News Nosh 9.16.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday September 16, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"Zionism began even before the establishment of the state, and demanded sovereignty and a national home for the Jewish people in its historical land. And now we are the most sovereign and the most nationalist in the most historic country, ours, but wait a moment, it's also the Arabs'."
--Poet and author, Yonatan Geffen, writes in Yedioth Ahronoth why he's voting for the Joint List.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"You are leading a double life.”
A husband asked for a divorce from his wife, accusing her of infidelity, after he discovered she had decided to vote for Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party and not Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party. he accused. **

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The final battles
  • I didn’t promise to fulfill // Nahum Barnea on Netanyahu’s campaign promises (Hebrew)
  • The ‘Oh, no’ campaign of the left-wing parties: concern in Labor-Gesher and Democratic Camp: “Could be left out of Knesset”
  • Ayelet Shaked against Netanyahu - Yamina Chairman: “Prime MInister and his associates have an irrational animosity against me” (Hebrew)
  • “Lapid and Lieberman are Amalek” - Tens of thousands at elections event of [ultra-Orthodox] Yehadut Hatorah party in Jerusalem (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week
  • The last day - 24 hours to elections
  • Vote for change // Benny Gantz
  • Complete the work // Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel Hayom
  • Gantz - We will implement the policy of the left-wing - Eve of elections, Gantz revealed and sparked a storm
  • To the house: This is how the parties will bring the undecided out to vote
  • Don’t bet on the right-wing bloc // Nadav Shragai
  • History in the Jordan Beqaa Valley // Ariel Kahaneh


Top Election News Summary:
The Hebrew newspapers printed Monday, a day before elections were more concerned by the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu didn’t show up to his rally in Bat-Yam Sunday night than they were in the fact that he got his government to legalize the establishment of an new settlement near the West Bank city of Jericho.

The Likud party claimed that Netanyahu had received in-depth research that suggested he might lose the elections, so he canceled his Bat-Yam rally and held an “emergency meeting" instead. But Maariv wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t another ploy to wake-up right-wing voters and cause them to go vote for him. “Pressure or spin?” asked the Maariv headline. (Yedioth Hebrew)

Earlier in the day Netanyahu’s ministerial cabinet held its final cabinet meeting in the Jordan Beqaa Valley [West Bank], which Netanyahu already declared he would annex if elected, and voted approval to establish ‘Jericho Foothills’ settlement. That was after the attorney general published a legal opinion opposing the move.

Also Sunday, the ultra-Orthodox held a massive rally Sunday and protested that Kahol-Lavan co-leader, Yair Lapid, and Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, rejected the ultra-Orthodox community because they said they would not make a government with them. And then today, Tuesday, Netanyahu vowed to annex the Hebron settlement, Kiryat Arba, and parts of the city of Hebron where there are Jewish settlement enclaves.

 
Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • 48 Hours to Go: Netanyahu Cries 'Election Theft' - Netanyahu: “I don’t understand how (Elections Committee Chairman) Melcer refused the meeting (with me). There are fake (votes), they stole the elections.” The PM was referring to Kalman Libskind's report in Maariv Friday, according to which, reports of counterfeiting at 80 polls were not examined. “We must not let the Arab parties and their supporters steal elections.” The (mostly Arab) Joint List slate fears provocations at polling stations on Election Day. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Israel's Election Panel Refuses to Meet With Netanyahu Over His Claims on Voter Fraud - Netanyahu live streams tirade against alleged 'election theft' on Facebook after committee chief says it is not his job to investigate police. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu: Defense treaty with US won't compromise our freedom - PM vows to pursue treaty to formalize special bond between two nations, a day after US President Donald Trump tweets about ongoing talks. Blue and White leader Benny Gantz: "This is not what we want. We have never asked anyone to get killed for us." (Israel Hayom)
  • NGO banned from transporting Bedouin voters following Likud petition - Central Elections Committee upholds Likud petition claiming 'Zazim' has a political agenda and is not registered as required by law. (Haaretz+ and JPost)
  • "Racial oppression of voters": In the Joint List they are preparing (to bus voters to polls) for election day - Against the backdrop of the prohibition of Zazim's activities aimed at bringing the Bedouin diaspora voters to the polls, the Arab sector is preparing for the fight over every voice: “It’s a critical day.” (Maariv)
