News Tip: ‘Worst Internal Political Crisis in Israel’s History,’ Says Former State Dept. Adviser

Summary: The Israeli Parliament’s approval Monday of a law severely limiting the Supreme Court’s power over decisions made by the government further fueled months of widespread protests. Comments below from Duke University professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department adviser on Middle East issues, are available for use in your coverage.

“This is the worst internal political crisis in Israel’s history, with sweeping effects on basic civil liberties, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and the daily life of all Israelis who reject Jewish religious extremism,” says Bruce Jentleson, a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University who worked on Middle East issues while serving in the State Department in during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

“Few democracies have ever seen such massive and sustained protests as in Israel over the last six months. Last Saturday, there were demonstrations in hundreds of communities in what is a pretty small country.”

“Top military, Mossad, Shin Bet, and police have said these extremists who claim to be patriots are putting Israel’s national security at risk. The Biden administration needs to do more than just quietly urge PM Netanyahu to find a compromise.”

“In key respects, this is a consequence of the failure to reach peace with the Palestinians. With 500,000 settlers in the West Bank, mostly in illegal settlements and outposts, the extremists have gained political power through their sheer numbers.”

Bruce Jentleson
Bruce Jentleson is a professor of public policy and political science professor, who was a senior adviser at the State Department from 2009-2011. He worked on Middle East issues while serving in the State Department in the Clinton and Obama administrations. Jentleson also served on the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama in 2012 and Al Gore in 2000, and worked in the State Department from 1993-94. He is the author of “The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship.”

For additional comments, contact Bruce Jentleson at: (note: he has limited availability Monday)

Media Contact:
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