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Israeli elections

  • What the candidates in Israel's elections say about the conflict

    For a long time, politicians perpetuated the idea that Israel sought peace and a two-state solution, even while taking contradictory steps on the ground. In these elections, that dissonance seems to be dwindling. A look at what each party is saying. The scramble to predict who might win the Israeli elections is understandable, but it begs a towering question: Will the next government actually change anything? To hone in further: Will it change Israel’s direction on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The left is inclined to say there’s no difference between centrist challengers Blue and White party and Netanyahu’s ruling Likud. Netanyahu’s…

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  • You can't fix Israel's economy without ending the occupation

    Israel's massive income inequality can't be solved without addressing one of the country's biggest expenses: decades of military rule over millions of Palestinians. By Dr. Shlomo Swirski If election campaigns were about policy, there would be two main issues at the center of the present Israeli election campaign. The first is the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. The second is the unbalanced development of Israel's economy, accompanied by persistently high poverty and inequality. The second is largely absent from the debate. The Palestinian issue is not – but it is present as the elephant in the room. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Netanyahu does…

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  • How to read election polls, explained by an expert

    When should you be suspicious of poll results? Can election polls really influence voter behavior? Do people lie to pollsters? Public opinion expert Dahlia Scheindlin has the answers. Public opinion polls get things wrong, and not only in Israel. They failed to predict the 2016 American presidential election, Brexit, the U.K. elections in 2015, and the exit polls in the 2015 Israeli election. But anger at polls — and pollsters — can sometimes feel like misplaced anger at election results themselves. It’s as if disappointed voters think that if only pollsters had predicted Trump’s victory, paradoxically, that the result might somehow…

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  • What will it take for Israel's right-wing voters to say enough?

    A small group of right-wing voters could tip the balance and lead to a change of government in Israel. Who are these voters, what do they care about, and would a Kahanist party in the Knesset be a step too far? Until one week ago, it looked unlikely that Benjamin Netanyahu could lose an election. It looked even less likely that the center and left-wing parties in Israel could ever outnumber the right-wing bloc to form a government. But last week, former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz merged with Yair Lapid’s centrist party and polls showed their new Blue and…

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  • When we celebrate Israeli democracy, we celebrate the violence of occupation

    In democratic countries, elections are conventionally described as 'a celebration.' But in an undemocratic reality of endless military occupation, they become an overt celebration of the violence of the powerful. By Hagai El-Ad “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind — it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact — I can only submit to the edict of others." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered these words in his 1957…

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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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  • Who gets to vote in Israel’s version of democracy

    Israel is about to hold elections, but not everyone living under Israeli rule gets a vote. A breakdown of who has rights and who doesn't. On April 9, 2019, Israel will hold general elections. Israelis will head to the polls to choose their elected leaders and representatives. If they are unhappy with the way things are going, like citizens of democracies around the world, their votes will help shape the ideological and political direction of the government and the institutions it controls. [tmwinpost] In a vacuum, that sounds like fairly standard democratic practice. But there is nothing standard about Israel’s…

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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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  • The most critical issues Israelis won't be voting on in the next election

    Israelis will head to the polls next April to elect a new government. But none of the major parties are offering any real change when it comes to the occupation or social justice issues. This is where the left has a role to play.  Amid a number of coalition crises and the possibility of an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaders of the Israeli government announced Monday that they would be dissolving the Knesset and holding elections on April 9th. The elections will put an end to the most right-wing government in Israeli history, and if the last few years have taught us anything, election season…

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  • The right keeps winning in Israel because Israelis are right wing

    The political map in Israel hasn't fundamentally changed since a decade ago, when left-wing voters migrated to the center and centrist voters moved right. The last week has seen feverish speculation about the possibility of early elections in Israel, primarily against the backdrop of infighting about how to handle Gaza. Defense Minister Liberman resigned and the governing coalition teetered; but on Monday the Jewish Home party announced its intention to remain, pulling Israel back from the brink of elections — for the moment. The situation is so volatile that new elections could still be called early — in March or May.…

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  • Israel's next elections will be about who is more violent to Palestinians

    The resignation of Defense Minister Liberman could very well trigger elections as early as next March. Many will be going the polls with one question in mind: how much force should we use against Palestinians? Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu's "surrender to terrorism." The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.…

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  • Elections: Good for Netanyahu, bad for Israel

    A coalition crisis could mean elections in a matter of months. If Netanyahu wins, even a post-election indictment will not stop the slide into a darker future for Israel. He wants them, he wants them not, he wants them, he wants them not. Over the last two weeks, the sport of Netanyahu psychoanalysis in the Israeli press over the possibility of snap elections has taken on a feverish tone. [tmwinpost] He doesn’t want them because he loves holding onto power. Because he wants to prove that of all Israeli leaders he alone is capable of sitting out a term and…

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  • What Labor's new leader must do to resuscitate the Left

    Instead of creating an lifeboat for undesired political has-beens, new Labor leader Avi Gabbay should try to unite Israel's center-left behind a defiant message in the face of an emboldened right-wing coalition. By Abe Silberstein There are more than enough reasons for Labor Party voters to be thoroughly skeptical of their recently-elected leader, Avi Gabbay. He has little to no political experience, and the little experience he does have comes from the center-right of Israel's political spectrum: he helped co-found Kulanu with finance minister Moshe Kahlon, which continues to back the Netanyahu government despite a steady increase in undemocratic legislation and mounting…

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