  • The [Arabs’] answer to cameras - Although the Camera Law did not pass, the Joint List is preparing for election day with a "hotline" to report on activity intended to hurt voting at Arab polling stations. Chairman Ayman Odeh believes: "One more push, and we will make history.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • A Day Before Election, Netanyahu Already Knows 'Arabs Are Out Voting in Large Numbers' - Listen - Netanyahu's party records messages to be sent on Election Day claiming high voter turnout among Arabs and leftists: 'You must leave the house, you can't be complacent.' (Haaretz+)
  • 'You are racist garbage,' says Arab MK to his far-right counterpart - Lawmakers Ahmad Tibi from the Joint List and Bezalel Smotrich from Yamina faction square up after the Arab politician refused to shake the transportation minister's hand over his wife's admission 3 years ago that she 'expelled' an Arab obstetrician from delivery room. [Tibi is a medical doctor. - OH] “You’re not gonna shake my hand?” asked Smotrich as Tibi was making his way across the room, deliberately trying to avoid the transportation minister. Smotrich repeated the question several times and then when on to accuse the Arab MK of being racist and supporting terror. Tibi - who remained quiet until that point - then burst out, calling Smotrich a “despicable racist.” “You and your wife are racist garbage,” said Tibi, referring to an incident when Smotrich’s wife Revital said it was “unpleasant” for her to be in the same hospital room with Arab women after giving birth. (Ynet and YouTube)
  • Left-wing and center are concerned: "Preparing for violent Elections Day" - Opposition parties warn of aggressive acts and fake votes at polling stations. Nitzan Horowitz of the Democratic Camp: We received warnings on plans by radical right-wing activists to make provocations and disrupt voting." Netanyahu responded: "Our people don't make violence, only against them is violence made." (Maariv, p. 10)
  • Palestinians have low expectations of Israeli elections - Poll shows two thirds of Palestinians believe election results will have no or a negative impact for them and express concern about the outcome, which they say will have a direct and major effect on their daily lives and future aspirations for statehood. (Ynet)
  • (Revealed Tuesday) Israel Was Preparing to Delay Election Due to Possible Gaza War - National security adviser met Central Election Committee chief to prepare for delaying election in light of Gaza military operation. (Haaretz+)
  • Kahol-Lavan member Gabi Ashkenazi: "We are focused on a unity government, Lieberman is one of the partners" - "These elections are about the character and image of the State of Israel," the former chief of staff and a Kahol-Lavan member told 103 FM. "Netanyahu is constantly lying, and carries his lies proudly," he added. (Maariv)
  • Likud Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon reportedly intends to retire from politics after September 17 - Far-right homophobic party, Noam, quits. (Haaretz+)
  • A third of voters are still undecided - A day before the polls open, a third of Israeli voters still haven't made up their minds. Usually, undecideds are a fringe group. This time, they will decide who becomes prime minister. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gantz: “I call on the President to hand over the mandate only to those who will be required to give it back him if he loses" - The Kahol-Lavan chairman said at a party conference in Tel-Aviv that "the PM has lost it, and is ready to devour the democracy along with Moti Yogev's D9. He is driving his voters to the polls based on lies.” (Maariv)
  • Ayelet Shaked Blasts Netanyahu for 'Irrational Animosity' Toward Her - Yamina chairwoman says that despite Netanyahu's attempts to sabotage her party on the eve of the election, she would still recommend him for prime minister. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • How Ayelet Shaked Became the Most Powerful Woman in Israeli Politics - Touted as a potential successor to Netanyahu, the secular conservative is now the leader of the right-wing alliance of religious parties in the September election. (Haaretz+)
  • Yamina party began it’s ‘Oh, no!’ campaign: "Hell for all residents of Ariel, Ofra and Kiryat Arba" [West Bank settlements - OH] - Naftali Bennett attacked the Prime Minister in a series of tweets on Twitter, claiming that part of the “Deal of the Century" involves actually avoiding implementing sovereignty over Area C. (Maariv)
  • Safeguarding electoral purity - In an effort to contend with allegations of voter fraud at polling stations across the country, the Central Elections Committee has 3,000 people, who will be equipped with body cameras, to serve as observers. (Israel Hayom)
  • Subject to hearing: Indictment against Tamra elections committee chairman on suspicion of damage to purity of elections - The Haifa District Attorney's Office announces its intention to file indictment against the chairman of the polling station ccmmittee chairman from the Shas party on suspicion that he deposited numerous ballots into the ballot box he was responsible for with the goal of influencing the election results. (Maariv)
