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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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  • A glimmer of hope in Israeli elections

    Three months ago, I would have told you that the Right will sweep the elections. But this election cycle has shown that people are looking for an alternative, and that the Left still has a lot of work to do. Regardless of the results of Tuesday's election, these last few months have signaled a positive change: a question mark, a reminder of summer 2011, a leftward turn. When elections were announced three months ago, no one truly understood what they were about or why they were even necessary. Only few doubted that the next Knesset would look significantly different from…

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  • Election preview: Netanyahu's moment of truth

    The Israeli prime minister called elections hoping to strengthen his coalition, but he underestimated the personal resentment many Israelis feel toward him. One shouldn't, however, confuse the fierce competition for power with a battle over ideas: even if Labor wins, the end of the occupation is not around the corner. When Benjamin Netanyahu decided to fire Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and send Israelis to the polls for the second time in a little over two years, many people (myself included) defined these elections as “a referendum on Netanyahu.” Final results will only be in on…

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  • Interview: What Hamas' media thinks of Israeli elections

    How is the Palestinian media covering Israeli elections? What do they think of the Joint List? A media survey covering Palestinian outlets in Israel proper, the West Bank, Gaza and beyond. And an interview with the editor of Hamas' official newspaper. By Rami Younis According to the famous cliche, there is no better time for news than during wars and elections. When it comes to wars, both the Palestinian and the Israeli media would likely agree. When it comes to elections that will directly affect the lives of millions of people under occupation who have no right to vote, however,…

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  • Behind election lurks Israel's ethnic divide

    The use of racially loaded code words at an anti-Netanyahu rally highlights the inter-Jewish racism that has plagued Israeli society and politics since day one. A look at the correlation between ethnic background and voting patterns. The anti-Netanyahu rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night was meant to be a high point of the campaign to oust Israel's prime minister in next week’s general elections — a last hoorah before a triumphant storming of the polls. But as such events go, it left a lot to be desired. The turnout was unimpressive, the speakers predictable, and the mood, attendees reported after the event,…

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  • Palestinian activist explains the Israeli elections

    Bil'in protest leader Abdullah Abu-Rahme: If Israelis must decide between Labor and Likud, they might as well just vote for Liberman instead. The residents of the West Bank village Bil'in are in close contact with the Israeli state. For the past ten years, they have been waging a popular struggle against the separation barrier that has cut them off from most of their land, while withstanding heavy oppression from the army, including arrests, tear gas, raids on the village, and more. As non-Jewish subjects of military rule in the occupied territories, the residents of Bil'in have no right to vote…

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  • Israeli Black Panther: Mizrahim must boycott the elections

    Since its establishment and until today, not a single election has fundamentally changed the status of Mizrahim in the 'only democracy in the Middle East.' Now we must use the only tool we have left at our disposal and refuse to participate in the game altogether.  By Reuven Abergel For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the upcoming elections represent something new. The establishment of the Joint List is the result of the utter failure of the establishment to divide the rule different Palestinian political currents. In the wake of Avigdor Liberman's racist attacks, the oppressed Palestinian public forced its representatives to unite.…

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  • The prestigious award that only goes to Ashkenazi men

    While the prime minister's attempt to intervene in the selection committee for the Israel Prize is clearly anti-democratic, so is the fact that the vast majority of its recipients look exactly the same. The uproar over Prime Minister Netanyahu's meddling in the nominations of three would-be judges for the prestigious Israel Prize selection committee caused many good people to pull out their calculators. They wanted to prove, incontrovertibly, that the prize, which according to its website, "has until now been awarded to a wide range of citizens, to men and women, religious and secular, young and old, veterans and new immigrants,…

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  • Why Mizrahim don't vote for the Left

    It is no wonder that Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties when the Ashkenazi-dominated Left has done everything in its power to exclude them. Want things to change? Start talking about Ashkenazi privilege. By Tom Mehager Those who have, historically, voted for Israel's left-wing camp are often nicknamed "the white tribe." On the other hand, the right wing enjoys a high percentage of Mizrahi voters. Why? In the run-up to the elections, it might be worth taking a look at this question. First of all, the social categories "Mizrahim" and "Asheknazis" are nowhere to be found in the platforms of Israel's…

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  • Election analysis: A shared Netanyahu-Herzog government?

    Herzog and Bibi’s political interests and the fragmented Knesset that is likely to emerge after the elections might force Likud and Labor into a power-sharing deal. Avigdor Liberman and President Rivlin already support the idea. The Israeli Labor Party, which will participate in the upcoming election under the banner of “The Zionist Camp,” held its primaries this week. Former party leader Shelly Yachimovich won second place (first place is reserved for party leader Isaac Herzog); Stav Shafir and Itizik Shmuli, two of the leaders of 2011’s social protest movement, were elected in top places. Altogether the list leans a bit…

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  • If Herzog wants to lead, he'll need to bring the Arabs with him

    The upcoming elections could provide a golden opportunity for the Palestinian minority in Israel to become power brokers in the political system. That is, if Labor leader and election frontrunner Isaac Herzog brings the Arab MKs into his coalition. By: Thair Abu Rass The upcoming Israeli elections are a historic opportunity for the Palestinian minority in Israel. For the first time ever they have the possibility of becoming the power brokers in any future coalition. According to recent polls, a unified Arab slate consisting of the four major parties: Hadash (a joint Jewish-Arab party, where nearly 95% of its voters…

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  • What the polls say about Netanyahu’s election chances

    Netanyahu has more paths to the Prime Minister's Office than Herzog, but also more party leaders who oppose him personally. Seventy-one days ahead of Israel’s general elections, two major stories are dominating the political news cycle: the showdown between Shas’s former leaders – Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai – and the corruption affair involving senior politicians from Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Both Shas and Liberman lost some ground in last week’s polls, while Yishai’s newly formed party is coming close to passing the Knesset threashold, currently at 4 seats (3.25 percent of the votes). Netanyahu’s Likud party held its…

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  • 'Anyone but Bibi' isn't the point: Pre-election postulations

    It is naive for the Israeli peace camp to think that deposing Netanyahu will bring about peace or even get us closer. Now that early elections are almost certainly going to be held on March 17, rumors have begun spreading like wildfire about the myriad possibilities of parties teaming up and the various frontrunners who will be vying to dethrone Prime Minister Netanyahu. There are many pieces in the puzzle, and it is hard to keep up or know how things will actually pan out. But one thing is already clear: the most popular theme of this election is the…

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