Knesset

An Israeli bill would ban the word "Nazi" and other Holocaust comparisons. It's wrong.

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The biggest loser? The peace process.

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What could still go wrong for Israel's prime minister.

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The real drama of Israeli politics will occur after the votes are tallied.

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The prime minister will still win the election but could have trouble forming a new coalition.

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The former foreign minister returns to politics by forming a new centrist party.

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Pundits in Israel are still struggling to make sense of Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s surprise announcement yesterday that, at age 70, he is retiring from politics. The move, like Barak’s January 2011 decision to leave Labor and start his own political party, caught everyone off guard.

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It has been said that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu could have an effect on the U.S. elections. But the reverse is true as well.

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JERUSALEM—The long-running Israeli debate over who should be required to perform military or civilian service is coming to a head once again, heightening just about every fault-line in the country—religious versus secular, Jews versus Arabs, left versus right. How this debate is resolved will influence not only the composition and duration of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition, but also the future development of Israeli society. The reason is this: Mandatory service is not just a policy decision; it goes to the heart of Israel’s identity.

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Last Tuesday, Israelis woke up to a new political reality. In the middle of the night, as the Knesset was voting to enact an early general election, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced a surprising deal with Shaul Mofaz, the recently elected leader of the main opposition party. All of a sudden, the snap election was called off and Mofaz’s Kadima party was part of the governing coalition. The deal was essentially about self-serving domestic politics; all the main actors (Netanyahu, Mofaz, and defense minister Ehud Barak) reaped rewards from the arrangement.

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