  • Where King Bibi Reigns Supreme, the Magic May Be Wearing Off - Dimona has historically been a Likud stronghold, with over half of all its voters backing Benjamin Netanyahu’s party in April. But a visit to the desert city finds some residents reacting differently ahead of Tuesday’s election. (Haaretz+)
  • **"The relationship has come to an end": Man threatened to divorce his wife when he found out that she would not vote for Netanyahu - A couple, who have been married for more than three decades, almost broke up after the husband discovered that his wife had decided to vote for Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party and accused her of infidelity: "You are leading a double life,” he accused. (Maariv)
  • First time at the ballot box: "Tired of right-wing and left-wing, we want to concentrate on the main issues“ - In two days the elections for the 22nd Knesset will be held. Rotem Amar and Moshe Chikol, students at the Erez pre-military preparatory program in Be'er Sheva will vote for the first time. About 14% of those with the right to vote are young people aged 18-24. Chikol will vote for Kahol-Lavan. Amar can’t decide who to vote for and didn’t vote in the last elections for that reason. (Maariv)

 

Quick Hits:
  • Netanyahu Backed Off Significant Gaza Strike After Attorney General Intervened - Avichai Mendelblit demanded that Netanyahu convene the cabinet to decide on such a move, a demand that he likely coordinated with the top defense brass that was wary of the PM's plan. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Right-wing Activist, Caught on Video, Admits to Vandalizing EU Embassy in Israel - Sheffi Paz, a far-right, anti-asylum seekers activist who has signed a deal with Ayelet Shaked, spray-painted the slogans: 'Get out EU' and 'German money kill Jews.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Man Sentenced to 18 Months Prison Time for Incitement to Kill Arabs - Shlomi Avraham, 42, made inflammatory Facebook posts after 2014 murders of three yeshiva boys and of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. (Haaretz+)
  • The commander of the Police anti-terror team was convicted of attacking foreign nationals at a club in Tel Aviv - Kyril Nazarov knocked over one of the complainants and pushed and hit two others. Judge: “The security cameras show a ‘reverse world’ in which the alleged suspect are acting politely, sitting, talking between themselves, and the policeman - the man of law - is provoking….and then moves to severe violence…and all the while the suspects are just trying to protect their faces from his repeated blows and they even avoid cursing him.” (Maariv)
  • Israeli Cops Had to Pledge Secrecy in Probe of TV Show That Planted Gun in Palestinian Home - According to a senior law enforcement official, there was no need for a secrecy document as inquiry had nothing to do with classified or operational matters. (Haaretz+)
  • A Month Later, Israel Still Holding Body of Palestinian Teen Who Stabbed Cop - Following petition by 14-year-old's family, state says it will hand over his body within two weeks. (Haaretz+)
  • Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman replaces Ronen Manelis as IDF spokesperson - Ceremony had been postponed due to fears of Hezbollah attack; previous candidate bowed out amid controversy over role in corruption probe. (Israel Hayom, Yedioth Hebrew and Times of Israel)
  • IDF’s naval-training personnel offer glimpse into world of advanced submarine warfare - The IDF’s submarines, bristling with advanced technology, can covertly gather intelligence on enemy activities, approach distant coastlines and strike targets with precision missiles, while remaining out of the reach of the enemy’s missiles and rockets. (Israel Hayom)
  • Following the wave of murders: Commercial and school strikes in the Arab communities in the Sharon region - The three killings in one weekend brought to 59 the number of people killed in the Arab sector since the beginning of the year - an increase of 60% compared to last year, and seven times the rate of murders in the Jewish public. Activist in the field: "It's a matter of time before a rifle is pointed also toward the Jewish sector.” (Maariv)
  • Israeli Education Ministry to Limit Inspections of Schools Affiliated With ultra-Orthodox Parties - Document obtained by Haaretz shows that only 7% of such schools are to be inspected, compared to 37% of other ultra-Orthodox schools. (Haaretz+)
  • Police Arrest Workers of Israeli Cyber Group, Ability, on Suspicion They Violated Defense Export Law - A number of suspects associated with two of the cyber group's subsidiaries are facing charges of fraud, smuggling and money-laundering. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israel denies Zambian president smuggled money, drugs during official visit - Former minister and presidential hopeful Chishimba Kambwili says Edgar Lungu used his presidential jet to courier narcotics and undeclared monies from Israel during historic 2017 visit, admits he has no facts to back up claims. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Gaza-based jihadi group calls on Taliban to increase attacks on US - Abu Hafs Al-Maqdisi, leader of the Gaza-based Jaysh al-Ummah al-Salafi group, says suspension of talks with the Taliban "will harm America more than anyone else. It will damage its reputation, unmask its anti-peace policy to the world even more, increase its loss of life and treasure and present its political interactions as erratic." (Israel Hayom)
