If Israel’s PM has trouble denouncing US neo-nazism, it’s possibly because the far right of both countries support the concept of a secure homeland based on race

My mother-in-law has just arrived from Israel for her summer holiday. First she coos over her grandchild. Then we sit on the floor and unwrap the beautiful pots and cups that she has made for us. We chat about how things are in Tel Aviv – the people, the weather, new restaurants. Soon enough we turn to politics. Here the mood changes. Great place, Israel. Terrible politics.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a rally of his supporters last week. In the face of mounting accusations of corruption, he hit back at the media and the liberal elite who he says want to unseat him. “Fake news,” he called it. Such are the similarities between Netanyahu and Donald Trump, it is hard to know who is copying whom. Netanyahu deliberately plays up the connection. Which is why events in Charlottesville, and Trump’s half-hearted condemnations of US fascism, have given Israel’s PM a political headache. Condemn Trump and he risks alienating his political soulmate. Not condemn Trump and he looks like being soft on neo-nazism.

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