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2019 Israeli Elections

‘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.

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
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, from Israeli GPO

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.