  • Attack on Saudi Oil Infrastructure 'Serious Escalation' in Proxy War With Iran -  'If anything, the risk of tit-for-tat regional escalation that pushes oil prices even higher has just gone up significantly.' A look at international reactions to the attack. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Threatens U.S. Bases After Pompeo Blames Tehran for Attack on Saudi Oil Facility - Head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force says Tehran has always been ready for 'a full-fledged war.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Iran Says No Trump-Rohani Meeting at UN General Assembly - Announcement comes a day after Trump said the U.S. is 'locked and loaded' for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, after a senior official in his administration said Iran was to blame. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey Says Israel Becoming 'Racist, Apartheid Regime' With Annexation Plan - Turkey and Israel have long been at odds over Israel's policy towards the Palestinians and had expelled each other's top diplomats last year after dozens of Palestinian rioters were killed by Israeli forces on the Gaza border. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Turkey Says It Got Second Delivery of Russian S-400 Missile Defense Systems - Turkish Defense Ministry says the batteries, whose purchase caused a rift between Ankara and Washington, will be operational in April 2020. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Leaders of Turkey, Russia, Iran Set to Tackle Syria Turmoil - Erdogan warns against any attack on Turkish posts as fears abound that further fighting could deepen humanitarian crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syrian Government Artillery Pounds South Idlib - Syria's northwest corner, including the Idlib region, is the last major chunk of territory still in rebel hands after more than eight years of war. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syria's Assad Issues Amnesty Reducing Punishment for Draft Dodging and Other Crimes - Aid agencies often cite the fear of conscription, and punishment for ducking it, as one of the main reasons refugees give for not wanting to return home. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US warship docks in Beirut for first time in 30 years - Daily Star quotes the US ambassador as saying the the visit is a political message signifying the depth of the relations between the US and Lebanon. (Israel Hayom)
  • Tunisians Pick From Varied Line-up in Unpredictable Presidential Vote - Heavily indebted, Tunisia's next government will have to navigate popular demands to relax public purse strings while foreign lenders push for spending cuts. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Berlin celebrates postwar visitor program for expelled Jews - Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the "invitation program for former refugees" has brought 35,000 former Berliners who were forced out by the Nazis on one-week trips to reacquaint themselves with the German capital. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Sinai Security Fears Snare Israel's Gas Exports to Egypt - Delays in completing the $15 million agreement come amid an escalated campaign of attacks by militants in recent months. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Israel’s War of Attrition on a Christian Palestinian Town
An Israeli outpost has been established in the middle of a World Heritage site, igniting mutual suspicions among the local people. Small wonder a recent protest did so poorly. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
How Reem Kassis Became the International Face of Palestinian Cuisine
'I swore I would never go into the kitchen and would be a career woman, and in the end I found myself writing a cookbook,' says the author of 'The Palestinian Table. (Ronit Vered, Haaretz+)
In Search of the Markers That Once Outlined the Mideast
Haaretz retraces the pillars that set out the borders of Palestine, Transjordan, Lebanon and Syria after World War I. (Haaretz+)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
'If Netanyahu Wins, Turn Out the Lights': Meet the Most Die-hard Opponents of Israel's 'Crime Minister' (Anat Peled, Haaretz+) An older generation of protesters regard Netanyahu's corruption as an existential threat to the state. And they're fighting, almost tragically, for the simpler, more innocent, more moral Israel held in their collective memory.
The letters of the Likud party represent a cult that has gone through a hostile takeover by a family that believes there is no country without it (Ben Caspit, Maariv) This week, Benny Begin repeated his father's words, and on Tuesday he would no longer vote for Likud. He and [former Likud minister - OH] Michael Eitan join the list of blood and soul Likudniks who have left the party.
I decided to vote for Yvette (Lieberman), even though I don’t believe a word he says (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) "Why?" asked a religious friend. "Why vote against something and not for someone? You want to perpetuate the mess, and then whine that he deceived you? Go for it, but don't drive me crazy about it later."
