Analysis News

Moshe Kahlon

  • Pundits’ consensus: Netanyahu is vulnerable

    Are we nearing the end of King Bibi's reign? Much of that depends on his allies, his rivals and the determination of international actors to address the disastrous trends on the ground. In 2009 and 2013 it was easy to call who the next prime minister would be a month before the polls opened in Israel. Netanyahu underperformed in 2013, when his bloc of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties ended up winning 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, the minimum number that could prevent any other politician from forming a government. But he did win, as most people expected. Things are far…

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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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  • Moshe Kahlon for prime minister of Israel

    I’m planning to vote for Meretz, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, I’ll vote for him. I was talking a couple of days ago about the upcoming elections with a friend from work, a middle-class, American-born Ashkenazi immigrant with a Ph. D. in political science. He told me he was voting for the left-wing, largely Arab Hadash party. I asked who he would vote for if, on election day, which is tentatively set for March 17, the “wild card” in the race, ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, had a chance to become the next prime minister.…

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  • Israel's elections: A referendum on Netanyahu

    The coalition is falling apart, and the Knesset is likely to agree on early elections soon. Current polls suggest we are heading toward a fourth Netanyahu government, which will be even more right wing than the current one. Netanyahu’s third government has reached its end. New elections, which seemed likely when the Gaza war ended, are practically inevitable at this point. UPDATE: The Knesset's parties agreed to hold the elections on March 17, 2015. The two central pillars of the government – Netanyahu’s Likud party and Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (comprising 18 and 19 seats, respectively, out of…

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  • A smug, bourgeois Israeli 'social protest'

    Despite the wishes of many -- if not most -- of the people in the streets, the masses who identify with the 'social protest' are callous to those whose complaints are so much more urgent than theirs.   Even though I've always agreed with the stated goal of the "social protest" - to redistribute Israel's wealth more equitably - I can no longer sympathize with it. While many if not most of the people in the streets would like to turn the movement against the occupation and not only against "swinish capitalism," this hasn't happened after two years of protest.…

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  • The post-Netanyahu era starts tomorrow

    Bibi will be the lamest of ducks in his next and last term as PM. Hold the applause, though – what's rising up to take his place is worse.  If, as expected tomorrow, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu gets in the low-30s in Knesset seats, this election will mark the beginning of the post-Netanyahu era. Bibi will remain as prime minister as long as the new government survives, but he will be a lame duck, helpless to rein in the demagoguery and wild initiatives of the quasi- and not-so-quasi-fascists in his coalition. He will watch the chasm widen between Israel and the West, Israel…

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  • Will 'Bieberman' bring down Netanyahu sooner than he thinks?

    The reappearance of some veteran politicians on the scene had Netanyahu worried enough to merge with Lieberman. But while Bibi may be ensured another term, he will ultimately pay for the toll of his economic and political policies on Israelis and Palestinians. By Yacov Ben Efrat Benjamin Netanyahu's call for early elections initially evoked an instinctive response: Who needs this? The result of normal elections, scheduled for next fall, was predictable: Bibi could look forward to another four years as prime minister. He had split the Labor Party and pulverized his main rival, Kadima, dispersing its 29 mandates in all…

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  • Government laughs in the face of economic desperation

     A review of the year of social protests - just hours before the demonstration planned against the government's budget - yields bad news: The government has offered shallow solutions and deepened the roots of economic inequality.  Last year's social paradox During last summer's social protests, outsiders and curious journalists repeatedly asked me how to explain that Israel has such excellent economic indicators, but so much discontent. Not being much of an economist, but knowing something about public opinion, I looked at how people experienced their lives here – micro versus macroeconomics. Despite apparently excellent macro indicators, most individual families weren't…

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  • End the cellular cartel, end the occupation

    One Member of Knesset's success at bringing down the mobile monopoly in Israel demonstrates that when there is a will, there is a way. On the minds of 99% of Israelis this week was not the occupation, not the bloated new coalition and definitely not Iran. Israelis were thinking about cellphones. In what was considered a historic moment, the country's three oldest cellular phone companies - Cellcom, Orange and Pelephone -  got a great sock in the eye, when two sleek new mobile operators entered the market last week, instantly undercutting the giants. With several more virtual companies on the…

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