Politicians use scare tactics on social media, robocalls and everywhere they can to jar supporters bored by a lackluster campaign to go cast their ballots
Avigdor Lieberman is the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, and is the former defense minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Lieberman was born in 1958 in Moldova. His birth name was Evet, but when he and his family immigrated to Israel in 1978, he changed his name to Avigdor. In Israel, he served in the Artillery Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, and later earned a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Lieberman was one of the founders of the Zionist Forum for Soviet Jewry. He has also been a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Economic Corporation, the Secretary of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut Ovdim Le'umit (national workers' union) and editor of the Yoman Yisraeli newspaper.
From 1993 to 1996, Lieberman served as Director-General of the Likud movement, and then as Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1997, during Benjamin Netanyahu’s first tenure as premier.
In 1999, Lieberman founded and became head of Yisrael Beiteinu, and was elected to the Knesset for the first time, when his party won four seats. During his initial stint in the Knesset, Lieberman served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and State Control Committee, and as Chairman of the Israel-Moldova Parliamentary Friendship League. In March of 2001, Lieberman was appointed Infrastructure Minister, but he resigned the post in March 2002. He was re-elected in January 2003 as part of a joint list with the far-right National Union, and received the transportation portfolio. In spring 2004 he was ousted from the cabinet by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon over his opposition to Sharon's plan to withdraw completely from Gaza.
In the 2006 national elections, Yisrael Beiteinu won 11 seats, and was initially in opposition. But after a few months, Lieberman and then-prime minister Ehud Olmert signed a coalition agreement under which Lieberman was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs. The latter position was created specifically to focus on the Iranian regime and its nuclear aspirations. Even so, Lieberman once again left the government after disagreeing with Olmert’s “land-for-peace” policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.
In the 2009 general elections, Yisrael Beiteinu continued its rise in prominence, winning 15 seats in parliament and becoming Israel’s third largest political party, behind Likud and Kadima, and ahead of the once powerful Labor. In March 2009, Lieberman was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs by Netanyahu. In 2016 he joined Netanyahu's government as defense minister.
Lieberman announced his resignation from his post as defense minister and his party's withdrawal from the ruling coalition toward the end of 2018, throwing the country in political turmoil potentially resulting in early elections. His resignation came in the wake of a cease-fire agreements with Hamas, that he opposed.
Lieberman’s policies throughout the years, especially regarding a future peace solution with the Palestinians, have been controversial, and some comments about Arab Knesset members have also gained him notoriety. He has rejected previous peace formulas, such as land for peace, and has advocated transferring the Israeli Arab population to a Palestinian state, also known as the “Populated-Area Exchange Plan.” Despite being seen by many - both domestically and internationally - as an obstacle to peace, Lieberman has stated that he supports the idea of a future Palestinian state in principle. He also stated his willingness to move his wife and three children from their home in the settlement of Nokdim should Israel withdraw from the West Bank.
Lieberman has been questioned over allegations of corruption, which he has denied, and has recently been linked to an investigation into a corrupt Jerusalem building project. He has been accused of racist attitudes toward Arabs and of intolerance toward religious Jews.
Who Is Avigdor Lieberman? 12 Shocking Headlines From One of the Most Bombastic Careers in Israeli Politics
Avigdor Lieberman snatched victory out of Netanyahu's hands last April and this election will again be the king maker, potentially deciding who will be Israel's next prime minister
His victory hangs on the fates of racist Otzma and leftist Labor - and on right-wingers coming out in droves while leftists go to the beach
Netanyahu still several seats short of securing coalition ■ Kahanist party projected to win four seat
Benny Gantz with 33 seats leads Netanyahu with 31. Right-wing bloc with 59 seats to the center-left's 54, with prospective kingmaker Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu down to seven seats
The vote, dubbed by critics as an election ploy, comes despite government's failure to fast-track controversial legislation
Likud’s rising star, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his loyal right-hand man were inseparable in the 1990s. But Avigdor Lieberman’s goal was always to be the power behind the throne — of whoever was king
On a day marked by setbacks and embarrassment, Netanyahu tries to recoup with revelations of new Iranian infractions
Knesset's Arrangement Committee comprised of 24 members reaches tie on vote to expedite bill's passing, striking it down ■ Likud believes the bill has been finally buried
Likud lawmaker David Bitan meets with Central Election Committee head in attempt to reach compromise on placing cameras at polling stations, attempting to avoid promoting controversial legislation
Incitement seems to be an increasingly common tactic as everyday Israelis battle the 'contagious disease' afflicting the body politic
Channel 13 poll shows Gantz's Kahol Lavan pulling ahead of Netanyahu's Likud in a one-seat lead, but no major party projected to secure majority coalition
Avigdor Lieberman still kingmaker in September 17 vote, according to survey released by Kan public broadcaster
Israel election poll projects Gantz center-left bloc and Netanyahu right-wing bloc receiving 54 and 56 seats, respectively, with Lieberman collecting the remaining 10
Both Democratic Union and Likud blast Gantz for deal with ex-defense minister seen as attempt by Kahol Lavan to appeal to the moderate right
Some political sources claim visit is meant to cater to Israeli voters from former USSR, which associates of the premier deny
When it comes to Russian-speaking Israelis, the left wing never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to woo voters, asserts sociologist Vicki Idzinski
Miri Regev told an interviewer from an Israeli radio station that 'fraud and crook' Avigdor Lieberman is not the kingmaker in September's election – 'the Holy One is'
Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing rival Avigdor Lieberman are both chasing the Russian vote in September’s election, but young members of the community seem unimpressed by their efforts
Likud’s attacks on the former defense minister are full of inaccuracies and backfire to hurt Netanyahu – but Yisrael Beiteinu is offering its own half-truths, and is losing younger voters
'It's my obligation to Likud voters' to set up a right-wing government, premier says after Lieberman announced he won't endorse him in such a case
Vows by Knesset candidates from the premier's party will be meaningless if after Israel's September election they stand to lose power by sticking with him
Names of those refusing to sign will be published, says senior Likud member ■ Move comes after Avigdor Lieberman says he would ask the party to present alternative candidate if PM refuses to form unity government
Tweet by Yair Netanyahu claimed Lieberman 'accidentally uncovered' coup attempt with veteran Likud member Yuli Edelstein after the former pitted him as perfect candidate for Likud leadership in a TV interview
Public opinion poll shows 59 percent of Israeli voters don’t support a broad coalition with Likud, Kahol Lavan and Yisrael Beiteinu following September's election