News Release

Is New Cabinet the “True Face of Israel”?



Secretary of State Tony Blinken is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday.

MIKO PELED, mikopeled at, @mikopeled

ISSA AMRO, Issaamro at, @issaamro

Peled is an activist and podcaster. His books include The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. He has argued that while Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has claimed Israel didn’t ethnically cleanse Palestinians in high profile interviews, some other Israeli ministers have advocated another such expulsion — while Netanyahu says the first never happened. Peled’s name and argument were cited in a question at the State Department on Friday, but the spokesperson would not denounce any of the Israeli ministers, see video.

Amro is based in Hebron and is founder of Youth Against Settlements. He has been making presentations with Peled and meeting with the New York Times and other editorial boards. He is regularly threatened, harrased and detained by the Israeli military and settlers for his nonviolent activity such as making films and attempting to prevent home takeovers.

He just appeared on the Katie Halper Show and spoke about his confrontations with Itamar Ben-Gvir, who Amro notes is associated with groups officially labeled as terrorist like those spawned by Meir Kahane and in support of Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinians in a mosque. Gvir is now minister of national security for Israel. The State Department took one of the groups, Kahane Chai, off its terrorism list last year.

Amro argues that the rightwing ministers like Gvir now show the “true face of Israel.”

Peled says Gvir’s “partner in crime, Bezalel Smotrich, also a man who has been charged and actually sat in jail, very openly racist, he is now the minister of the treasury, allowing settlers to expand their settlements. Orit Strook, she will be the minister of national missions and she will be charged with West Bank settlements, and with dealing with these pre-military military academies. Another character in this very, very sad drama is a man by the name of Avi Maoz. He is also an extreme right-wing rabid racist Arab-hating homophobe, who will actually be given a position within the ministry of education, teaching national identity … he will be dealing with establishing curricula for Israeli schools.”