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November 7, 2014
 

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PAGE 2A Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netangahu addressing the of the winter session, Oct. 27, 2014. By Ben Sales JERUSALEM (JTA)--An anonymous White House staffer apparently isn't the only onewho thinks Benjamin Netanyahu is shy about taking chances. A piece this week in The Atlantic magazine by journal- ist Jeffrey Goldberg ignited a firestorm with its revelation that an Obama administra- tion official had called the Israeli prime minister "a coward" and "chickenshit." But on Netanyahu's home turf, Israeli political leaders also have criticized him as risk HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 7, 2014 Do Israelis thi] : Net00n00yahu is 'chickenshit'? Maybe, but ey like him that way averse and focused solely on his political survival. Politicians on the Israeli right have called Netanyahu soft on defense. Those on the other end of the political spectrum have described him as inflexible and insincere on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Rivals deride him as overly fo- cused on maintaining power. Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the far-right Jewish Home party and Netanyahu's coali- tion partner, demanded Tues- day that the Obama admin- istration "immediately reject these gross comments." (The Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 Knesset during the opening following day, a U.S. National Security Council official spokesman called the anony- mous remarks "inappropriate and counterproductive.") But at the end of Israel's recent war in Gaza, it was Bennett himself who implicitly criti- cized Netanyahu as hesitant in fighting Hamas. "When you want to beat a terror organization, you de- feat it," he saidAug. 19."When you hold negotiations with a terror organization, you get more terror." Meanwhile, the Obama administration's "red-hot" anger over Netanyahu's settle- PAY MORE TO PRINT? ment policies described in Goldberg's piece is shared with Israeli political leaders to the left of the prime minister. Finance Minister Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid party earlier this week said that plans to expand settlements %viii lead to a serious crisis in Israel-U.S. relations and will harm Israel's standing in the world." And Netanyahu's main rival, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, delivered a wither- ing 13-minute tirade against the prime minister Tuesday from the Knesset floor that contained many of the same criticisms as the U.S. officials' comments. "There's a nation here that desires life, and its life is more important than your political survival," said Herzog, chair- man of the Labor party. "Six years in a row you've held your position. Six full years. And what have you brought? How have you fulfilled your prom- ise? Nothing. There's nothing. Not peace, not security, not economy, not hope." Apparently, however, Israe- lis mostly don't seem that up- set with Netanyahu, whether they agree with Herzog or not. However harsh Herzog's criticisms, his Labor party consistently polls lower than Netanyahu's Likud. Indeed, polls consistently show Ne- tanyahu to be the leader that Israelis would be most likely to reelect. And while an Israeli Chan- nel 10 poll from last week indicated that 45 percent of Israelis don'twant Netanyahu to serve another term, it also showed his party winning the most seats were an election to be held now. "Most people think he has an even keel," said Jonathan Rynhold, a senior researcher specializing in U.S.-Israei relations at Bar-Ilan Univer- sity's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. "The Israeli public may grumble, but they think he's far and away the best option there is out there." Dahlia Scheindlin, an inde- pendent pollster and political analyst, said that while most Israelis support a two-state solution, they don'tsee Netan- yahu's inaction as the main obstacle to a deal. "They see the status quo as sustainable," she said. "They support the idea of the two-state solution, but absolve Israel of any respon- sibility to get there because they believe the blame for not reaching that is on the Palestinian side." The way Hebrew University political science professor Gideon Rahat sees it, Netan- yahu is risk averse because he's trying to appeal to the Israeli political center while maintaining right-wing poli- cies. "Netanyahu doesn't need to appeal to the right wing," he said. "He needs to worry that he's in the center. And if he's seen as someone who's cautious and moderate, that helps him." Even if the U.S. officials' criticisms resonate with Is- raelis, Rynhold said Israelis would likely not side with the Obama administration over their own prime minister. "For Israelis, it's a shrug of the shoulders," he said. "Obama's standing is very low with the Israeli public. They don't think his policies toward the Middle East are effective or wise, so harsh criticism of Netanyahu will have no impact. Those who don't like Netanyahu will not like him anyway." Celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall up to 40% SAVINGS 100% GUARANTEE FREE DELIVERY Cartridge Worid-A|tamonte Springs 801 W SR 436, Ste 1025 407-767-0680 artridoe World www.cartridgewor[dusa.com/store233 s5 OFF OFF CARTRIDGE Buy I cartridge at regular price, receive 35 % off 2 "d one of equal or purchase of s30 . or more. lesser value. (sSO max value). 11/13/2014. store. Not valid with any other offer. Jacques Langevin/Jacques Langevin/Sygma/Corbis A man attacks the Berlin Wall with a pickaxe, Nov. 10, 1989. The Berlin Wall looking from the West Berlin side. By Christine DeSouza Assistant Editor This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall--a wall built right through the heart of Germany and its capital city, Berlin. This wall tore families apart, caused job loss to many, and cost the lives of more than 200 people who tried to cross over it. Before the Wall was con- structedby the German Demo- cratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) on Aug. 13, 1961, more than 3.5 million East Germans defected to West Ger- many. At first the GDR stated that there were no intentions to build a wall separating East and West Berlin. However, on Saturday, Aug. 12, 1961, in a wooded area north of East Berlin, GDR party leader Walter Ulbricht signed orders to close the border and erect a wall, giving birth to the Berlin Wall. At midnight that eve- ning, the East German army and police began to close the border and tear up the streets running alongside the border. At first the wall was a barbed- wire fence. The concrete wall was erected between 1965 and 1975. The East German govern- ment claimed the wall kept West German aggression out--the wall protected East Germans. The belief of the people was that the wall kept East Germans from escaping Berlin on page 15A