Election season is a time when most people expect to be presented with a hopeful vision for the future. In Israel, every single leading political figure is promising more of the same.
Israel’s election season officially went into full swing over the weekend as lists of candidates were finalized and the deadline for parties to merge came and went without any last-minute surprises.
While very few of the major parties have published official platforms for the upcoming elections, their leaders and senior officials are beginning to shape what voters can expect from them.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Israel Beitenu party, which is currently embroiled in a massive corruption scandal, is a subscriber of a two-state future of sorts. His vision centers on forced population transfer and the encouraged migration of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
Liberman on Sunday pivoted his campaign on something else: fear. Instead of offering Israelis hope for a better future, the strongman politician promised more war.
“A fourth operation in the Gaza Strip is inevitable, just as a third Lebanon war is inevitable,” Liberman told Ynet. He added that his party will never sit in a left-wing government, essentially shifting his two-state support into something far-off and unimportant.
His political foes aren’t offering anything more hopeful.
Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog, running together on a joint list they are calling the “Zionist Camp,” all but made the same promise — offering an identical path vis-à-vis Hamas in Gaza that the current government embarked upon, while deriding Netanyahu for compromising and reaching a cease fire.
Speaking near the Gaza border a day after announcing their joint ticket, Livni said: “Hamas is a terrorist organization and there is no hope for peace with it… the only way to act against it is with force – we must use military force against terror… this is instead of Netanyahu’s policy to come to an agreement with Hamas.”
Regarding the more mainstream idea of making peace with more “moderate” Palestinians in the West Bank, Livni and Herzog have used the word hope. But that hope lies entirely in the same framework for peace that has failed for over two decades. Good...Read More