Lieberman Is Right-wing (Haaretz Editorial) Understandable loathing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ongoing frustration over his disastrous years in power have led some supporters of the center-left to a surprising decision. People who have given up on forging any kind of moral or values-based alternative to Netanyahu’s government of corruption, incitement and racism have found a new, exciting hero this time around – Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman, who began his career as Netanyahu’s right-hand man, is one of the most corrupt Knesset members in the history of Israeli politics. Lieberman’s bent for corruption is exceeded only by his racism. If there’s anything consistent in his career, it’s his hatred for Arabs and his incitement against them. He is the one who introduced numerous anti-democratic ideas into Israel’s discourse, like conditioning citizenship on loyalty tests or forcible territorial exchanges that would sever Israel’s Palestinian citizens from the state. He’s also an ardent supporter of the death penalty for terrorists.
*A sweeping recommendation for the Joint List (Yonatan Geffen, Yedioth Hebrew) Although I always vote and do not influence, for many years I have been ignoring the choices that mostly reject me. The election is like the Jewish holidays (New Year and Passover mostly): No one really enjoys it, but everyone does it, mostly out of guilt. And this is my humble broadcast: Vote for the Joint List led by Ayman Odeh. Thank you. And it's not because I know and like the man, nor that I have any warming relations with Sunni Muslims. Nor is it because of their platform that suggests that the State of Israel will be the state of all its citizens and in support of two states for two peoples, and I am of course in favor of such a process. I see myself as a kind and peaceful Israeli. But in a country where all parties are waving - from the left which is always called a "camp" to the right which is always a "bloc" - the flag of Zionism, I choose those who understand that this value is already eroded, leaving only the tears of a crazy day dream...Zionism began even before the establishment of the state, and demanded sovereignty and a national home for the Jewish people in its historical land. And now we are the most sovereign and most nationalist in the most historic country, ours, but wait a moment, it's also the Arabs'. The role of Zionism was mainly to bring here a multitude of Jews who did no harm to anyone, under a Jewish leadership that grows from year to year. My teacher and Rabbi, Professor (Yeshayahu) Leibowitz, beautifully defined this unnecessary word, in his roaring English, as he used to say: "Zionizm is not to be rulling by the Goim!" Indeed, the Gentiles will probably never rule over us again. The British will not come back anymore, which is a bit said for me, because those who do dominate us are, in my view, more arrogant and liars than any stupid gentile leader. I was born into an ideological and quite right-wing workers' moshav, to tell the truth, and in my family I experienced that everyone who was a Zionist or a combat officer in the army enjoyed life. My grandfather, Shmuel Dayan, was a member of Knesset from the Mapai party [pre-Labor party - OH], and most of his life preached about Zionism, including in many trips to luxury hotels in America, there he 'schnorred' the gentiles in the name of "Zionism," be it what it may. His wife, Grandma Deborah, disparaged his dealings from the depth of her depressed soul and did not understand why he did not work in the economy. Father Israel lived in a tank, proud of unprovable heroism, was a great Zionist, and did not hide his pathological hatred of Arabs either. My mother Aviva, who was a humanist with a soul of a poet, was disgusted by the realities of life around her, which was hidden, for the sake of the people, in a wall of secrets and lies, and one day she also got tired of it all and put an end to her life. In short, the Zionists are alive and well. And those who do not buy the used cliches, suffer and remain silent. I always knew that Zionists, like blondes, had a better life. As a rebellious child, I rebelled against Zionism. As an adult going to vote, I am voting for a party that is completely loyal to my values. A small, honest party, composed of Arab brothers, and also with the decoration of one Jew, Ofer Kasif, who studied philosophy, and also together with me at the time established the "Yesh Gvul" movement (and to this day we are looking for it) [reference to the 'gvul,' the border, which is not established - OH], and its platform is clear: a stubborn and consistent war against the occupation, racism and violence. Without sassy slogans, they don't show dominance and arrogance. They offer us this rare commodity: human and genuine courage. I am very happy that in the polls, the party is already getting ten seats, and now they have me too.
Netanyahu once thought Jordan Valley settlements were dispensable (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) This is an attempt to re-write recent history that can easily be proven by press reports from that time, still the prime minister proceeds with his campaign ploy.
