By Jeremy Gillick
As the Israeli election enters its final stretch (polls close at 10 P.M. Israel time), with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni surprisingly ahead in preliminary exit polls, Hamas continues its brutal crackdown on Fatah in the Gaza Strip.
According to a report issued today by Amnesty International, since Israel’s attack on Gaza began in late December, “Hamas forces and militias in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel, as well as opponents and critics.”
Amnesty claims that over twenty men have been killed by Hamas–both “collaborators” and members of Fatah–and “scores of others have been shot in the legs, kneecapped or inflicted with other injuries intended to cause permanent disability, subjected to severe beatings which have caused multiple fractures and other injuries, or otherwise tortured or ill-treated.” Continue reading
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
Tzipi Livni has won the Kadima party primaries (Moment columnist Gershom Gorenberg explains how they work, or don’t work, here) with nearly 50% of the vote, according to Israeli exit polls.
Livni, 50, will replace beleaguered Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as the party Chairwoman. Her next task will be to assemble a coalition. If she succeeds, she will become Israel’s first female Prime Minister since Golda Meir was elected in 1969.
Runner up Shaul Mofaz, a 55 year-old Iranian born military-man reputed to be a curmudgeon had been “hoping for a low turnout rate,” according to Ynet. Exit polls predicted he would take about 37% of the vote.
More on Livni soon.
Senior Editor Mandy Katz reports from Israel…
A water crisis notwithstanding, tourists are having fun up here in the Kineret, Israel’s name for the Sea of Galilee and its environs. While they might shake their heads at super-long “beaches” where the inland sea once lapped, and might fret over the much more worrisome possibility of pumps’ going dry, they don’t seem particularly concerned about the impending national elections.
Not all tourists here can vote, of course, as they’re a multinational lot. In the national parks, you do hear a lot of Hebrew, as in the verdant spring-fed pools of Tel Dan. The tamer “Gan Yardan” (or Jordan River Garden) park also centers on flowing water, but diverted into masonry channels and pools; around shaded picnic tables, sometimes set right in the shallow streams, multi-generational Arab clans with boomboxes fire up grills, cool watermelons in the water, and watch their children splash. Meanwhile, on sun-baked roads overlooking the Galilee’s depleted waters, German, French, Japanese and English are some of the languages coursing through tour bus microphones, as Christian pilgrims make the rounds of sites commemorating the multiplying of loaves and fishes, Christ’s visitation to Saint Peter and the Sermon on the Mount. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged Ariel Sharon, Benyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Olmert, Gan Yardan, Israel, Kadima, Kineret, Likud, Shaul Mofaz, Tel Dan, Tzipi Livni