Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: March 13, 2019

What We’re Reading

Israeli politics

Benjamin Netanyahu veers Israel away from democracy,

“Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments on Israel and its American supporters were dumb and offensive,” write the editors of the LA Times. “But the real prize for repugnant, mean-spirited and undemocratic speech on the subject of Jews and Israel in recent days goes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Israeli Third Temple party gains traction,

According to recent polls, former Knesset member Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party, which means identity in Hebrew, will pass the electoral threshold and may well constitute the surprise of the elections. Feiglin proposes dismissing the waqf (Muslim custodian) and transferring management [of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif] to the Chief Rabbinate.

Netanyahu Said Israel Is Nation-state of Jews Alone. The Data Show He's Right,

The numbers shed a harsh light on how different the Israel of secular Jews, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox really is.

Occupation/Human rights

Little Ghosts From Gaza,

“As long as life in Gaza is governed by Israeli drones, artillery and snipers, this cruelty will continue to kill bodies there – and souls here too,” writes Hagai El-Ad.

Selling Jerusalem: How Palestinian homes end up in settler hands,

Al Jazeera investigates claims behind the selling of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem to Israeli settlers.

Palestinian men shot dead by Israeli forces in occupied West Bank,

Mohammad Shaheen, 23, shot dead in Salfit while Yasser Fawzi Shawki was killed following alleged knife attack in Hebron.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Florida bill defining anti-Semitism as racism advances,

Free speech advocates warn House Bill 741 faces a potential “Pandora’s box” of legal challenges unless hate speech directed against Jews is not clearly separated from political criticism of the state of Israel.