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Israeli elections

  • How Netanyahu mainstreamed his dark, anti-democratic vision for Israel

    By attacking the judiciary, bringing extremists into his coalition, and trying to subvert voting rights, Benjamin Netanyahu has presented a dark vision of an anti-democratic future for Israeli politics. By Harry Reis Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from September’s repeat elections a failure. Denied his desired majority, the prime minister’s only real hope of retaining power now depends on building a national unity government with Blue and White, a party that has pledged never to sit with him so long as the cloud of pending indictment looms over his head. But the stakes of the election outcome are far higher than the…

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  • Netanyahu’s exit could make it harder to fight occupation from the outside

    Without a cartoon villain to rail against, the energy required to end the occupation is in danger of dissipating. By Aron Keller Given that Benjamin Netanyahu presided over the rightward shift of Israeli society and the hollowing out of its democratic institutions, the prospect of seeing his decade-long grip on the Prime Minister’s Office end should be a reason for liberals to celebrate. For the millions of Palestinians who have suffered as a direct result of his government’s policies, though, the end of the Netanyahu era could prove to be a mixed blessing. [tmwinpost] 'Like Pepsi and Coke' was how…

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  • 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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  • Elections reveal a seismic split within Israel's right

    Once the ascendant elite, the settler movement’s political power is on the decline. By Meron Rapoport While political analysts wonder if we have come to the end of the Netanyahu era, little attention is being paid to another major outcome of this election — that is, the decline of the national religious movement’s political power. Once, these self-described lords of the land believed they were well on their way to becoming Israel’s new political and cultural elite. But the numbers show that their political influence is waning. [tmwinpost] The Likud has always been at the center of the right wing…

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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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  • Israeli citizens are driving Bedouin voters to the polls in droves

    After the Central Elections Committee banned a civil society group from busing Bedouin voters to the polls, dozens of Israelis are stepping in to ensure all citizens have a chance to participate in the elections. Between Netanyahu’s rabid anti-Arab incitement and credible rumors of Election Day violence, concerns about voter suppression in Israel are at an all-time high. Several civil society organizations are taking pre-emptive action. [tmwinpost] Dozens of private citizens have volunteered to drive Bedouin residents of remote, so-called unrecognized Bedouin villages to the polling stations to vote during Tuesday's election. The grassroots initiative sprang up in response to a ruling handed down on…

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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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  • An election between annexationists and pro-occupation generals

    Palestinians have no say over whether they will be ruled by messianic religious zealots or by generals who previously presided over the occupation. On September 17, Israelis will return to the polls for round two of an election cycle that failed to determine an outcome in April, this time hoping for a different result. While there are some substantive differences between incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, when it comes to peace with the Palestinians the outcome matters much less. Neither Netanyahu nor Gantz is inclined or capable of positively altering the reality…

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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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  • Are voters about to send Kahanists back to the Knesset?

    If the polls are accurate, more than 140,000 voters will vote the Kahanists back into the Knesset in next week's election. Yet the desire for a pure Jewish state long ago moved from the margins of Israeli society to the mainstream. By Ron Cahlili One week before Israel’s national election, nearly every major poll shows the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) winning enough votes to cross the threshold. Until recently, the party was widely considered the rotten apples of the Israeli political barrel — a fringe party that represented a tiny subculture. Now it looks likely to take four seats in the Knesset. To…

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