Israel's Center-left Camp Can Win on Tuesday (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) A day before the election, what’s left to say? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s march of accusations, insults and snickers on all on all the TV channels on Saturday night demonstrated how superfluous this entire ritual was. The editors and interviewers on Channels 12 and 13 were clearly incapable of waiving the opportunity, and their main objective was to present – what, actually? – a reproachful but heartwarming personal conversation with His Royal Highness? At this point it is totally clear that all of Netanyahu’s pleas and entreaties were aimed at a single objective: to draw voters from his satellite parties and to bring every last one of them to the polls. With a supreme effort, he may end up with 61 Knesset seats without the support of Yisrael Beiteinu. But his tremendous exertions, which to some extent even succeeded in dragging in the president of the United States, who clearly does not want to commit to him too much, indicate something else: that Netanyahu’s bank of options is gradually diminishing. He has already used the vast majority of voters at his disposal, and has emptied the reservoirs.
I did not promise to comply (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth Hebrew) Election promises are like rhymes to Native Americans: more than they’re ability to reveal the intentions of the one promising them, they reveal his opinion of his constituents. "I promised," said Levi Eshkol, "but I did not promise to fulfill.” "Things you see from here don't see from there," said Ariel Sharon (Sharon didn't exactly say it. The sentence, from a Ya'akov Rothblitt song, was published in Yedioth Ahronoth, in a commentary section on one of his victory speeches. Sharon read it and was angry. Later he adopted the sentence and repeated it). The truth is that almost all significant decisions in the history of the state were made regardless of, and sometimes even contradictory to, the election promises. The reparations agreement, connecting to the Western bloc, Operation Sinai, reactor in Dimona, the great devaluation of 1962, the Six Day War, the peace with Egypt, the first and second Lebanon wars, the Oslo agreement, the disengagement from Gaza - all these initiated decisions were not mentioned in the party's platform. Voters elected; the governments decided. This does not mean that all our prime ministers are liars and all voters are suckers. There is a game here that both sides, the voter and the elected, are aware of…Netanyahu gives his constituents cocktails that he prepares every election - two cups of anxiety, one cup of incitement, one cup of euphoria, stir strongly and warm on the fire - and then he marches them to the polling stations.
Netanyahu once thought Jordan Valley settlements were dispensable (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) This is an attempt to re-write recent history that can easily be proven by press reports from that time, still the prime minister proceeds with his campaign ploy.
Israel’s Election, the Corrupt and the Corrupting Occupation (B. Michael, Haaretz+) “Is this corruption? For and against” is definitely a worthy slogan for the current election campaign. Therefore, and with a certain brazenness, I’d like to focus a sliver of light on one more corrupt entity. One more corrupter. A multifarious and powerful blight that for more than 50 years has been mired in major corruption-and-corrupting. And I beg forgiveness for unearthing it from the oblivion: the occupation. The corrupting and corrupt occupation. There is not, and never has been, anything more corrupt and corrupting in the entire history of the state. One would think that in the context of the war against corruption and its practitioners this phenomenon should be fought against. But there’s a limit to optimism. So I’ll mention it in only a few words and publish a very short list:
Because of the demographic, political, and ideological draw: nothing is fatal in the upcoming elections (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Make no mistake here, the masses will not go out into the street to protest against the apartheid. While this policy serves the national religious ideology, it is quite comfortable for most of the public.
By a Majority of Votes, Israel Will Once Again Deny Palestinians the Right to Life (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Most Jewish Israelis will once again be voting for parties for which our right to rule and abuse another people is a sacred principle enshrined in their platforms.
'Racist America' and the Israel question (Eric Rozenman, Israel Hayom) The charge of racism against an individual, institution or nation – when made by members of privileged identity groups – is more than an indictment. It amounts to the secular Left’s version of excommunication.
Tell Us Which Israeli Minority You Hate, and We’ll Tell You Who to Vote For (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) In this election, there is nothing that ignites hatred more than the fear of rising Arab and ultra-Orthodox communities. The current election campaign has focused on Israel’s core problem – attitudes toward minorities. The demographic, economic and political heft of both the Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox in Israel is growing, and as a result, so is anxiety in the shrinking center, which fears a loss of control and a changed division of the national pie. Both prime ministerial candidates, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, have based their campaigns in the run-up to Tuesday’s election on exploiting this anxiety in order to woo voters.
Voting Netanyahu out is not going to 'save' Israel-Palestine (Natasha Roth. Israel Hayom) Israeli citizens are about to vote in national elections for the second time in six months. But has anything changed since April? Why is no one talking about the occupation? And are we really about to see the end of the Netanyahu era? +972 writers talk about why these elections matter.
