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Israeli elections

  • 'Zionist Camp' takes a lead in polls, but Bibi has upper hand

    The top two parties are neck-and-neck and the number of political king-makers is growing. With a number of potential wild-cards ahead, it's anyone's election. If elections were to take place today, the next prime minister of Israel could come from either of two directions: the Labor Party’s Issac Herzog or incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of Likud. The latest polls show that both men would have a decent chance of forming a coalition, although Netanyahu would probably have an advantage. The centrist parties — the Herzog-Livni Zionist Camp, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, newcomer Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu — and Meretz,…

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  • Devoid of issues, elections devolve into clash of personalities

    Instead of discussing increasing violence against civilians, border skirmishes and the assassination of an Iranian general, Israeli politicians are busy putting out tasteless and tactless campaign videos attacking each other with name-calling. It's not just the occupation and Israel's violation of basic rights that are missing from this election season, but any reference at all to the daily violence that has become such a routine feature in the country. In the last 10 days alone, two Israeli citizens from the Bedouin city of Rahat were killed by police, 77 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank - many of…

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  • Retired Israeli general suggests Syria attack timed for election effect

    As elections approach, Israeli politicians are misleading the public about war crimes probes, and according to one general-turned-politician, about war itself. (This analysis originally contained a previous section called, 'Is the ICC running against Netanyahu in Israeli elections?' It has been published as a separate article here.) “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.” — Carl von Clausewitz Retired Israeli army general Yoav Galant suggested that Israel's assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general in Syria on Sunday might have been timed with electoral politics in mind. Appearing as a guest commentator on Israel’s…

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  • The world's obligation to end the occupation

    Israeli-Palestinian relations do not solely belong to Israel. The international community has a right and an obligation to intervene. By Ilan Baruch Right-wing propagandists have been quick to take credit for the outcome of the UN Security Council vote on Tuesday, which rejected the Palestinians' resolution to unilaterally end the occupation, rather than through negotiations. The resolution won the support of eight out of 15 members of the Security Council — just shy of passing. However, a closer look at the votes shows that there were neither winners nor losers in New York. The Palestinians won the support of the…

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  • 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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