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2019 Israeli Elections

An Israeli election that will decide nothing at all

James Zogby on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

After the Israeli election, there will be no end to occupation, no two-state solution. Israeli politics have moved so far to the right, that it is hard to understand why the US media continues to refer to Netanyahu’s opposition as a “center-left” coalition. American liberals have themselves to blame, for their passive opposition to expansive settlements and apartheid.

As Israeli elections near, the right wing is polling ever stronger

Jonathan Ofir 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.

Today is the last day Israeli election polls may be published before the vote, and the latests gives Likud a substantial lead over Gantz’s Blue and White party. This suggests Benjamin Netanyahu may be in a good position to form a new right-wing government.

‘We have the most to lose, but no right to vote’: Palestinians under threat of annexation speak out on the upcoming Israeli elections

Yumna Patel on
An Israeli army jeep crisscrosses the Jordan Valley, on daily patrol in the area. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

With the topic of this year’s Israeli election focused heavily on annexation, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Area C — the more than 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control — are hanging in the balance. Mondoweiss spoke to three Palestinians living in areas of the West Bank– in close proximity to settlements, Area C, and the Jordan Valley — that would likely be the first ones affected if Netanyahu sees his plans through.

Netanyahu and the two-state derision

Nizar Mohamad on
Netanyahu calls for annexing Jordan Valley and Jewish West Bank settlements, Sept. 10, 2019.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley has simply made obvious what Palestinians have known for generations: Israel is uninterested in affording them their right to self-determination.

Israel’s repeat elections and the Arab vote 

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud on
Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi celebrate their Taal-Hadash list, splitting off from the Joint List

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud says Israel’s repeat national elections grants the Palestinian leadership a golden opportunity to seek lessons from last April’s results where they dropped four seats and lost their standing as the third-largest party in the legislature.

Netanyahu fails to pass ‘racist’ bill that would have allowed for cameras at polling stations on election day

Yumna Patel on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to install cameras at Israeli voting stations failed on Monday after a parliamentary committee voted down his party’s proposed bill, which rights groups warned was aimed at lowering Palestinian turnout in next week’s elections. Palestinian MK Ayman Odeh took to Twitter on Monday to celebrate the failure, saying “Netanyahu is fighting a battle against Arab society, the judiciary, and the entire democratic space.”

Why Israeli elections don’t make a difference

Jonathan Ofir on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

Jonathan Ofir says Israeli elections are simply a reflection of the Zionist ethnic cleansing program, and that is why they will never create meaningful change.

Amnesty International: Palestinian lawmakers in Israel face systemic discrimination

Yumna Patel on
Haneen Zoabi in Knesset

In a new report, Amnesty International details how Palestinian members of Knesset face systemic discrimination: “Despite being democratically elected like their Jewish Israeli counterparts, Israeli Arabic MKs are the target of deep-rooted discrimination and undue restrictions that hamstring their ability to speak out in defence of the rights of the Israeli Arabic people,” the report says.

Netanyahu’s unprecedented visit to Hebron sparks anger among Palestinians, and calls for annexation from Israeli ministers

Yumna Patel on
Netanyahu speaks at ceremony in Hebron on September 4th, 2019 (photo: Twitter)

Benjamin Netanyahu made an unprecedented visit to the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday, sparking angry reactions from Palestinian leaders and citizens. The visit was the first time a sitting Prime Minister gave an address in the flashpoint city, and it was largely seen as an attempt to appease Netanyahu’s right-wing base ahead of this month’s elections.

Liberal Zionist group omits two-state solution in message to Israeli voters

Philip Weiss on

OneVoice was founded to end the occupation as a “moral” and “existential” imperative for Israel. But it has dropped the two-state solution in its messaging to Israeli voters in next month’s elections, focusing on issues of “division and racism” and the “cost of living.” It knows that Israeli Jewish voters are against a Palestinian state.

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?”