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…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 4 Comments
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 peaceRead More... | 2 Comments
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…Read More... | 54 Comments
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…Read More... | 8 Comments
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…Read More... | 143 Comments
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…Read More... | 23 Comments
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…Read More... | 5 Comments
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…Read More... | 54 Comments
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…Read More... | 48 Comments
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…Read More... | 13 Comments
If a campaign ad inciting against Arab citizens of Israel is deemed illegitimate, then why not the party responsible for it, or any of the myriad Knesset members who have also engaged in similar forms of incitement as well, whether against Africans, Palestinians, the LGBT community or Israeli leftists? Israel's Central Election Committee disqualified an ad campaign last week by a new party called Otzma Leyisrael (Strength to Israel), citing that it singles out and incites against the Arab sector in Israel and is therefore racist. The campaign ads, posted on buses and billboards across Israel, included the word "loyalty" in Arabic,…Read More... | 28 Comments
It’s easy to disagree with Israelis about many things. But two new polls show that on key current issues, the public is at least thinking rationally and seeing clearly: *On Gaza, the majority know that Israel is no better off after the war in Gaza, and that the ceasefire won’t hold. *On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the majority supports negotiations, supports the basic outlines of the Arab peace initiative and knows that the Palestinians cannot simply be beaten. *The majority acknowledges discrimination against Arabs in Israel, and a strong majority believes democracy is either more important than Jewishness of the state,…Read More... | 20 Comments
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'There was a time when we murdered people and it actually bothered us' http://t.co/g9BG7k4sqG by @AmiKaufman
Hamas tells foreign airline carriers: Don't fly to Israel from 6 a.m. tomorrow (via @haaretzcom)
Palestinian artist Bushra Shana turns photos of death and destruction into living photos: http://t.co/cOsPEXJcjp http://t.co/yiyxgOpPYB
Palestinians continue to create life from death: http://t.co/cOsPEXJcjp
RT @MairavZ: Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif believed to have been killed in Israel's airstrike, sources say http://t.co/zAvOiyRrnP via …