Israel's Labor Party must decide what it stands for before the next round of elections. Without a true vision for the country, there’s really no reason it should win. Avi Gabbay, the new head of Israel’s Labor Party, appears to be plotting a master strategy for winning elections, with laser-razor precision. A largely unknown candidate, he is certainly aware that his first headlines will set voters’ image of him for years. His statements from the last few weeks leave little doubt about the first thing he wants them to know: I am no leftist. First, he said Israel can have…Read More... | 4 Comments
A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…Read More... | 6 Comments
It turns out that one of Benjamin Netanyahu's most notoriously divisive statements in recent years reflects, almost identically, an anti-Semitic election slogan exposed and decried by none other than the founding father of right-wing Zionism, Jabotinsky. By Gilad Halpern Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founding father of the Zionist right and forebear of Likud, has been said to turn in his grave so many times he could produce enough energy to electrify a few new settlements. [tmwinpost] It is often said that Jabotinsky, a liberal nationalist who imbibed 19th century romanticism, would have had nothing but contempt for the lowbrow jingoism that…Read More... | 9 Comments
The government’s latest attempts to oust Balad from the Knesset are part of an intensifying campaign against Arab political movements, regardless of their different stripes. Three months ago, when the Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Palestinian citizens of Israel feared that they were witnessing the beginning of an intensified campaign against Arab political groups. Many suspected at the time that the government’s next target would be the Balad party, the nationalist faction of the Joint List, which has been in the crosshairs of consecutive Israeli governments since the 1990s. [tmwinpost] Those suspicions were confirmed last…Read More... | 7 Comments
The prime minister's Election Day warning that 'Arabs are coming out in droves to the polls' was the culmination of months of focus groups and a clear-eyed strategy from Likud operatives, a new Channel 2 report reveals. By Mitchell Plitnick Controversial comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about heavy voter turnout in Israel’s Arab sector were not one-time mistakes but part of a broader strategy executed by the Likud campaign, a report broadcast Monday by Israel’s Channel 2 News demonstrated. Netanyahu was heavily criticized, at home and abroad, for his last-minute plea for right-wing voters to support him at the polls…Read More... | 51 Comments
Palestinians mark Land Day across Israel and the West Bank, politics take center stage in Israel, laid off workers take to the streets, a number of social and political struggles intensify, Gaza struggles to recover from last summer’s devastating war, and Palestinians and Israelis continue popular resistance against the occupation.Read More...
Many in the Israeli Left saw the recent election defeat as a danger to democracy. But if the Left wants to win elections, it needs to let go of its anti-Mizrahi fear-mongering and racism. by Elad Ben Elul (translated by Joshua Tartakovsky) In order to understand the outcome of the recent elections in Israel, one has to step away from the two central conceptual frameworks that make up the discourse of most Israelis, but in fact do not capture the complex reality below the surface. One has to step away from the traditional boxes of “Right” versus “Left” and of…Read More... | 18 Comments
Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel's character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals. Many on the center-left in Israel are still trying to wrap their head around Netanyahu's victory. They simply cannot grasp that most Israelis really want another right-wing government led by Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, the only two of Israel's 10 largest cities where the Zionist Union got more votes than the Likud, some people seem to be rationalizing the victory with the anti-Arab, fear-mongering campaign Bibi led in…Read More... | 17 Comments
The next Israeli government will attempt to preserve the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza at all costs. Facing international backlash, the persecution of leftists and Arabs could rise to dangerous levels. It’s quite clear what the fourth Netanyahu government will look like: A coalition of the Likud’s “natural partners.” These are the same people who have been following and backing Netanyahu since the 1990s: Avigdor Liberman, Bennett’s Jewish Home, the ultra-Orthodox parties, and Moshe Kahlon, who is actually comprises the moderate wing of the Likud. There are all sorts of rumors about sending feelers to the Labor…Read More... | 27 Comments
Digital media has dictated the agenda of this election campaign. The parties flooded the web with funny videos, hoping to go viral. Media strategists know how to make their audience laugh, but they failed to establish a meaningful discourse with the electorate. By Angela Gruber Noy Alooshe is a sought-after man these days. His Youtube remixes mash up short bits of politicians' speeches with catchy beats, creating viral music videos that make sport of the featured candidates, crossing all party lines. But instead of hating Alooshe for mocking them, he has politicians calling him up after their speeches, suggesting sound…Read More...
The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static. Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the…Read More... | 13 Comments
Six days before Israelis head to the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his challengers, Herzog-Livni, are closer than ever. According to a new survey, most Israelis support a continued peace process, but don't think it will succeed — regardless of who is at the helm. The past two-and-a-half months of campaigning leading up to next week's elections have been cast as a choice between “us and them,” between the stability of an incumbent and the change offered by his challenger. While the latest polls show Israelis almost evenly split — both among so-called Left and Right blocs, but also among…Read More... | 2 Comments
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