The prime minister's Election Day warning that 'Arabs are coming out in droves to the polls' was the culmination of months of focus groups and a clear-eyed strategy from Likud operatives, a new Channel 2 report reveals. By Mitchell Plitnick Controversial comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about heavy voter turnout in Israel’s Arab sector were not one-time mistakes but part of a broader strategy executed by the Likud campaign, a report broadcast Monday by Israel’s Channel 2 News demonstrated. Netanyahu was heavily criticized, at home and abroad, for his last-minute plea for right-wing voters to support him at the polls…Read More... | 52 Comments
Palestinians mark Land Day across Israel and the West Bank, politics take center stage in Israel, laid off workers take to the streets, a number of social and political struggles intensify, Gaza struggles to recover from last summer’s devastating war, and Palestinians and Israelis continue popular resistance against the occupation.Read More...
Many in the Israeli Left saw the recent election defeat as a danger to democracy. But if the Left wants to win elections, it needs to let go of its anti-Mizrahi fear-mongering and racism. by Elad Ben Elul (translated by Joshua Tartakovsky) In order to understand the outcome of the recent elections in Israel, one has to step away from the two central conceptual frameworks that make up the discourse of most Israelis, but in fact do not capture the complex reality below the surface. One has to step away from the traditional boxes of “Right” versus “Left” and of…Read More... | 18 Comments
Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel's character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals. Many on the center-left in Israel are still trying to wrap their head around Netanyahu's victory. They simply cannot grasp that most Israelis really want another right-wing government led by Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, the only two of Israel's 10 largest cities where the Zionist Union got more votes than the Likud, some people seem to be rationalizing the victory with the anti-Arab, fear-mongering campaign Bibi led in…Read More... | 17 Comments
The next Israeli government will attempt to preserve the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza at all costs. Facing international backlash, the persecution of leftists and Arabs could rise to dangerous levels. It’s quite clear what the fourth Netanyahu government will look like: A coalition of the Likud’s “natural partners.” These are the same people who have been following and backing Netanyahu since the 1990s: Avigdor Liberman, Bennett’s Jewish Home, the ultra-Orthodox parties, and Moshe Kahlon, who is actually comprises the moderate wing of the Likud. There are all sorts of rumors about sending feelers to the Labor…Read More... | 27 Comments
Digital media has dictated the agenda of this election campaign. The parties flooded the web with funny videos, hoping to go viral. Media strategists know how to make their audience laugh, but they failed to establish a meaningful discourse with the electorate. By Angela Gruber Noy Alooshe is a sought-after man these days. His Youtube remixes mash up short bits of politicians' speeches with catchy beats, creating viral music videos that make sport of the featured candidates, crossing all party lines. But instead of hating Alooshe for mocking them, he has politicians calling him up after their speeches, suggesting sound…Read More...
The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static. Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the…Read More... | 13 Comments
Six days before Israelis head to the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his challengers, Herzog-Livni, are closer than ever. According to a new survey, most Israelis support a continued peace process, but don't think it will succeed — regardless of who is at the helm. The past two-and-a-half months of campaigning leading up to next week's elections have been cast as a choice between “us and them,” between the stability of an incumbent and the change offered by his challenger. While the latest polls show Israelis almost evenly split — both among so-called Left and Right blocs, but also among…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli prime minister moves closer than ever to officially declaring an end to the two-state solution. He doesn't say it explicitly, but there are only so many eulogies a political paradigm can sustain before it expires. Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced that his commitment to a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel was no longer relevant. The statement was released by the prime minister's Likud party following the circulation of a synagogue newsletter, which catalogued the different parties' stances on a Palestinian state. The newsletter claimed the prime minister announced that his 2009 Bar Ilan speech, where he…Read More... | 10 Comments
Ten days before Israelis head to the polls, masses turn out in anti-Netanyahu rally in Tel Aviv. Latest polls put Zionist Camp ahead of Likud but it's still unclear who can form a coalition. Tens of thousands of Israelis attended a rally to demand a new government Saturday night in Rabin Square. Israel Police estimated that 40,000 people attended; the event's organizers claimed more than 80,000 people showed up. The rally was held under the banner, “Israel wants change,” and was being billed as an anti-Benjamin Netanyahu event. Among the speakers scheduled to take part in the event were former…Read More... | 17 Comments
Over 200,000 people with no legal status live in Israel today. There are another 4 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All of these people are directly affected by Israeli elections but they have not right to vote. This is what they have to say — about the Right and the Left, the ‘demographic threat,’ peace, war, democracy and dictatorship. ‘Occupied people cannot vote for their occupier’ By Bassam Almohor The argument heats up at one of the tables in this men-only café in a Palestinian city. Israeli elections are a hot topic of discussion for the…Read More... | 26 Comments
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