In Depth

Instant Opinion: Netanyahu suffers ‘disaster’ at Israeli polls

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 18 September

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Yossi Verter in Haaretz

on the end of an era in Israeli politics

Netanyahu brought a disaster on Likud

“His gamble in dissolving the young 21st Knesset and dragging the country into a second election campaign has proven to be catastrophic. Netanyahu has brought disaster both on Likud and on the right-wing ultra-Orthodox bloc. The ruling party lost an average of two or three seats, and if we add Kulanu, six or seven seats – and the camp of ‘natural partners’, which seemed invincible, lost its parliamentary majority. Judging by the present situation assessment, Netanyahu is no longer capable of winning an election in Israel. This story is over. The asset has become a burden, his bargaining chips after the election on April 9 were far better than what he has now. He gave them up, only for his own personal interests.”

2. Lawrence Martin in The Globe and Mail

on the minefield of journalism post-#MeToo

The venerable New York Times plays to Trump’s script

“In the online media culture, opinion journalism is taking over. It’s difficult to maintain an image of objectivity. CNN doesn’t even try. Many reports on The Times’s front page, in contrast to the old days, are news analyses. Some are titled as such. Many aren’t but should be. The Trump presidency brings with it an impoverishment of standards. If he can make thousands of misstatements, untruths, monumental exaggerations and get away with them – as he has with a big slice of the population – it is the obvious consequence. There is no right or wrong, only people claiming things are right and wrong.”

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3. Bill McKibben in The Guardian

on using climate activism to stop wars

If the world ran on sun, it wouldn’t fight over oil

“The last time we started down this path, in Iraq more than 15 years ago, a solar panel cost 10 times what it does today. Wind power was still in its infancy. No one you knew had ever driven an electric car. Today the sun and the breeze are the cheapest ways to generate power on our Earth, and Chinese factories are churning out electric vehicles. That is to say, we have the technology available to us that would render this kind of warmongering transparently absurd even to the most belligerent soul.”

4. Rosemary Goring in The Herald

on the regressive state of faith schools in Scotland

If we want to end sectarianism, we must abolish Catholic schools

“Explosions of sectarian aggression and abuse are an obvious outrage, but even entirely peaceful religious marches through Glasgow are a blot on the city’s reputation. Whenever a Grand Orange Lodge goes past, banging drums, playing flutes and waving banners, I feel I have stepped back three centuries. In theory, Orange marches are harmless and legitimate expressions of faith and historical commemoration. In practice, in the west of the country at least, they are the unlit end of a fuse that doesn’t take much to ignite. Everyone knows these are potentially inflammatory occasions, and a marching season that passes without incident is the very definition of a miracle.”

5. Ruth Golden in CNN

on how grief can be hindered by details

Opening up about my mother's suicide was life-changing

“No one in my family ever explicitly told me to keep my mom's suicide quiet, but all discussion of her death, and even her life, seemed to get buried with her at her funeral. I created my own narrative about what happened and turned away from the possibility that her death - and our silence - had any impact on my numerous emotional struggles as an adult. I was wrong, about all of it. By staying silent as I did, the focus remained on how my mom died, robbing me the ability to grieve my actual loss.”

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