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yesh atid

  • The future is the center: Meet the parties shaking up Israeli politics

    Caught between growing extremism on the right and a battered left, Israelis are flocking to a new crop of centrist politicians who prioritize economic issues over solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Galia Ben Haim discussed her political opinions while driving back from jail. In addition to her day job, she volunteers at a women’s prison.  The inmates, she says, committed their crimes after Israel’s social institutions failed them. In the last two elections the 48-year-old mother of four says she voted for Yesh Atid, the centrist party founded by TV icon Yair Lapid in 2013. She is considering supporting them a third time when Israel holds…

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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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  • 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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  • Yair Lapid on Hillary handshake: 'I met my buddy's wife...'

    Israel's Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he's seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill's wife, you guys know Bill.  Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title of the great white hope of Israeli moderates, way back when in 2013), attended the Saban Forum at Brookings last night. As in the rest of his political career, Lapid's contribution to proceedings was somewhat difficult to place, but he didn't pass entirely unnoticed. At the end of the summit's third day, Lapid got…

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  • Why the 'hijacking' of Israeli democracy is a myth

    We often hear that that Israeli democracy is being 'hijacked' by a group of right-wing extremists. Too bad the alternatives aren't any more appealing. Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations. [tmwinpost] Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity" of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies…

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  • 'Centrist' politician's plan for total separation from Palestinians

    Yair Lapid isn't sure which Palestinians he wants to separate from or even how many of them there are, but he knows he needs a bigger wall to do it. Now is the time to get the Palestinians completely out of the lives of Israelis, according to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") party. The self-declared "centrist" politician called for a bigger, stronger wall to separate Palestinians from Israelis — urgently. Lapid made his remarks during an October 3 video interview he gave to Ynet, Israel's most popular online news site. A generous +972 reader volunteered to…

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  • The death penalty is making a comeback in Israel

    By sentencing Palestinians convicted of murder to death, the Israeli Right will only bring the mutual cruelty between Jews and Palestinians to another level.  No one really wants to look back and learn anything from history. Every colonial regime convinces itself at some point to raise the level of brutality in order to force the natives to accept their situation. It seems like this is the path we must also take. [tmwinpost] Avigdor Liberman's party is promoting an initiative that would allow military tribunals to sentence terrorists who were convicted of murder to death. Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party already announced…

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  • Final polls show Zionist Camp with biggest lead yet

    Herzog and Livni may have the upper hand over Netanyahu, but even if they win the election, they won't have an easy time putting together a coalition. The latest election polls published Friday show Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni's Zionist Camp leading Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud party by four seats. According to Project61, an independent polling project that aggregates and attempts to correct biases in the major pre-election surveys, the Zionist Camp is currently polling at 24 seats as opposed to Netanyahu's 20 seats. According to Israeli election law, polls are not allowed to be published after Friday. While the polls…

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  • Behind election lurks Israel's ethnic divide

    The use of racially loaded code words at an anti-Netanyahu rally highlights the inter-Jewish racism that has plagued Israeli society and politics since day one. A look at the correlation between ethnic background and voting patterns. The anti-Netanyahu rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night was meant to be a high point of the campaign to oust Israel's prime minister in next week’s general elections — a last hoorah before a triumphant storming of the polls. But as such events go, it left a lot to be desired. The turnout was unimpressive, the speakers predictable, and the mood, attendees reported after the event,…

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  • Israel's elections: A referendum on Netanyahu

    The coalition is falling apart, and the Knesset is likely to agree on early elections soon. Current polls suggest we are heading toward a fourth Netanyahu government, which will be even more right wing than the current one. Netanyahu’s third government has reached its end. New elections, which seemed likely when the Gaza war ended, are practically inevitable at this point. UPDATE: The Knesset's parties agreed to hold the elections on March 17, 2015. The two central pillars of the government – Netanyahu’s Likud party and Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (comprising 18 and 19 seats, respectively, out of…

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  • Knesset raises threshold to four seats, putting Arab parties at risk of not entering parliament

    The new legislation will benefit medium-sized parties like the settlers’ Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, while increasing the influence of big money on politics. The Knesset approved today (Tuesday) several changes in its elections and governance laws. Among other things, the changes will make it more difficult to challenge the government in a vote of non-confidence, and set the threshold for entering the Knesset at 3.25 percent, or roughly four Knesset seats. The legislation is a joint initiative by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu (which united with Netanyahu’s Likud party prior to the…

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  • The peace process: Where are the grassroots movements?

    The Israeli debate over the Kerry initiative has an unpleasant top-down feeling to it. By Tal Schneider Is it only me who feels that the debate regarding a possible peace agreement with the Palestinians exists mostly among PR companies (from both sides), copywriters and graphic designers? I feel that there is zero grassroots activity and a maximum amount of billboards. The fight between different advertisers was featured prominently on the front page of Haaretz on Wednesday, January 29th. On the upper left corner one can see the new campaign by Breaking the Impasse, under the title  “A strong state signs a…

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