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2019 Israeli Elections

Israeli candidates spar over increasing tensions in West Bank, Gaza

Yumna Patel on
Members of the Israeli Israeli security forces stand guard next to a car at the site of an attack at the Ariel junction

A Palestinian teenager is suspected of carrying out a stabbing and shooting attack in the northern occupied West Bank on Sunday, leading to the death of an Israeli soldier and settler, and renewed tensions across the Palestinian territory. Israeli politicians immediately sought to capitalize off the violence.

Kahane in, Arabs out: Israeli election panel disqualifies Palestinian party calling for equality, approves racist Jewish Power leader

Yumna Patel and Jonathan Ofir on
Michael Ben Ari

Just hours after chairman of the far right Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power” party, Michael Ben Ari was approved by Israel’s Central Election Committee to run for the Knesset on Wednesday, the same committee disqualified the joint Arab slate Balad-United Arab List from running. The committee also ruled to prevent Ofer Cassif, a Jewish representative in Hadash, from running. The claim against Cassif was, that he “denied the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Palestinian lawmakers face ‘uphill battle’ following disbandment of the Joint List

Yumna Patel on
Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi celebrate their Taal-Hadash list, splitting off from the Joint List

Mondoweiss speaks with Palestinian lawyer and political analyst Diana Buttu about the demise of the Joint List, and the challenges facing Palestinian politicians and voters in an increasingly right-wing political atmosphere in Israel. “The Jewish Power Party and the Kahanists have a much more negative influence outside of the country than inside,” Buttu says. “Not that people here don’t view them negatively, but for Palestinians, there really is no substantive difference between Jewish Power Party and Gantz.”

Netanyahu cries leftist conspiracy over decision to indict him for bribery and corruption

Yumna Patel on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing. While it is too early to tell the extent to which Netanyahu will be affected by the announcement, nearly all of his rivals have called on him to step down, and political analysts have said it could spell disaster for him come April 9th.

War on Al-Aqsa: what is the price of a Netanyahu victory?

Ramzy Baroud on

It is quite typical for Israeli politicians to carry out confrontational measures against Palestinians shortly before general elections are due. Ramzy Baroud argues Netanyahu’s closure of a gate that leads to Al-Aqsa mosque was a move to appease extremists at the expense of Palestinians.

What Netanyahu’s indictment means politically

Jonathan Ofir on

The decision to indict Netanyahu is likely to knock down the right wing vote, and may give a path to the centrist Blue and White to form a governing coalition after the April 9 election. One thing is clear though: the indictment will have no effect on Palestinian conditions.

Thirty-five years ago Likud wouldn’t conceive of sitting down with Kahane. What changed?

Yossi Gurvitz on

The shock of Netanyahu’s deal with the Kahanist Jewish Power party is that it shows there is growing establishment support in Israel for a final ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people: “The right-wing does speak about it openly, but the Kahanists do. Some 10% of the Jewish population of Israel have been speaking about “a second Nakba” even as they denied the first; now Likud joins them.”

Gantz’s effort to bring down Netanyahu may hinge on– AIPAC and a Palestinian party

Philip Weiss and Yossi Gurvitz on
Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi celebrate their Taal-Hadash list, splitting off from the Joint List

The unprecedented criticism of an Israeli prime minister by AIPAC and the splitting of the Palestinian parties into two lists may represent Israeli centrist Benny Gantz’s only road to knocking off Benjamin Netanyahu in April elections. Netanyahu is already calling Gantz an “Arab-lover” while Gantz has criticized Netanyahu for endangering Israel’s crown jewels, its ties to the U.S. government.

Ultra-nationalists join forces ahead of Israeli elections as liberal and Palestinian blocs splinter

Jonathan Ofir on

Benny Gantz partnered with Yair Lapid and Benjamin Netanyahu teamed up with the “David Dukes” of Israeli politics as Israeli parties joined forces ahead of the deadline to find running partners for the April elections. Jonathan Ofir explains where things stand now: “Gantz and Lapid, with their accompanying generals, may possibly succeed in unseating Netanyahu – but they will not unseat Zionist ultra-nationalism. They are running on that ticket too.”

Netanyahu is working hard for racist party of ‘David Dukes’ so as to hold a rightwing majority in Israeli parliament

Mondoweiss Editors on

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been working hard to make sure a racist, xenophobic, homophobic Ultra-Right wing party called “Jewish Power” that has roots in the banned “Kach” party gets into the next Knesset in the April 9 election so that he can maintain a right-wing coalition and stay in office, Barak Ravid reports.

We’re all Jewish Supremacists Now: Israeli politics, a guide for the perplexed

Yossi Gurvitz on

Yossi Gurvitz explains what to expect from the upcoming Israeli elections, where Benjamin Netanyahu faces a challenge from Gen. Benny Gantz, but liberal parties do not stand a chance. “Gantz is right on at least one point: there is no longer left or right. The vast majority of Israeli Jews are now Jewish supremacists,” Gurvitz says. “Some embrace this supremacy eagerly, others cling to it while bemoaning cruel fate has brought them, good liberals that they are, to this low state.”

Israeli general mounts challenge to Netanyahu by flaunting Gaza carnage

Jonathan Cook on

Like Israel’s former politician generals, from Yitzhak Rabin to Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, Benny Gantz is being portrayed – and portraying himself – as a battle-hardened warrior, able to make peace from a position of strength. Gantz’s campaign slogans “Only the Strong Wins” and “Israel Before Everything” are telling. Everything, for Gantz, clearly includes human rights.

Another Israeli terrorist vies to be Prime Minister

Jonathan Ofir on

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Benjamin (‘Benny’) Gantz has launched his campaign to challenge Netanayhu from the ‘left’, with an incredibly bellicose series of videos. His slogan is “Israel before everything”. Gantz brags in campaign videos of his responsibility for Gaza onslaughts in 2012 and 2014.

Elections don’t make Israel a democracy

Ariel Gold on

The upcoming Israeli elections, usually a sign of democracy, will in fact demonstrate how the country is not a democratic state. The right to vote is only granted to 60% of the total population, and only one third of Palestinians who live under Israeli rule will have a say in the next government.

Israel heads to early elections as Netanyahu faces ongoing corruption investigations

Yumna Patel on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition announced on Monday that it would be dispersing the country’s Parliament and holding early elections in April 2019, seven months before their scheduled date next November. Israeli media and political analysts have speculated that the real reason behind the sudden call for snap elections is that Netanyahu wants an election before Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announces whether he will indict the premier in three different corruption cases. If he wins in April, Netanyahu will be able to claim the support of the people, and be better suited to combat potential charges against him.

Joint List to lead mass march on Jerusalem, as Netanyahu forms a gov’t

Allison Deger on

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final hours of forming a ruling coalition to lead the country, the Joint List is organizing a mass march. Unrecognized villagers will camp and walk their way to Israel’s seat of government, all while their party’s leadership is tightening ties with presumed opposition heads in the Zionist Camp.

The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism

Peter Feld on

“We’re not going to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem this morning,” WNYC public radio host Brian Lehrer told listeners Monday at the close of his all-Jewish discussion with NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and Time columnist Joe Klein about the Netanyahu victory aftermath. They might have come a little closer if his guests had included a Palestinian instead of two Zionists. Klein called Netanyahu’s race-baiting Election Day speech “beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.” Unknowingly, he nails it. For liberal Zionists, it’s not the tragedy of generations of Palestinians exiled, slaughtered or marginalized because powerful outsiders claim their land—­it’s the shame and embarrassment of those who have to reconcile their support for all of that with their liberal self-image.