Binyamin Netanyahu's victory at the polls will be the first signal of a new path (Dr. Haim Misgav, Maariv) The path to change, for the first time, to change the balance of power between the citizen and the enforcement and judicial systems - is at present before us. There will no longer be such an opportunity.
Are the Palestinians Really Still 'Plotting to Destroy Israel'? (Abe Silberstein, Haaretz+) Will Ehud Barak, a founder of Israel's 'pro-peace' party, renounce his infamous 'no [Palestinian] partner' remarks, a myth that's now doctrine for the Israeli right, U.S. Jewish groups – and the Trump administration?
The Right must drop its complacency (Akiva Bigman, Israel Hayom) The Left flocks to the polls with the goal of voting in a different government, and by doing so, upending the nation. The Right has become accustomed to long years in power, even though it has trouble governing when it's there.
An election between annexationists and pro-occupation generals (Omar H. Rahman, +972mag) Palestinians have no say over whether they will be ruled by messianic religious zealots or by generals who previously presided over the occupation.
Gantz's anti-haredi incitement (Chanani Bleich, Israel Hayom) The same Benny Gantz who at the outset of his campaign was still trying to conduct negotiations both publicly and behind the scenes with the haredim, and even made a highly publicized visit to Bnei Brak, is now speaking out on every public stage on the need for a "secular unity government."

Commentary/Analysis:
HBO's ‘Our Boys’ Forces Israelis to Look in the Mirror (Eva Illouz, Haaretz+) Realism was an offensive artistic movement because it wanted to show reality as it was, without disguise. “Frankness,” “directness,” “flatness,” were the common insults hurled at a painting. People were furious not to be able to bask in the greatness and glory of the subject. Olympia was paradigmatic of a recurring feature of culture. Every time an artist or scholar de-mythifies (and demystifies) someone or something, s/he can be sure “insults will rain.” The new series produced by HBO-Keshet, “Our Boys,” has had the same effect: insults do not stop raining. The series reconstitutes in a fictional mode the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian youngster who in the summer of 2014 was abducted, killed and burned [alive - OH] by three religious Jews. (The mastermind of the murder lived in the West Bank settlement of Adam.)
The movie about Yigal Amir: We didn't do the soul searching, the next murder is around the corner (Nurit Cannetti, Maariv) Watching the movie “Terrible Days,” shortly before the election, shows that another murder of a prime minister could happen today, partly because of a lack of soul-searching.
The maverick state of Qatar (Neville Telle, Israel Hayom) The "wild card of the Middle East” persists in going its own sweet way: It backs Islamists while offering itself as a key US ally, has built and severed ties with Israel several times, pours millions into Gaza, and has a thriving economy despite a blockade by other Sunni states.
Hamas knows another war is coming, with or without Netanyahu (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Gaza's terrorist groups are certain that another major flare-up will take place after the election, but the question is for how long and on what scale.
Iran will still exist the day after Israel's elections (Amos Yadlin, Yedioth/Ynet) The country's leadership, whoever it ends up being, must ensure that it is not sidelined by the United States whether it enters into negotiations with Tehran or is dealing with a revived and accelerated Iranian nuclear program.
Only Trump Can Call Sisi His 'Favorite Dictator' (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) President Donald Trump's ties with President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi seem to gloss over Egypt's suppression of political critics and human rights activists.
Boltonism must not disappear (Melanie Phillips, Israel Hayom) In the wake of the national security adviser’s departure, members of the Trump administration have been at pains to stress that there will be no letup in America’s policy of reimposing sanctions on Iran.
Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities: The War Is in Yemen, the Solution Is in Washington (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) This is no longer a local conflict that developed into a proxy war; it is an international struggle for prestige and influence in a country that is very similar to Afghanistan.
 
Interviews:
Netanyahu: The war in Gaza is just a matter of time
In a special pre-election interview, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he thinks US President Trump will keep up pressure on Iran and tears into the Left's "sophisticated" control of the Israeli media. (Interviewed by  Amnon Lord in Friday’s Israel Hayom)

Israeli Star of HBO's 'Our Boys' Explains Why You Have to Watch the Show
'It’s hard for me to be in a place where there is little Palestinian creativity,' says Shlomi Elkabetz, who plays a Shin Bet security service investigator in HBO's controversial series which managed to anger Israel's prime minister. (Interviewed by Moran Sharir in Haaretz+)
 

 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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