Source: National Review
This week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a deal with an Israeli opposition party to expand his parliamentary majority from one to six — a substantial victory for the stability of the government. Unlike Netanyahu’s dominant Likud party, the new coalition party — called “Yisrael Beiteinu,” which means “Israel Is Our Home” — supports a two-state solution as part of its platform. Surely the Obama administration, which has made a two-state solution a singular focus of its Israel policy, welcomed the news as a major step toward its long-term vision for peace in the Middle East? No, it didn’t. Through a State Department spokesman, the administration said the new coalition deal “raises legitimate questions” about the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution, adding that, “ultimately, we’re going to judge this government based on its actions.” The spokesman in question, a Mr. Mark Toner, also said that the administration “had seen reports from Israel describing [the new government] as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history.” What has Yisrael Beiteinu done to earn so abhorrent a reputation? (I assume that the comment was an attempt to link Israel’s new coalition government with Europe’s recent boom of successful far-right and neo-fascist populist parties.)

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