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2019 Israeli Elections

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
Benny Gantz conceding on April 10, 2019. From his twitter feed.

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.”

High Court bans racist from running for Knesset, while Israeli politics remain racist to the core

Jonathan Ofir on
Michael Ben-Ari and members of the Jewish Power Party

The Israeli High Court ruled yesterday that the leader of the Jewish Power Party, Michael Ben Ari, is barred from running in the upcoming Israeli elections due his racism. But Jonathan Ofir asks what about the racism of the whole party he is part of, that is still permitted to run? “One less racist potential lawmaker in the Israeli parliament, such as Ben Ari, is no doubt a welcome absence,” Ofir writes, “But this does not root out Israeli Zionist racism – that one is a completely mainstream and permanent feature.”

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.”