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2019 Israeli Elections

Israeli pols merge parties, and right wing seems stronger than ever

Jonathan Ofir on

As Israeli elections approach, Avigdor Lieberman remains the kingmaker of a likely rightwing coalition. Even if the new leftleaning Democratic Union and center join up, they would need the Palestinian parties and Lieberman to create a majority bloc, and that is not going to happen, Jonathan Ofir observes.

Israeli Jews question Palestinians’ loyalty and don’t want them in government — leading political scientist

Philip Weiss on

Benjamin Netanyahu has the inside track to remain prime minister of Israel because he supports the “Jewish identity” of the state, says political scientist Tamar Hermann. The left is a marginal factor in the Israeli election in September, and Israeli Jews overwhelmingly don’t want Palestinians in any governing coalition. The only thing Israeli Jews and Palestinians agree on is that the Trump peace plan won’t work.

A second Israeli election proves Netanyahu’s grip on power is slipping

Jonathan Cook on
Trump and Netanyahu

Faced with the current Israeli political turmoil, however, the Trump administration might prefer to abandon efforts to press ahead with its “deal of the century” peace plan. But even if that specific threat is lifted, the next Israeli government – whether led by Benjamin Netanyahu, his successor, or Benny Gantz – is not likely to depart from Israel’s long-term consensus, one that the Trump plan was simply set to accelerate.

Trump peace plan is now ‘dead and buried’

Philip Weiss on

If there’s any consensus from the political chaos in Israel, it’s that the Trump peace plan will get kicked down the road again for months, right into the U.S. election season, so it may disappear entirely. Several Israel observers say the plan is over. They warn that Trump will be even more of a presence in Netanyahu’s next campaign, but the prime minister is badly wounded by his failure to make a government.

Benjamin Netanyahu: The fugitive Crime Minister

Yossi Gurvitz on
Benjamin Netanyahu

In a move that would have been considered surreal even two days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the Knesset to avoid a coup within his own party, and possibility of being sent to prison. Yossi Gurvitz writes, “the so-called ‘wizard’ of Israeli politics managed to pull an extraordinary act of self-immolation.”

Israel’s orientalist rally for ‘democracy’

Jonathan Ofir on

The centrist Blue White opposition to Netanyahu’s Likud organized a demonstration in Tel Aviv to ‘defend democracy’. But it was rife with militant symbolism and orientalist mockery, and it marginalized Palestinian voices, as usual. Notably, protesters wore fezzes to say Israel shouldn’t become Turkey. It was surely lost on the demonstrators that many Arabs wear fezzes, including Arab Jews.

Annexation of West Bank may provide key to unlocking Netanyahu’s legal troubles

Jonathan Cook on
Launch party for Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party campaign, Ramat Gan, Israel, March 4, 2019. (Photo: Amir Cohen/Reuters)

Following the recent Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu faces no serious domestic or international obstacles as he implements the agenda of the right. His biggest trouble will but legal given the news he will soon be indicted on a series of corruption charges. But he might find a way out through an “annexation for immunity” deal where he gives the far-right and the settlers what they want – annexation of parts or all of the West Bank – and in return, they back immunity legislation for him.

‘Things could move very quickly’ — Dems are now the anti-annexation party, taking on Netanyahu and Pompeo

Philip Weiss on
Trump signs at Likud/Netanyahu victory party, April 9-10, 2019. Tweeted by Donald Trump.

Since Netanyahu’s reelection, mainstream Democrats have taken up ardent opposition to his plan to annex parts of West Bank. Sec’y of State Mike Pompeo won’t say what Trump will do, but MD’s Chris Van Hollen dares to imagine one state with equal rights: “Would you agree that in a one state solution Palestinians should have full and equal political and legal rights with other citizens of that state?”

Why Israeli election results may have a positive aspect

Jonathan Ofir on

Liberal Zionists are bemoaning the radical defeat of the Israeli Zionist left. But that might not be only bad. The election has revealed to the world that Israel is on a course of destruction that only outside pressure and outside forces can avert.

For Palestinians, it doesn’t matter who wins the Israeli elections

Mohamed Mohamed on
Then-IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, left, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Navy ceremony on September 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

It is time that Americans recognize the true nature of the Israeli Jewish polity, Mohamed Mohamed of the Jerusalem Fund writes. Regardless who wins Israeli elections, the daily lives and political situation of Palestinians are unlikely to improve. As for the two-state solution, a tiny minority of Israeli Jews actually support real Palestinian sovereignty.

Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism if they really want to build an Arab-Jewish political partnership

Philip Weiss on
Liberal Zionists discuss Israeli election, on April 10. From left to right, Yael Patir of J Street Israel, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, and Israeli journalist/pollster Dahlia Scheindlin.

The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.

The end of liberal Zionism

Yossi Gurvitz on
Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara wave as Netanyahu speaks following the announcement of exit polls in Israel's parliamentary election at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Liberal Zionism is dead. The main story of the 2019 elections is the wiping out of the democratic camp, at best it has 10 seats in the Knesset between the Labor and Meretz parties. Anyone who still thinks Israel “shares values” with the West ought to wake up and smell the coffee. Liberal Israeli Jewish activists must understand that they won’t be able to ever win elections without working with Israeli Palestinians.

He’s back! Netanyahu wins fifth term as prime minister of Israel, Gantz concedes

Allison Deger and Philip Weiss on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz said he is the next prime minister of Israel, but incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu said the right wing has won again after polls closed in the Israeli elections. Gantz’s party is polling ahead of Netanyahu’s, but early analysis suggests it will be harder for Gantz’s Blue and White to form a governing coalition.

Absolute racism: a prerequisite for becoming prime minister of Israel

Siddiq Bazarwala on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu campaigning in Tel Aviv, April 2, 2019. (Photo: Tomer Appelbaum/Reuters)

Regardless of who wins the upcoming Israeli elections on 9 April 2019, Palestinians will most certainly lose.While past elections focus on Iran or the economy, this campaign season the Israeli electorate is being fed a steady diet of anti-Palestinian toxicity.

Agonized US Zionists — and O’Rourke — see doomsday in another Netanyahu victory

Philip Weiss on
Benjamin Netanyahu, March 2019. Israeli Government Press Office.

As Netanyahu goes up for reelection tomorrow in Israel, the warning that liberal Zionists have long issued– the Jewish state will no longer be a democratic state but will be inherently racist — has become impossible for even the warners to ignore. J Street called on US politicians and Jews to condemn Netanyahu’s promise to annex West Bank settlements; and Beto O’Rourke did so.

The Israeli election is a shitshow of toxic masculinity

Yossi Gurvitz on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

The Israeli election has dissolved into toxic masculinity as the Netanyahu campaign suggests that Benny Gantz lacks strength because he reportedly once saw a psychologist. Gantz promptly denied the report as if it were a stain on his honor. The worship of force and contempt for weakness by would-be Rambos threatens all society with destruction, Yossi Gurvitz writes.

Pro-pot, anti-Arab: ultra-right Moshe Feiglin rises in Israeli polls on marijuana legalization platform

Yumna Patel on

As Israeli elections draw even closer, one politician is making headway, and headlines, for his unique –and surprisingly popular — blend of libertarian extreme free-market ideas and far-right Jewish supremacist ideologies. “I think Moshe Feiglin is more radical than the Kahanists,” Yossi Gurvitz tells Mondoweiss, citing Feiglin’s open calls for ethnic cleansing and genocide. “He is a much better marketer of these ideas.”