Monday, March 18, 2013

Moshe Yaalon Named as Israel Defense Minister

In an area of the world where violence is prevalent, every government decision regarding defense is put under a microscope.  Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, has named Moshe Yaalon as Israel's new Defense Minister.  Yaalon is 62 years old and is part of the same political party as Binyamin - the Likud Party.  He is a formal general and has publicly voiced his opinion that he is reluctant to give up the Palestinian occupied West Bank to make way for a Palestinian state. Netanyahu claims that Yaalon has much experience and that experience is needed at a time when the Middle East is "rocky."

My question is will the appointment of Yaalon as the new Defense Minister of Israel change the relationship between Israel and the Middle East, or Israel and the west (America)?  Yaalon seems to be "right-wing" and very against a Palestinian state.  Will his appointment make Israel safer or just cause more violence between Israel and Palestine? The violence between these two nations is both ethnically and religiously based, two topics we have discussed in class.  Will this violence stay the same, increase, or decrease now that Yaalon has been appointed?

In the article, Danny Danon, an Israeli Likud party member and lawmaker, has said he will "preserve the values of the nationalist camp," referring to the illegal Israeli camps set up in the Gaza Strip.  What is interesting about this statement is it was done through Facebook.  It seems to me that policy makers and government leaders in Israel and Palestine use social media as a tool to announce political statements (I am judging this by the recent bombings between Israel and Palestine, and the Twitter battle between the two side). Do you think the use of social media is a good thing or bad thing, and in an effort to minimize violence and death, is is the right move? Personally, I see no problem with it, but I believe it is worth discussing.

Original Article:


  1. I love that you are encouraging people to comment through the use of questions. You asked about how the relationship between Israel and Palestine could potentially change with the appointment of Moshe Yaalon as Israel Defense Minister. I do not think that relations between Israel and Palestine under Yaalon will change. In fact, I highly doubt that things will be able to change until Binyamin Netanyahu is out of politics for good.

  2. I think this analysis is a little obvious in the conclusion that it alludes to. Which is that any member elected in Israel must have the state of Israel protection as its primary concern, so in the case of a new defense minister, Israel would only elect a man that is willing to pull the trigger first in the defense of Israel.
    I also believe that Israel is showing its aggressive behavior by continually constructing new housing projects in restricted areas, Israel seems that it will continue to push the buttons of the middle east and I don't see why the new defense minister would act any differently.

  3. Very interesting piece that does indeed raise some relevant questions to the ongoing conflict/tensions between Israel and Palestine. While true that Israel has had many hawkish leaders in its past compared to doves, in no way do I think that this analysis leads to an obvious conclusion. What piques my interest even more was the social media aspect the author eluded to. Throughout this class, in dealing with the Arab Spring and its consequences, it seems that social media does indeed play a large role in political matters of MENA.