In this week's UpFront, we speak to Israel's consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, who defends his country's expansion of settlements, including the construction of its first new settlement in decades.

In the Reality Check, we look at the dark and fascist origins of France's National Front party, and ask if it has changed.

And in a special interview, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, Ndileka Mandela, explains why she had to leave her grandfather's political party. 

Headliner - Israeli diplomat: Settlement issue 'overblown'

Editor's note: For more from this interview, click here.

In February, the Israeli Knesset passed a law retroactively legalising thousands of settler homes in the West Bank, and in March, Israel approved the construction of its first new settlement in decades.

Is Israel really heeding the call US President Donald Trump made to "hold off" on settlement building in order to advance the peace process?

"Our cabinet already made the decision to listen to the president and to formulate a new policy of ... restraint," says Israel's consul general in New York, Dani Dayan. "That doesn't mean that we agree with the rationale of that request.

"The whole issue of settlements is so overblown, so overrated ... the basic problem is whether the Palestinians recognise Israel's right to exist." 

In this week's Headliner, Dani Dayan - who himself was a former settler leader - defends his country's policy on settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Reality Check - Is France's National Front still fascist?

Marine Le Pen, who recently resigned temporarily as leader of the National Front (FN), is now facing off against centrist Emmanuel Macron for France's top spot.

Though she has stepped down temporarily, she remains a member of the FN - a party founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and a former Vichy Nazi, Léon Gaultier - that now supports her candidacy.

So, has the party changed at all? 

In this week's Reality Check, we examine whether the party has shed its fascist past.

Why is Mandela's granddaughter abandoning the ANC? 

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to South Africa's streets demanding President Jacob Zuma step down as his party's membership plummets.

Has the African National Congress, once led by freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who then became South Africa's first democratically elected president, lost its way?

"I saw first hand the abject poverty of the people in the rural areas and what they suffer," says Ndileka Mandela, the eldest granddaughter of Nelson Mandela. "The leadership, the leader, must go back to the basic tenets of the ANC, the basic tenets of the Freedom Charter.

"That is why we are calling the ANC to account, to embody the values and legacies of our founding fathers."

In this special interview, we speak to Ndileka Mandela on why she's decided to speak up against the current leadership of her grandfather's party.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

 

Source: Al Jazeera News