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Israeli elections

  • State Atty. says Liberman's 'cut off their heads' not necessarily violent

    At an election event earlier this year the foreign minister said that disloyal Arab citizens of Israel should be decapitated. The State Attorney declines to investigate, exposing a glaring disparity in the freedom of speech — and incitement — granted to Jewish and Arab politicians. On March 8, 2015, at a pre-election conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said about Arab citizens of Israel: Those who support us should get everything – up to half the kingdom. As for those who are against us, there is no other option before us – we must raise the…

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  • [Vid] Wake-up Call: Meet Israel’s new government

    The ministers comprising Israel’s 34th government are the most right wing ever, almost entirely oppose the two-state solution, and have a rich history of legislative attacks on human rights organizations and democratic institutions. Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.

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  • Stop blaming Mizrahim for everything wrong in Israel

    Despite what many commentators would have you think, Israeli elections were not decided by racism among Israel's Mizrahi population. By Leeor Ohayon Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election is largely credited to votes from the Mizrahi periphery, but to credit the Mizrahi periphery alone would be naïve. The Likud party, after all, is an Ashkenazi one at heart, with Ashkenazi supporters. The magnitude of Netanyahu’s win, as a result of his “gevalt campaign,” (a desperation blitz) actually came from the Ashkenazi Right — Jewish Home voters sacrificed their party to save Netanyahu. In a recent article, Larry Derfner condemned “poor” Mizrahi Israelis for…

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  • No, Bill Maher, Netanyahu's campaign was indeed racist

    Citing example after example of racism and stoking ethnic tensions in U.S. history, the HBO host finds a way to justify Netanyahu's warning that Arabs are voting. American television personality Bill Maher addressed Israeli elections on his show a few days ago, specifically, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election-day warning that Arabs are voting en masse. Maher, who has made a career shrugging off the constraints of politically correct discourse on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” argues that playing the race card in order to galvanize one’s base is an acceptable political tactic. [tmwinpost] How do we know? Well, because it’s…

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  • Netanyahu's fourth gov't: The good, the bad and the ugly

    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…

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  • The one thing that could have defeated Netanyahu — hope

    There was a sense of misplaced joy on some parts of the Israeli Left as Netanyahu's carefully crafted messaging began to unravel in the days leading up to elections. Finally, the world would see his true colors. But the same thing that keeps Netanyahu in power is the same thing that perpetuates the occupation: lack of an alternative vision. It would have been pretty tempting to write a headline along the lines of, “Netanyahu rules out two-state solution, Israel votes for him anyway.” But that would have been silly. First off, Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t support the two-state solution when he…

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  • Spitting in the face of Israel's Arab citizens

    The success of the Joint List is the Arab public’s message — an outstretched hand — to its Jewish compatriots, which is the antithesis of the message it received in return. By Haggai Matar and Yael Marom Nearly one quarter of Israeli voters cast their ballots for a prime minister whose central message to the public on election day was that Arab citizens of Israel are the enemy. An almost equal number of people cast their votes for: the guy who joined him in delivering that message, the head of the most right-wing party in the Knesset (Naftali Bennett); the guy who based…

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  • Zionist Camp celebration foiled by election results

    The election tie between Likud and Herzog's Zionist Camp came as a shock to supporters who had gathered in Tel Aviv. Almost defiantly, they followed what became the night's mantra: Nothing is decided yet. We haven't lost. By Angela Gruber First, there was a party. When the results of the exit polls kept rolling in, the supporters of the Zionist Union at the Convention Center in the north of Tel Aviv waved their flags, chanted slogans and started jumping. For a moment, it seemed like the actual results didn't matter that much. Then it started to sink in. There was…

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  • What now, Bibi? — Early election takeaways

    Netanyahu picked a fight with a sitting U.S. president and declared there will never be a Palestinian State. It might have helped him squeeze out another election victory, but where is Israel heading? The Likud and Labor (The Zionist Camp) are tied with 27 seats, but Benjamin Netanyahu has way more paths to bring together the 61 seats necessary for forming a government, and another term for himself. That’s the bottom line of the exit polls published by the Israeli TV channels as the polling stations closed on Tuesday night. Netanyahu and his party members are celebrating, and Bibi is…

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  • [Updated] Netanyahu soars ahead of Zionist Camp

    Netanyahu has best chances to form a government but President Rivlin says will work for a unity government. (Updated below with 90% of votes counted.) Update (4:30 a.m. local, 10 p.m. EST): The following is the expected distribution of seats with over 90 percent of votes counted as calculated by Nehamia Gershuni, who runs independent polling site Project 61: ±93% of real results. 04:21 pic.twitter.com/JTa5ui4PwK — Nehemia Gershuni A. (@Nehemia_G) March 18, 2015   *** Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Isaac Herzog came out tied with 27 seats out of 120 in the first exit polls in Israeli elections on…

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  • The next time Netanyahu talks about 'common values'

    Hours after disavowing the two-state solution, the Israeli prime minister makes clear that his version of democracy includes as few Arabs as possible. A few hours after the polls opened in Israeli elections on Tuesday, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a message that offends the very spirit of democracy and equality. Invoking military terminology, the prime minister warned that his own “right-wing regime” is in danger because “the Arabs are mobilizing in large numbers ... to the polls.” Lamenting that the Right doesn’t have its own get-out-the-vote movements, Netanyahu said it does have its “Order 8,” an emergency call-up…

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