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2019 Israeli Elections

Netanyahu gives up on forming government – for now

Jonathan Ofir on
Benjamin Netanyahu, March 2019. Israeli Government Press Office.

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he is giving up on his mandate to form a new government following elections. The baton will now be passed to Benny Gantz – but he will likely fail as well. Unless something surprising happens, Israel is most likely headed to yet another national election.

‘Broad’ post-Netanyahu coalition means, No Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

Some commentators are predicting Netanyahu is about to be betrayed by a “broad” coalition of Israeli centrists. But the race-baiting against Palestinian legislators continue unabated. And one likely replacement says Netanyahu has been soft on Gaza and Israel must speed up “targeted killings” of Palestinian leaders.

Prime Minister Chickenshit

Yossi Gurvitz on

Benjamin Netanyahu called off his idea for a snap Likud Party primary after Gideon Sa’ar, a rival, tweeted two words: “I’m ready.” That moment reveals Netanyahu’s essential political character: he operates out of fear and paranoia.

Why Israel is struggling to end its political deadlock

Jonathan Cook on
Benjamin Netanyahu next to the former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and then Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz (R) on 27 August 2014.

It would be a mistake to assume the political deadlock in Israel is evidence of a ideological divide. The reality is that there is strong unity – over shared racist attitudes towards Palestinians.

The fall of Netanyahu is not meaningless 

Asaf Calderon on
Palestinian protesters deface posters depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest near the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 16, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Asaf Calderon writes, “Netanyahu’s carefully cultivated stagnation can only be disrupted by his removal. The change will not come from a Gantz administration, but by the end of the Netanyahu administration.”

We endorsed Gantz to block Trump’s deal — Ayman Odeh of Joint List

James North and Philip Weiss on

Benny Gantz is “bad,” but Netanyahu is “the worst,” says Ayman Odeh of the Palestinian Joint List in Israel. But Odeh told Time magazine that 10 Palestinian legislators endorsed Gantz because they want to stop Trump’s deal of the century and the annexation by Israel of West Bank lands.

The illusion of electoral politics from Palestine to Black America

Devyn Springer on
The results of the exit polls are shown on a screen at Benny Gantz's Blue and White party headquarters, following Israel's parliamentary election, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Devyn Springer reflects that as a Black person in the United States, Palestinian cynicism towards Israeli elections feels all too familiar. “So-called important national elections seem to always be at the expense of my community’s existing oppression,” Springer writes.

The mirage of Benny Gantz

Jonathan Ofir on
Avigdor Lieberman meets with Benny Gantz, Sept. 23, 2019. From Gantz's twitter feed.

The recent Israeli election has been a win for the Zionist right-center. The Joint List which mostly represents Palestinians has endorsed Benny Gantz, but that stance divided the List. That’s understandable because a unity government headed by Gantz would back policies toward Palestinians that are not different from those of a Likud government.

‘NYT’ gives Netanyahu platform to race-bait Palestinian parties as ‘terrorists’ — without letting them respond

James North and Philip Weiss on

When Donald Trump race-baits minorities, the New York Times offers his targets space to respond. But the Times published Netanyahu’s smears of Palestinian political parties as terrorists without giving them space to respond and repeatedly diminished their achievement in the election, in which they finished behind the two leading Jewish parties.

Blue and White is Right all over

Jonathan Ofir on

The Blue White party gave Israelis who used to vote left the option of voting Likud-light with the pretense of being centrist. Blue White is essentially a rightwing party. And there was only one winner in this election, and it’s the one that has always won: Zionism.

Israel’s Snap Election: The view from Gaza

Haidar Eid on
The results of the exit polls are shown on a screen at Benny Gantz's Blue and White party headquarters, following Israel's parliamentary election, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Haidar Eid says there is nothing for Palestinians to celebrate about the Israeli elections. “Only secular democracy under the rule of law and in which ALL citizens are treated equally regardless of ethnic and religious origin is what should be celebrated,” Eid writes. “Anything short of that is a recycling of 19th century ethnic nationalism disguised in slogans that mean absolutely nothing to us Palestinians.”

The crumbled throne

Yossi Gurvitz on
Benjamin Netanyahu

The last decade in Israeli politics was all Netanyahu, all the time. The Israeli left twisted itself into a pretzel trying to get rid of Netanyahu and forgot about trying to end apartheid. Now it looks like the great hate monger is gone and the issues that matter may matter again.

Israel’s election will show: the ‘Jewish democracy’ gets more rightwing every year

Philip Weiss on

The Israeli election challenges Americans to recognize what “Jewish democracy” has produced: a rightwing society in which all the politicking has been on the far right, and even the center-left Blue White calls for expanding the illegal occupation and pounding Gaza. Palestinian parties are a sign of real democracy, but leading Jewish parties want nothing to do with them.

The final push – can the Arab vote swing Israel’s election?

Miriam Deprez on
Leader of the Joint List Ayman Odeh and leader of the Balad party Mtanes Shehadeh meet constituents around the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas in Haifa. (Photo: Miriam Deprez)

With only two days to go, the Joint List was campaigning for a last push to unseat Netanyahu is Israel’s snap election. “It’s simple,” Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List told Mondoweiss. If 65 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel vote on Tuesday, “we will bring down Netanyahu.” 

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.