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avigdor liberman

  • How Netanyahu mainstreamed his dark, anti-democratic vision for Israel

    By attacking the judiciary, bringing extremists into his coalition, and trying to subvert voting rights, Benjamin Netanyahu has presented a dark vision of an anti-democratic future for Israeli politics. By Harry Reis Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from September’s repeat elections a failure. Denied his desired majority, the prime minister’s only real hope of retaining power now depends on building a national unity government with Blue and White, a party that has pledged never to sit with him so long as the cloud of pending indictment looms over his head. But the stakes of the election outcome are far higher than the…

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  • PODCAST: What does Israeli liberalism look like?

    Public opinion expert Dahlia Scheindlin argues that the fierce debate over the separation of religion and state in Israel’s latest elections could lead to a wider liberal shift in society. By +972 Magazine Staff Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify Almost two weeks after Israeli voters cast their ballots for a second time this year, it is still unclear which candidate will lead the country. To make sense of all this, The +972 Podcast spoke with leading public opinion analyst Dahlia Scheindlin, who says not much has changed since the April elections.  On the outcome of elections: “It’s hard to see where we’re going to get any…

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  • Netanyahu might be on his way out, but Israelis remain firmly right wing

    Voters might be weary of Netanyahu's decade-long reign, but the numbers show that the vast majority of Israelis remain consistent in their voting habits. The cashier at an organic food shop in Tel Aviv was a burly man with a crew-cut. I asked if he had voted, but he didn’t understand the question. Then he explained in halting Hebrew that he had immigrated only nine months earlier from Russia. “I don’t understand Israeli politics,” he said. But he managed to convey one thing clearly: “Bibi, he’s been in power too long. I come from Russia, we have Putin. Too long. I don’t want…

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  • Why Israelis are going to the polls for a second time this year

    Five things you should know about the second Israeli national elections in six months. By +972 Magazine Staff How do Israeli elections work? Israel is a multi-party system, which means several parties will be competing for citizens’ votes come Election Day. There are 5.8 million Israeli citizens who are eligible to vote this time. Of the 6,463,000 Palestinians who live under Israeli control, only 24 percent are defined as citizens with the right to vote. The rest are completely disenfranchised. [tmwinpost] A party must pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold to be a part of the parliament. Since Israeli elections are based…

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  • Israel's Ashkenazi elites won't let Mizrahim lead the left

    More than 70 years after Israel was founded, the old Ashkenazi guard of the Israeli left is still doing everything in its power to prevent Mizrahim and other oppressed groups from taking the reins. By Lev Grinberg Give or take a few seats, it seems things will remain much as they were following Election Day on Tuesday, with the right- and left-wing blocs winning a near-identical amount of Knesset seats as they did in the last elections. And yet, despite what looks to be a similar outcome, it is worth examining the shift that has taken place inside what is commonly referred…

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  • Voting Netanyahu out is not going to 'save' Israel-Palestine

    Israeli citizens are about to vote in national elections for the second time in six months. But has anything changed since April? Why is no one talking about the occupation? And are we really about to see the end of the Netanyahu era? +972 writers talk about why these elections matter. Israeli voters will head to the polls for the second time in six months on Tuesday. It has been a short but brutish campaign, in which the racism, rabble-rousing, and mudslinging that have come to dominate Israeli election cycles seem more extreme than ever. [tmwinpost] Benjamin Netanyahu, embattled and paranoid, has…

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  • How the rising power of the Arab electorate is thwarting Netanyahu

    The prime minister didn't reckon with the rising power of the Arab electorate. For the first time, he's seeing his anti-Arab incitement stymied by old-fashioned realpolitik. By Meron Rapoport Netanyahu probably did not really believe he would be allowed to pass into law a bill permitting camera surveillance in polling stations on Election Day — not with Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit's objection on record and the High Court all-but certain to strike it down. The surprise is that the government-supported bill never made it past committee to a first vote in the Knesset. [tmwinpost] Netanyahu’s new campaign tactic is to claim that Palestinian citizens are “stealing”…

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  • Meretz is the last Jewish anti-occupation party. But for how long?

    As Israel's center-left and centrist parties have dropped the topic of the occupation over the years, Meretz has remained the sole Jewish party to emphasize ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But can it continue to hold out amidst running mate Ehud Barak's talk of annexation?  By Meron Rapoport Meretz has seen its fair share of criticism over the years — too white, too left-wing, too Zionist, too Tel Aviv-centric, too occupation-oriented, too elitist. But there is one thing you can’t take from it: Meretz's party platform has always clearly called for an end to the occupation and the establishment of a…

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  • If voters won't get rid of Netanyahu, will the elites do it for them?

    The same political system that Netanyahu thinks he has mastered could now bring about his demise. If it was up to the Israeli public alone, Benjamin Netanyahu might well continue as prime minister when the vote on Sept. 17 is over. Polls so far show almost no change in voting patterns for the ideological party blocs from April, when the right wing parties won a majority of seats, as they have for the last decade. The opposition parties of the center, left and Arab parties continue to hold a minority. [tmwinpost] But an outright win for Netanyahu looks increasingly unlikely. A…

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  • The Israeli right stopped talking about occupation, and that will hurt it at the polls

    Netanyahu has joined forces with religious radicals who have stopped talking about Palestinians and are instead pushing a homophobic and sexist agenda. It may just might seal his political doom. By Meron Rapoport It didn't take long for Prime Minister Netanyahu to use the doomsday weapon against Avigdor Liberman immediately following the last elections. Netanyahu blamed his former ally for torpedoing the establishment of a right-wing government, announcing to a group of journalists that “Liberman is part of the left” as part of a last-ditch effort to delegitimize the Yisrael Beitenu leader. [tmwinpost] The accusation was so strange — considering what the public knows about Liberman —…

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  • Netanyahu's Putin campaign alienates Israel's Russian-speaking voters

    A new election poster of Netanyahu gloating about his relationship with the Russian authoritarian leader may have entirely missed the mark with younger Russian-speaking voters, revealing deep generational divides. By Lily Galili Over the past few years, Israel has seen a small stream of new immigrants from Russia. Tens of thousands of liberal, educated Jews from a fairly high socio-economic status are fleeing the country they had once thought they were going to spend their entire lives in, disgusted by the violent deterioration in democracy there. They are labeled the “Putin Aliyah,” in honor of the man who prompted their departure from Russia. [tmwinpost]…

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  • The right wing in Israel is in a deep crisis

    Snap elections just weeks after Israelis went the polls are the result of a rivalry between Liberman and Netanyahu, but that's just part of the story. The right is immersed in a crisis of identity, leadership, and politics. By Meron Rapoport What happened to Avigdor Liberman? Why did he insist on cutting short what will become the shortest Knesset term in Israeli history? Was it his deep personal hatred for Netanyahu or was he simply settling a score? Was it an opportunity to build himself up politically before disappearing alongside his small, sectorial party? [tmwinpost] Amid all the questions remains…

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  • Why are Israeli liberals suddenly courting a far-right nationalist?

    Liberman's political maneuvering may just bring about King Bibi's downfall, but that doesn't mean secular liberals should forget the reasons they opposed him all these years. Avigdor Liberman has, over the past decade, exerted a greater impact on Israel’s political discourse than any other lawmaker. In just a few years, he made once unthinkable ideas — such as stripping Palestinian citizens of their citizenship and forcing them to swear oaths of loyalty to the Jewish state — part of the mainstream discourse. [tmwinpost] Today, Israeli liberals and their intelligentsia are ready to ignore or brush aside Liberman’s racist, hyper-nationalist remarks and polices, while…

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