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Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Otzma Yehudit is out. Does that mean Israelis reject Kahanism?

    While the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party failed to pass the electoral threshold, the latest national elections in Israel saw the normalization of Kahane’s particular brand of overt racism. Twenty-one years ago, Rabbi Meir Kahane stared into the camera during an election ad for his Kach party and told viewers, “[the Arabs of Israel] want to kill us, they want to wipe us out, and it is up to each and every Jew to rise up and say, ‘never again.’” [tmwinpost] Last Wednesday, six days out from the most recent Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook chatbot sent users a message warning them…

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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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  • The end of the Netanyahu era doesn't mean the end of the occupation

    If Netanyahu is replaced, things might actually get worse for Palestinians. As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left. [tmwinpost] According to near-final results, the right absorbed a serious blow. Its voter intimidation campaign failed to deter Palestinian citizens of Israel from going to the polling stations, and may have actually backfired, giving the Joint List additional mandates. Meanwhile, the Zionist left parties held on to the same number of seats as in the previous election. The Netanyahu era is probably coming to an end. His options are…

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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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  • PODCAST: Will Netanyahu's attempt to suppress the Palestinian vote backfire?

    In the lead up to the Sept. 17 elections, Benjamin Netanyahu has escalated his racist incitement against Palestinians. The +972 Podcast talks to Adalah's Sawsan Zaher about how these attacks are affecting Palestinian voters. Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify Facebook temporarily suspended Benjamin Netanyahu’s official Facebook page Thursday after followers received a message calling on voters to prevent the establishment of a government with Arabs “who want to annihilate us all.” Netanyahu said the message was a staffer's mistake, but as the country prepares for a second national election in the span of six months, he has intensified his racist incitement against Palestinian citizens…

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  • What do Palestinians in Gaza really think about the Israeli elections?

    On the eve of the elections, four young Palestinians in Gaza open up about their thoughts on Israeli political parties, whether they think there's hope for change, and what life is like under siege.  By Yuval Abraham Muhammad The electricity cuts out at 2pm in Gaza, but Muhammad has charged his phone in advance so he’ll have enough battery for our conversation. I call him on Facebook Video, and when he answers, he’s wearing a white vest and dripping with sweat. “Is it this hot where you are too?” he laughs, and I nod, look over at the fan in my room. [tmwinpost] I’ve…

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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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  • Behind Netanyahu's scorched earth campaign against Israel's media

    Just one week out from the second national elections in six months, Prime Minister Netanyahu's relationship with the Israeli media seems to be at an all-time low. But are his ferocious attacks on the press all they seem? In the final stretches of Israel’s second election campaign in six months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tried-and-tested tactic of attacking the media has once again been dominating the headlines. The prime minister has long had an adversarial relationship with the national press, but he appears to have stepped up the vitriol in recent weeks. At the end of August, in a Facebook live…

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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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  • Israel's one-state reality is sowing chaos in American politics

    Until U.S. lawmakers and major Jewish organizations adjust to the current one-state reality, the acrimony that has marked the last several years under Netanyahu and Trump will only intensify. For decades, the two-state solution has been the central pillar of the bipartisan pro-Israel consensus in Washington. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, every single U.S. administration has been committed, at least nominally, to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. [tmwinpost] Yet the expiration of the two-state paradigm under Prime Minister Netanyahu and the lack of a clear alternative to take its place has kicked that pillar away, disordering the politics of Israel-Palestine in…

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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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