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benny gantz

  • The biggest myth about Israeli politics

    It’s tempting to believe that non-politicians are the antidote to bad politicians, but it's also wrong. In 2011, the Israeli pop singer Roni Superstar released a song called “Adoni” — literally “my lord,” or colloquially, “sir.” For sarcastic overtones, “His highness” will also do. Here is my free translation: “His Highness will tell me what he knows/ His Highness will make sense of what I ought to think… His Highness wishes to be Prime Minister… His Highness thinks he is so smart…” The otherwise banal song kept surfacing in my mind during the last election cycle. Something about it seemed apposite.…

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  • Why the Zionist left died this week

    Stuck in a Zionist paradigm, Israel's mainstream left-wing parties are unable to put forth a vision of equality and inclusion for all in Israel-Palestine. Tuesday’s election results were obvious to anyone paying attention. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White won the same number of Knesset seats, Gantz has already conceded to Netanyahu, acknowledging that he does not have enough partners to form a governing coalition. Netanyahu will form a government with his “natural allies,” among them the far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties. [tmwinpost] One of the most important stories that has been largely overlooked, however, is the…

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  • There is no good vote in a paralyzed society

    For years, Israelis have allowed values of equality, justice, and peace, to go by the wayside. Tuesday's vote reflects not only the impotence and absence of a left, but just how paralyzed Israeli society is. In some ways, Tuesday's election is predictable. Netanyahu and his right-wing camp are expected, according to most polls, to secure the 61-seat majority needed to form a governing coalition. And yet the results remain impossible to predict, especially because the smaller parties hovering around the election threshold could determine the outcome. [tmwinpost] While polls may give us a sense of where the wind is blowing, people are still undecided and,…

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  • In Israel's elections, only the far right is talking about democracy

    A new campaign ad by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked signals that this time around, only the far right is talking about democratic norms — and how to undo them. Does the opposition have a response? Of all the aspects of political campaigns that voters love to hate, none is more maligned than the political advertisement. The term “30-second spot” has become synonymous with dumbing down, mudslinging, and manipulation of political campaigns ever since the Daisy Ad. [tmwinpost] But punchy ads are great. They can help de-code the strategy each party has chosen, and short scripts packed with narrative are enormously…

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  • Why Benny Gantz is more dangerous than the Kahanists

    Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. By Tom Mehager The partnership between the ruling Likud party and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party is a prime example of how racism has been legitimized in Israeli public discourse in recent years. If in the past Likud had openly condemned Meir Kahane and his descendants, today those red lines no longer exist. [tmwinpost] Even Shas leader Aryeh Deri showed signs of partnering with Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, something that…

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  • What Israelis aren't, but should be talking about in these elections

    Could these elections bring about the end of Netanyahu's rule? Why isn't anyone talking about half a century of occupation? And do these elections even matter, anyway? +972 and Local Call writers open up on what's at stake this time around. Reading much of the Israeli and international press, one might get the impression that the upcoming Israeli elections are solely a referendum on the last 10 years of Netanyahu’s rule. That might be partially true, but there are no few number of issues that aren’t being talked about, and there are stakes — and stakeholders — not being accounted…

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  • To unseat Netanyahu, his challengers risk becoming just like him

    As party lists are finalized in the lead-up to Israeli elections, the big bangs offer little substantive changes. And the challengers of the center look uncannily like the current leadership. A visual expression of the Israeli election campaign would look a lot like a Jackson Pollock painting. All of the parties running were required to finalize their lists on Thursday, and declare whether they would merge, split or stay single-by-choice. For 24 hours before the deadline, the parties darted around in a strategic frenzy accompanied by the relentless whine of 1,000 blooming rumors. The latest changes should be seen in…

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  • Tzipi Livni couldn’t save Israel because Israel doesn’t want to be saved

    Tzipi Livni, who bid farewell to politics this week, won’t be Israel's de Gaulle. She will not be the leader that shakes us out of our collective slumber. Today, it is difficult to imagine any other Israeli leader having the desire to even try. It’s strange to consider that a mere decade ago, Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party won the Israeli elections. Yet 10 years after Benjamin Netanyahu pushed her into the opposition back benches, Livni tearfully announced on Monday that she will not be running for the upcoming Knesset elections. Polls show her Hatnuah party wouldn’t make it past the election threshold and running…

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  • Do Israelis vote for political ideology or cult of personality?

    Although Israelis have historically voted for strong political frontmen, it seems that dazzling personalities are no longer sufficient to winning elections. It turns out that voters are looking at the values, worldview, and policies. Last October, Lior Shlein, Israel’s top satirist, made a convincing case that Yair Lapid is a cult leader. Lapid was a TV celeb who entered politics in 2013 trading on his teeny-bop looks and name recognition. He had no discernible ideology other than a vague promise to represent the mostly middle classes behind the social protest of 2011. Yet despite his own tony demographic, his Yesh Atid party…

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  • I survived the Gaza violence that Benny Gantz brags about

    'As a Palestinian expelled from Jaffa to Gaza, as someone whose family and friends have repeatedly been on the receiving end of Israel’s brute force, like all Palestinians, I know that the more violence Israel uses, the more it destroys the very legitimacy it seeks.' By Hanine Hassan Freedom is hard-won, but it should never be the fruit of elimination and devastation. One would assume that these words carry logic – but not for the State of Israel. [tmwinpost] The freedom that European Jewish settlers sought in Palestine through the Zionist movement came at the direct expense of Palestinian lives. As they…

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  • 10 years since 'Cast Lead': How Israel first declared total war on Gaza

    The firepower, scale of destruction, and numbers of Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead were unprecedented in the brutal history of the conflict. Since then, the tactics used have become part of the IDF's arsenal in its wars on Gaza.  By Avihai Stollar Ten years have passed since the Israeli army changed the way it wages war, the amount of risk it is willing to expose its soldiers to, and the scope of firepower and destruction it is willing to utilize in Palestinian population centers and at Palestinian civilians. [tmwinpost] “Cast Lead was an unprecedented operation,” Senat, an extra-parliamentary research and policy…

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  • Palestinian company says ex-IDF chief stole footage of Gaza destruction for campaign video

    Gaza-based 'Media Town' claims Benny Gantz, who many see as Netanyahu's only credible opponent in the upcoming elections, cribbed aerial footage of destroyed neighborhoods in Gaza following Operation Protective Edge. A Palestinian media company is claiming that former Israeli army chief and aspiring politician Benny Gantz stole their footage for a campaign video boasting of the death and destruction he wrought on Gaza in the 2014 war. [tmwinpost] Israeli social media lit up last week after Gantz, who many view as the top contender to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections, published a number of highly controversial campaign videos on his Facebook…

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  • Israel's upcoming elections will have plenty of surprises in store

    Israeli voters will head to the polls in three-and-a-half months to elect a new government. Here's what that means, and where the elections may go. After weeks of feverish speculation, the Israeli governing coalition voted unanimously on Monday to disband the Knesset and call early elections in April 2019. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Netanyahu had kept the country on its toes since November when some Israeli news outlets irresponsibly reported that Israel was headed for elections following the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Instead Netanyahu wriggled out of a tight spot and convinced his remaining coalition partners to stay for a…

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