The Personalities, the Parties, and the Policies behind Israel’s Political Crisis

Following the Israeli elections last month, President Reuven Rivlin tasked the frontrunner, Benjamin Netanyahu, with forming a new governing coalition. He has until May 4 to do so, with the possibility of a two-week extension. Given the fractious state of the country’s politics, it is far from clear how he will manage to garner the requisite support. In conversation with Michael Doran, Gadi Taub explains the various leaders involved in the current deadlock, the reasons for Netanyahu’s longevity, and why it has been so difficult for this skilled politician to form a stable coalition. Taub also discusses his disillusionment with the Israeli left, and his experience leaning right in social circles where the left dominates. (Audio, 59 minutes.)

Read more at Counterbalance

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2021, Israeli politics

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7