By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler
Israel votes for a new leader today.
A super duper quick review:
Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and his Likud party still lead in the most recent polls, but Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Kadima can catch him. Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor), who was running third for most of the race, has fallen into fourth behind nationalist Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beitenu (whom we wrote about last week).
Because Netanyahu’s strongest campaign point has been a call for aggressive national defense, the emergence of the hawkish Lieberman threatens to take just enough votes to give the election to Livni.
ITM readers, we at Moment are curious: Who would you vote for in today’s election?
By Jeremy Gillick
Two years ago, Ha’aretz correspondent Lily Galili profiled the right wing Israeli politician and founder of the Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel is our Home”) Party, Avigdor Lieberman, for Moment.
Having served as Transportation Minister under Ariel Sharon, and having subsequently been fired in 2004 for opposing the withdrawal from Gaza, Lieberman “re-emerged,” Galili wrote in early 2007, “as a strange hybrid of an Israeli version of Jean-Marie Le Pen (the infamous French extreme right-winger) and respectable statesman.” Indeed, it was recently revealed that Lieberman was at one point a member of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party, which was banned from Israeli elections in the late 1980s for inciting racism against Arabs.
Now, with Israeli elections just days away, Lieberman and his nationalist party are poised to make huge gains. Polls indicate that Yisrael Beitenu could win as many as 16 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset–potentially even more than Israel’s founding left-leaning Labor Party. And Benjamin Netanyahu, whose right-wing Likud Party is expected to beat out Kadima, the centrist one, has promised to give Lieberman a prominent post if he succeeds in forming a coalition. Continue reading
Posted in Archives from the past..., Events, History, Politics
Tagged Ariel Sharon, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Kach, Kadima, Kahane, Moment Magazine, Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Yisrael Beitenu
By Jeremy Gillick
While the economic crisis may spell Birthright’s demise, New Voices editor Josh Nathan-Kazis argues that the famously free trip to Israel has already left its mark. In its December issue, Josh takes a look at Birthright’s Hidden Cost.
The issue also features an interview with Naomi Klein, the new darling of the left, who has been the subject of recent features in The New Yorker and in The New Republic, as well as stories on Manischewitz, the Jewish Defense League, and Jews at small, southern colleges, and a podcast on transgender issues in the Jewish community.
In a provocative op-ed, Asher Berman makes the case for a strategic alliance between Iran and the United States. Read it all at New Voices.
Posted in Culture, Events, Politics
Tagged Benjamin Netanyahu, Bibi, Birthright, Iran, Jewish Defense League, Manischewitz, Naomi Klein, New Voices, Sheldon Adelson, transgender