Analysis News

Israeli elections

  • Who says Palestinians don’t have a vote in Israeli elections?

    By warning that a Palestinian UN resolution might strengthen Netanyahu, Kerry is actually suggesting that Palestinians can influence Israeli elections — just not in the direction Washington was hoping for. The United States is trying to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions seeking an end to the occupation under the pretense that it could strengthen right-wing political parties in Israel’s upcoming elections, according to a report in Foreign Policy on Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a gathering of European diplomats that Tzipi Livni — who recently departed the far-right Netanyahu government to join forces with the centrist Labor…

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  • Lapid and Livni's last act should be to shut down Holot

    Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni have one last chance to leave a positive legacy: make sure Israel doesn't continue the administrative detention of African asylum seekers who have committed no crime. There is little doubt that Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni will be the biggest losers of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to fire them from their senior government posts. After the coming elections Lapid will almost certainly find himself in the opposition heading a smaller party, while Livni will most likely find herself in political exile once again. But despite being kicked out the government, Livni and Lapid still…

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  • Likud is no longer the largest party in the Knesset

    Netanyahu now has the same number of seats as his main coalition partner, Yair Lapid. This leaves him at the mercy of his arch-rival, President Reuven Rivlin, if the coalition would need to be reshuffled without new elections being called.  Up until mid last month, Netanyahu's coalition enjoyed a reasonably obvious hierarchy. The Likud-Beitenu list led with 31 seats; Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid followed with 19; Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home barely caught up with 12; and Tzipi Livni's Hatnua closed the list with 6. This classical enough arrangement suffered its first blow in mid- July, when Avigdor Liberman unilaterally broke…

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  • On Gaza, differences between Labor and Likud are superficial

    When it comes to Israeli policies, Labor likes to paint itself as the complete opposite of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. That is, unless we're talking about Gaza. By Aaron Magid In the wake of the 2013 elections, Israel's Labor Party was consistently critical of Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister. Just last month, Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog slammed Netanyahu for isolating Israel from the international community. “Netanyahu speaks [but] the world doesn’t listen,” exclaimed Herzog. Yet during the recent conflict in Gaza, the Labor Party’s usual critical approach towards Netanyahu shifted dramatically, with influential Labor lawmakers sounding eerily similar to…

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  • WATCH: Will Liberman become Israel's next prime minister?

    This week, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman began signaling that he is interested in dragging the nation into early elections. Just a few days later, Liberman told a crowd of New Yorkers that Israel may soon have a Russian-speaking prime minister. Is one of the most right-wing politicians in the Knesset trying to rebrand himself as a moderate pragmatist? By Lia Tarachansky/The Real News Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Canadian filmmaker and journalist with the The Real News Network. Related: Coming attraction: Liberman the peacenik Liberman: Citizenship annulment is a condition for peace

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  • A Zionist defense of Hawking

    I wish there was a kinder, gentler way than acts of ostracism to get Israel to end the occupation, but those ways have failed terribly.   I would not join a BDS protest; I'm a "two-stater" who believes Israel should remain a Jewish state because the alternatives would be worse, who believes Israel's "original sin" is the occupation, not Zionism, and so I don't think I'd really feel at home at your average BDS demonstration. There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement - which is not to say everyone in the movement…

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  • Yair Lapid: The rise of the tofu man

    Despite an astonishing surge to second place in the polls, chances of Yair Lapid making  an actual premiership bid are slim. He is risk-averse, lacks a political program, and his projected coalition is too fanciful to work. Lapid is much more likely to join Netanyahu's next government, and the only question is: Will Lapid be Bibi's pretty face in Washington as Foreign Minister, or will he be the Finance Minister, and therefore fall guy, for Israel's upcoming austerity drive?  LIKUD VICTORY RALLY, TEL AVIV – After months of predictions for a comfortable right-wing win, Israel reeled tonight at a surprising…

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  • Those who say there's no honor among thieves haven't heard of Naftali Bennett

    Many Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line — see the rise of the openly fascist right wing as a positive development, because eventually it will work to sever the umbilical cord of support to Israel from the world. As Israelis go to the polls to cast their ballots for the Knesset, many Palestinian citizens will not be voting in this round of elections. In a recent New York Times article, correspondent Jodi Rudoren expounds as to the many reasons why this is the case, save one. On a recent trip to the country I spoke with many…

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  • Why I let a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem decide my vote

    It doesn't feel good or empowering to give up my right to vote. It feels mostly shitty, and maybe that is how it is supposed to feel. But as long as it is not an inalienable right for those who live under the same governmental roof, it is absolutely alienable to me. I just returned from the voting booth in Tel Aviv. Voting is such a private matter, and at the end of the day, nobody except the person voting knows who he/she voted for. My voting experience today, however, wasn't a private matter. And it wasn't an enjoyable or empowering…

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  • Israeli voters upset with Bibi – but will they upset him back?

    Make no mistake, regardless of whether Netanyahu has the pieces to cobble together a semi-stable government, the next Knesset will have a sizable cohort of 35-40 fighting progressives, perhaps even more -- something Israel hasn't seen in over a decade. By Assaf Oron Over the past couple of months, there seems to have developed growing disconnect between most of Israel’s political analysts – and the actual dynamics of the campaign for Israel’s general elections, which will take place tomorrow. In October when the election was announced, there was near-universal agreement that it’s all going to be one big garbage time. Prime…

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  • Bibi can relax - the 'center-left' is really on the right

    The actual right-wing bloc looks set to win over 100 of the Knesset's 120 seats in Tuesday's election. There's only one reason to vote against it: the future.  "Right-wing bloc's majority slashed," read the headline over today's election poll in Haaretz. "The gap is closing," according to the poll in today's Yedioth Aharonoth. Both surveys showed the right-religious bloc getting 63 Knesset seats and the center-left-Arab bloc getting 57, and both showed the steadily weakening Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu down to 32. Even if it is still clear to everyone that Netanyahu will lead the next government, many people will likely gather…

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  • Israelis give their votes to Palestinians in Facebook campaign

    In an act of protest one can only find in the world of social media, activists open a Facebook page where Israelis are urged to 'hand over' their voting rights to Palestinians. Every once in a while, social media shows you what an amazing tool it can be. On December 26, 2012, a new Facebook page was created, called "Real Democracy." The basic idea behind it is that Israelis "give up" their vote in the upcoming elections to any of the millions of Palestinians under Israeli rule who have no right to vote. It's all done on Facebook. The Israeli…

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  • Putting together Netanyahu's next coalition might be trickier than it seems

    Netanyahu will continue to serve as prime minister after the upcoming elections, but putting together a governing coalition will have significant long-term implications. The headline result of the upcoming elections in Israel, as Noam Sheizaf has thoroughly documented, is not in doubt. Benjamin Netanyahu will continue as Israel’s prime minister for another term, and will strive to maintain his policy of status quo in every area of policy. Nonetheless, there are at least two aspects of uncertainty in these elections. First, the potential for more significant changes in areas not related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (such as economic policy or…

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