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Israel elections

  • How the Joint List has already made history in Israel

    No matter what happens on election day, or what kind of coalition is formed afterwards, the Joint List's very existence has already changed the face of Israeli history. The fact that the Joint List is likely to be the third largest slate in the next Knesset means they cannot be ignored. All the Israeli papers, analysts and news broadcasters are suddenly forced to relate to "the Arabs" — the 20 percent of the population that are normally out of sight and mind when Israelis goes to the polls. It was both groundbreaking and satisfying to see Joint List chair Ayman…

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  • The violent roots of Israel's Labor party

    The Labor party's glory days included the Nakba, conquering and settling the West Bank and East Jerusalem and other affairs Israeli society has yet to begin processing. By Tom Pessah Senior Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich published the following status on her personal Facebook page a few weeks ago: “Hi this is Shelly. Spot the differences: education minister and member of the diplomatic-security cabinet Yigal Allon moves apartments.” [tmwinpost] In an attempt to criticize Prime Minister Netanyahu's lavish expenditures, Yachimovich, number three on the Zionist Camp list, uploaded a photo of a letter written by Yigal Allon — one of Israel's revered military…

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  • Netanyahu is not Ben-Gurion, and 2015 is not 1948

    The Israeli prime minister is not using his Congress speech to gain votes in this election, rather, he is using his election campaign to gain favor for the Congress speech and serve his megalomaniac vision of being the savior of Jews worldwide. Netanyahu's recent campaign video, released Saturday night, has nothing to do with the Israeli election and certainly does not target the Israeli voter. It is intended for U.S. President Barack Obama, the White House, American Jews and more broadly, U.S. Democrats. The video compares David Ben-Gurion's decision to declare independence in 1948 over the objections of then U.S. Secretary…

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  • The threat of hope and truth in elections devoid of both

    Proponents of a strong democracy should welcome young citizens sounding their voices. But a prime minister who builds his campaign on fear mongering clearly feels threatened by anyone grouping together the words 'hope,' 'truth' and 'politics.' By Don Futterman There is nothing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party finds so threatening as hope and truth. While the official campaigns of the two leading parties – the Zionist Camp and the Likud – stagger along with minimal substance, younger and vibrant progressive voices are starting to make themselves heard. The Likud recently attacked two of them, V15 and 61, and sought an…

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  • 'A Palestinian state isn't the solution, but it's a step in the right direction': Meet MK Jamal Zahalka

    Chairman of the Balad party says that unification of Israel’s Arab parties is nothing short of historic — both in Israel and the Arab world: ‘There has never been unity between the communists, nationalists and Islamists.' In an interview, Zahalka talks about his party’s appeal to Jewish voters, why the Joint List won’t join an Israeli government and what compromises he is willing to make to end the occupation. "A war of attrition." That is how writer Samah Salaime Agbaria, my colleague at +972's sister site Local Call, described the endless negotiations between the Arab parties in their attempt to form…

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  • The Israeli government's election gift to West Bank settlers

    Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…

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  • Should a joint Arab list trump Jewish-Arab unity? Not so fast

    The temptation of the Arab parties to unite in order to form a stronger political bloc is great. Everyone wants to give Liberman the election surprise of a lifetime. But what is the cost? By Sinai Peter Israel's upcoming elections came out of nowhere. Despite the early warnings and the raising of the electoral threshold many months ago, no significant steps have been taken toward ensuring the parliamentary future of some parts of the Left and the Arab parties. As a result, attempts to form a joint Arab list with Ra'am, Ta'al, Balad and Hadash only recently began, and any…

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  • WATCH: Rightists campaign on hate, incitement and arrogance

    Two different election campaign videos released by major right-wing candidates have one major thing in common: they are very clear about what and who they are against, yet indicate next to nothing about what they stand for. In a highly incendiary video, Likud Knesset member Danny Danon, who was fired from his position as deputy defense minister for publicly slamming Netanyahu's "restraint" during this past summer's assault on Gaza, has released a campaign video in which he brands himself as "the real Likud." Post by ‎Danny Danon - דני דנון‎.   In the video Danon fashions himself as a no-nonsense sheriff…

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  • Elections called off; Kadima joins huge Netanyahu coalition

    With 94 out of the Knesset's 120 members behind him, the prime minister might have enough political support to launch war with Iran despite the opposition within the security establishment. This was the shortest election cycle in history: On Sunday, Likud brought to a Knesset vote a bill moving elections up to September 4, officially launching a four-month campaign season. Less then 48 hours later, the elections were cancelled. Kadima, it was announced, will join Netanyahu's coalition, and Israelis will only go to the polls a year and a half from now, in October 2013. Since the legislation of the…

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  • AIPAC predicted Obama victory, Bibi called early elections

    Ben Caspit, diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli daily Maariv, reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to call early elections in Israel was the result of the assessment by leaders of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, that President Barack Obama would be reelected in 2012. Netanyahu's coalition surprised the political system last week when it was made public that the the next elections would take place only four months from now, on September 4 (elections periods in Israel are usually much longer). By early November, when the U.S. elections take place, the new Israeli government will already be sworn in. Caspit…

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  • Israeli public preps for elections: Just 'don't mention the war!'

    Election season has begun, and the Israeli public desperately wants one thing: escapism.  Last night, after the Israeli election was set for September 4, I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that I thought summed up the public mood, which the main "opposition" candidates have been and will be catering to. The T-shirt showed a comically wide-eyed, frightened John Cleese and his classic line from Fawlty Towers: "Don't mention the war!" Perfect. The prime minister has the whole world scared to death that he's going to bomb Iran, every poll shows that a great majority of Israelis don't want him to do it - but it's not an issue in Israeli politics and it almost certainly won't…

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