Different Visions For Israel

Israeli politics loom large in American policy. Next week is a big vote there. We’ll look at sharply different visions from Israel’s future.

In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo, a construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (AP)

In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo, a construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (AP)

For all the years and events and headlines that have come and gone, many Americans have not fully kept up with the political evolution of Israel. It’s become a lot more conservative . And Israeli politics have a way of echoing in American policy.

Next week is a big election in Israel. A good time to check in. On Israeli liberals wondering what happened to their country. On Israeli conservatives finished with the peace process and the “two state solution,” and ready to roll Israeli settlements across the West Bank.

This hour, On Point: getting real about Israeli politics, 2013.

-Tom Ashbrook


Ari Shavit, senior columnist for Haaretz. His new book, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” will be out in May.

Dani Dayan, just stepped down last week as chairman of the Yesha Council, the main political body of the settler movement.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “Dani Dayan has decided to come ‘out of the closet,’ he tells me as we sit in a coffee shop looking out onto the Judean hills earlier this summer. The head of the Yesha Council, which represents the approximately 300,000 Israelis who live in the West Bank, was not referring to his strident opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state; he’s been an out-and-proud critic of the two-state solution for years, prominently showcased in an inflammatory op-ed last week. When we met in Jerusalem, he was actually in the process of coming out as a moderate. He has finally decided to take sides in the warring factions that comprise the settler movement.”

Chicago Tribune “Israelis vote in a parliamentary election on January 22 that opinion polls forecast will be won by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, running jointly with the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party. The 120 seats in the single-chamber Knesset are allocated by proportional representation to party lists, which secure seats after passing a minimum threshold of winning at least 2 percent of the national vote. Following are the main parties contending in the ballot.”

Reuters “Entrenched in what they view as their Biblical heartland, the hard-line Jewish settlers of Hebron look forward with delight to next week’s Israeli election.”


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