‘Can Israel’s strange coalition survive?’

Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett pictured together in 2013
Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett pictured together in 2013
(Image credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

1. Don’t write off Israel’s new Government

Vernon Bogdanor in The Telegraph

on a curious alliance

Can Israel’s “strange coalition” survive, asks Vernon Bogdanor in The Telegraph. “A coalition of eight parties ranging from the far-Right to the far-Left together with an Arab party”, the potential government is “a motley crew held together only by wanting to remove long-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu”. However, while the “eight component parties agree on little”, the paper says, they “could end up uniting the country’s warring tribes”. Israel is “a flourishing if raucous democracy, the only one in the region, and the only one making the slightest pretence of respecting minority rights”, says Bogdanor. “If the new government can transform the country so that all of the tribes are properly represented, it will have deserved well of its citizens.”

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2. Now that the vulnerable are vaccinated, young people should be prioritised in variant hotspots like Blackburn

Kate Hollern in The i

on shifting targets

“The Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation has an Achilles heel,” writes Kate Hollern for the i newspaper. “How it prioritises risk is now putting areas with entrenched structural and health inequalities at unnecessary risk – and it’s time we reviewed its plan,” she says. Older people and those with underlying health conditions have been “rightly prioritised” for Covid jabs, but “the risk profile has changed”. It is now time for young people in “variant hotspots like Blackburn” to be given priority. The government “should recognise that more deprived areas and school-aged children” must be jabbed, Hollern says. Failure to do so would “make a mockery of the Conservatives’ new mantra that they’re the party of the working class”.

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3. Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open was a stand for disability rights

Ben Mattlin in The Los Angeles Times

on a sporting stance

“When Naomi Osaka exited the French Open this week, the tennis champion wasn’t just shielding herself,” writes Ben Mattlin in The Los Angeles Times. “She was defending her rights as a disabled person.” Osaka, Mattlin says, is “a perfect example of how one can be both able-bodied and disabled” because “under the Americans With Disabilities Act, emotional and psychiatric impairments such as depression and anxiety are disabilities”. The Japanese sportswoman and her ilk are not “spoiled brats”, he adds. Instead, they are “human – and humans have disabilities”.

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4. It’s hard to remember Laurence Fox’s mayoral campaign - but the money spent makes me howl with laughter

Rupert Hawksley in The Independent

on an expensive failure

Looking back at Laurence Fox’s unsuccessful bid to become London mayor, Rupert Hawksley in The Independent wonders: “Was it real? Did he seriously publish a manifesto that promised ‘to end the divisive and discriminatory wokery that has infected our city?’ Or was this all a dream?” Fox’s vote share of 1.9% is measly considering that he “received £1,153,300 in donations in the first quarter of 2021”. “It’s a fabulous sum of money – about £24 for each of Fox’s 47,634 votes – and nearly all of it came from one man: fund manager, Crystal Palace shareholder and railway enthusiast Jeremy Hosking.” Now the dust has settled on the vote, “one can’t help wondering if he feels, deep down, that he got a good return on his investment”, Hawksley adds. “But the money spent makes me howl with laughter.”

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5. Kate Winslet shows there’s more to middle age than a saggy belly

Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian

on ageing gracefully

“Kate Winslet has always had guts,” writes Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian. “But for her to have a belly, let alone one that wobbles and jiggles in the way most 45-year-old women’s middles quite unremarkably do, is still apparently a thing so shocking as to make headline news.” While praising Winslet “for seeking not to hide the physical reality on screen” in her new HBO series Mare of Easttown, Hinsliff suggests we should “not be fooled: the real meat of a woman’s story is never in the flesh that is flashed, but in what lies beneath”.

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