies such as the acceleration of settlement constructions and “resistance to serious talks with the Palestinians,” adding that “without Kadima’s moderating force, these trends will continue.”

ASH/HJL/MA

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