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Ex-IDF general likens military control of West Bank to Nazi Germany

Amiram Levin accuses the IDF of being a ‘partner in war crimes’ when it stands by as settler extremists attack Palestinians, says situation in West Bank is ‘absolute apartheid’

13 August 2023

A former IDF general argued that Israel’s control of the West Bank has similarities to discriminatory policies under Nazi Germany, and expressed fear that soldiers will not be motivated to defend the country if the coalition succeeds in shackling the judiciary.

Amiram Levin, who headed the IDF Northern Command, commanded the elite Sayeret Matkal unit and served as deputy director of the Mossad spy agency, told Kan radio on Sunday morning that the military is not only suffering harm to its preparedness because of reservists’ threats and refusals to serve amid the government’s judicial overhaul, but is also “rotten to its core” due to Iarael’s ongoing presence in the West Bank.

“It stands on the side, looks at the rioting settlers, and begins to be a partner in war crimes,” Levin told the public broadcaster. “It’s 10 times worse than the issue of [military] readiness… and I say honestly, I am not angry at the Palestinians, I am angry at us. We are killing ourselves from the inside.”

Recent months have seen a rise in settler violence, with the United Nations earlier this month reporting close to 600 attacks on Palestinians and their property over the past six months. The Israeli defense establishment recorded similar numbers during that period.

According to official data provided to The Times of Israel, there were 680 incidents of stone-throwing or assault of Palestinians by settlers in the first six months of 2023, compared to 950 in all of 2022.

The interviewer asked Levin if he agreed with a May 2016 speech by former Meretz MK Yair Golan, who was IDF deputy chief of staff at the time, in which he said that processes in Israel were similar to some in Europe in the years leading up to the Holocaust.


Levin also assailed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appointment of “draft dodger” cabinet members such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who was not accepted for mandatory military service by the IDF because of his extremist activities.

The prime minister is being exploited by “a messianic group of criminals, former ‘hilltop youth,’ people who don’t even know what democracy is,” he charged, referring to extremist settler activists.

“They come from areas where there is no democracy, from the West Bank, where for 56 years there hasn’t been democracy there,” said Levin. “There is absolute apartheid

Continued @ :


Peace Now: Israel approved more settlement development in 2023 than any previous year .

The Peace Now organization says Israel has approved more settlement construction and development in the seven months since the start of 2023 than in any other previous year.

Under the hardline right-wing government, authorities have advanced the approval of 12,855 homes, passing the previous record of 12,000 in 2020, the organization says.

It has also retroactively legalized 22 illegal outposts, another unprecedented number, the group notes.

Source :


For more info see :


Biden warns 'special relationship' on the line in absence of consensus on overhaul

US president tells NY Times’s Tom Friedman that ‘vibrancy of Israel’s democracy’ is at heart of ties between the 2 countries, but threatened by unilateral moves to weaken judiciary

US President Joe Biden said that Israel’s leaders need to slow down their divisive overhaul of the judiciary and instead strive to achieve a broad consensus with opposition parties on the issue, reportedly warning that the “special relationship” between the two countries could sustain irreparable damage.

Biden made the comments to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, whom he sat down with in the White House Tuesday after meeting earlier in the day with President Isaac Herzog, who is visiting Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and its allied far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties have been barreling ahead with their overhaul plan, which has been met with months of mass protests from critics who say it will weaken the court’s power to act as a check and balance against the Knesset, and dangerously erode Israel’s democratic foundations.

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NY Times's Friedman: US Netanyahu gov't is making rethink of US-Israel ties 'inevitable'

Columnist says Biden administration believes Israeli coalition is using judicial overhaul as cover for ‘unprecedented radical behavior… that is undermining our shared interests’


New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman penned a column Tuesday warning that the Biden administration is reassessing its ties with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, amid growing American alarm over the actions of the hard-right Israeli coalition.

Friedman said US President Joe Biden believes the government is using its judicial overhaul push as a smokescreen to engage “in unprecedented radical behavior… that is undermining our shared interests with Israel, our shared values and the vitally important shared fiction about the status of the West Bank that has kept peace hopes there just barely alive.”

Continued : https://www.timesofisrael.com/ny-timess-friedman-netanyahu-coalition-making-rethink-of-us-israel-ties-inevitable/

Biden: Israeli cabinet has some of most extreme members I've seen; Saudi deal far off


US president says Jerusalem shares blame for recent violence due to cabinet ministers who push settlement expansion while rejecting Palestinian rights


US President Joe Biden said Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government has some “of the most extreme members” he’s seen in Israel, and that cabinet ministers who back settling “anywhere they want” in the West Bank are “part of the problem” in the conflict.

In addition to offering rare comments during a CNN interview on his thoughts about the Israeli government, he provided an update on his administration’s effort to broker a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, saying, “We’re a long way from there.”

Biden was pressed on what it would take for him to extend an invitation to Netanyahu to visit the White House, but he dodged the question, noting that Israeli President Isaac Herzog will be coming to Washington next week.

Source : https://www.timesofisrael.com/biden-current-government-one-of-most-extreme-ive-seen-in-israel-saudi-deal-far-off/

Ex-Shin Bet agents call for halt to overhaul as military reservists renew rebellion

Veterans warn pushing ahead with contentious judicial changes will tear ‘irreparable rift’ in society after members of elite units say they won’t volunteer for reserves

26 June 2023

A group of hundreds of Shin Bet veterans called on Monday for the government to immediately halt its freshly revived push to overhaul the judiciary, citing the “critical damage” it will cause to the country’s security.

