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Netanyahu readies alibi for collapse of peace talks

The bickering between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and HaBayit HaYehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett is the warm-up for the main event, when the US-brokered peace talks collapse.
A combination photo shows Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 23, 2014.                         REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND  - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)   - RTX17RB9
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Israel is defined — and rightly so — as the only democracy in the Middle East. Despite being threatened by a rapidly growing ultra-Orthodox bloc and a radical right that prefers Jewish religious law over it, Israeli democracy is vibrant. Total and unassailable, sometimes it goes as far as wild exaggeration, as we saw once again over the past week. The following is a summary of the events.

On Jan. 24 during the Davos summit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a briefing in which he declared that he had no intention of evacuating settlements or uprooting even a single settler from his home. The address elicited a coast-to-coast uproar to include the Palestinians, the dovish wing of the coalition (chiefly Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid) and, naturally, the Americans. The team of US Secretary of State John Kerry was livid. Netanyahu’s statement undercut the negotiations that are at their most sensitive and critical juncture.

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