The protest came a day after the coalition renewed its plan to advance the contentious legislation, whereupon reservists in elite IDF units said they would stop volunteering for duty if it was passed, in the latest revolt by members of the defense establishment.

“Continuing with the legislation will tear an irreparable rift in Israeli society and will critically damage national resilience and the Israeli security system,” read the letter from the Shin Bet veterans, according to Channel 13 news.


“Reservists from the Special Operations Division, Unit 8200 and military doctors have announced an end to volunteering for the reserves if the government does not immediately stop the coup d’état legislation,” the group wrote, referring to elite combat units, the secretive cyberwarfare unit, and the medical corps. “We are hearing about additional reservists from other units who are going to join [the protest].”


“Without democracy, there will be no army, there will be no security, and this will be the end of the State of Israel,” the reservists said. “We will defend with our bodies and souls — in a nonviolent way — democracy and the gatekeepers of Israel.”

Source : https://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-shin-bet-agents-call-for-halt-to-overhaul-as-military-reservists-renew-rebellion/

60% of Americans back reevaluating ties with Israel if judicial reform passes - poll

Similar figure thinks Washington should critique Jerusalem over planned legislation; Israelis acknowledge need to consider US opinions on some matters, but not all

23 May 2023.

Most Americans think that Washington should reassess its ties with Israel if Jerusalem passes a controversial, drastic overhaul of the judiciary, according to a survey that examined opinions in both counties on the ties between them.

According to the poll, presented at the Herzliya conference by Amnon Cavari of The Institute for Liberty and Responsibility at Reichman University on Monday, 60 percent of Americans back a reevaluation of the bilateral relationship if the overhaul is legislated.

A similar number said the US should critique Israel over the plan, though there were sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats on the issue.

The Gallup poll found that while most Israelis accept that Jerusalem should take into consideration Washington’s opinion on some matters, that does not extend to all issues, including military operations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is pushing the overhaul plan, which it says is needed to rein in an over-intrusive High Court of Justice. Critics say the reforms will sap the court of its ability to act as a check and balance to the executive and legislative branches, dangerously damaging Israel’s democratic character.

Continued @ https://www.timesofisrael.com/60-of-americans-back-reevaluating-ties-with-israel-if-judicial-reform-passes-poll/

Avoiding an Israeli fascist isn't the brave move the EU thinks it is

Cancelling an event with Ben Gvir does not make up for a history of European interests that give Israel the green light to carry on with its illegal policies.

By Eitay Mack May 22, 2023

Earlier this month, the European Union’s embassy in Israel announced that it was canceling its Europe Day reception, scheduled for May 9, over far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s insistence on speaking at the event. Far from proving the strength of the human rights values of the European countries, as stated by the EU delegation’s spokesperson, the decision is just another illustration of these countries’ hypocrisy in their engagement with Israel-Palestine.

The announcement came after a week of media reports suggesting that the EU delegation was hoping the Netanyahu government would send another minister to the reception instead. If they would have been fine with another minister from the most extreme-right government in Israel’s history speaking at the event, the EU diplomats may as well have gone ahead with Ben Gvir’s participation and just covered their heads with blankets while he spoke.

Continued @ : https://www.972mag.com/european-union-ben-gvir-human-rights/

Eitay Mack is an Israeli human rights lawyer working to stop Israeli military aid to regimes that commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

US flogs Ben Gvir for 'provocative, inflammatory' tour on tense Temple Mount

State Department slams far-right minister for politicizing holy site with visit meant to show Israeli muscle; move paving way for resurrection of Homesh outpost also panned


The United States expressed deep misgivings with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s “provocative” visit to the Temple Mount Sunday, chiding the Israeli hardliner for using “inflammatory rhetoric” and politicizing the holy site.

The statement from State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller also spoke out against Jerusalem for lifting a ban on Israelis entering the area of the former Homesh outpost, paving the way for settlers to return and build a formal settlement there.

Ben Gvir, leader of the extremist Otzma Yehudit party, took a highly visible tour of the Temple Mount on Sunday, boasting that he was flexing Israel’s sovereignty over the flashpoint site holy to both Jews and Muslims.

“We are also concerned by today’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem and the accompanying inflammatory rhetoric,” the State Department said.

“This holy space should not be used for political purposes, and we call on all parties to respect its sanctity,” it added.

During the tour, Ben Gvir made clear that his visit was intended to send a political message.

“We are in charge here,” Ben Gvir declared

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US urges 'calm, restraint' ahead of contentious Jerusalem Flag March in Old City

State Department spokesperson says Washington supports right of peaceful expression, calls to ‘refrain from actions, rhetoric and activities that would inflame tensions’

Today, 4:59 am

The US is urging “calm” and “restraint” ahead of a highly controversial nationalist parade through the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday, where tens of thousands of Jewish Israelis are expected to march through the Muslim Quarter waving Israeli flags. The event will come less than a week after Israel and terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad finalized a ceasefire agreement following five days of deadly conflict.

The annual rally of religious nationalists is regularly a tense affair, with thousands of largely Orthodox participants marching from Independence Park to the Western Wall to mark Israel’s reunification of East and West Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. The Jerusalem Day march has gained notoriety over the years, as it is often marred by hate speech and sometimes violence by Jewish participants toward Palestinians.

On Tuesday, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said Washington would “continue to urge the parties to refrain from actions and rhetoric and activities that would inflame tensions,” in response to a question about the controversial march during a press briefing.

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