Inside Views on Netanyahu’s Desperate, Illiberal Attempt to Hold on to Power


"For decades," Chuck Freilich — a former deputy Israeli national security adviser and Harvard fellow — writes, "commentators have warned that the politico-military and societal processes underway in Israel pose severe dangers to our national future… and that [previous] elections were nothing less than critical. The warnings were prescient, but the future does not happen all at once: it creeps up slowly over time, almost without our noticing - and it has now arrived, big time."

Israel's redux election seemingly offers a stark choice: Between the Netanyahu-led right-wing bloc that's committed to West Bank annexation and protecting Netanyahu from criminal corruption proceedings, and a center to center-left that declares its commitment to the rule of law and liberal democracy.

But the lines between the blocs are more fuzzy than that: Kachol Lavan won't reject going into coalition with the Likud, and its language on Gaza and annexation is not always distinguishable from the right-wing. With the interminably-delayed Trump peace plan in the offing, and Netanyahu's all-in embrace of Trump being tested as the U.S. president offers mixed messages on Iran, which cluster of parties scrapes together a viable coalition will have clear consequences for the future of the Jewish state – and its repercussions will be felt far more widely as well.

Here are the Haaretz op-eds that will both clarify, analyze and perhaps infuriate anyone seeking an insight into a critical election.

Anat Peled | 'If Netanyahu Wins, Turn Out the Lights': Meet the Most Die-hard Opponents of Israel's 'Crime Minister'

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. Full story >

Chuck Freilich | This Is Israel's Last Ever Zionist Election

Neither Netanyahu nor his crude, illiberal, annexationist, political arsonist ‘friends’ comprehend the magnitude of the storm they’re about to bring down on Israel’s security – and its most foundational ideas. Full story >

Chemi Shalev | On Election Day, It’s the Prince of Darkness vs. Israel’s Very Soul

Netanyahu’s untethered election campaign outlined what will come if he wins: The slow and agonizing death of Israeli democracy. Full story >

Abe Silberstein | Are the Palestinians Really Still 'Plotting to Destroy Israel'?

Will Ehud Barak, a founder of Israel's 'pro-peace' party, renounce his infamous 'no [Palestinian] partner' remarks that are now doctrine for the Israeli right, U.S. Jewish groups – and the Trump administration? Full story >

Eric H. Yoffie | At Last, Israelis Are Turning Away From Their Medieval Religious Maniacs

This election will determine if the future of Israel will be gender-segregated, ignorant, poor and fundamentalist. Israeli Jews are finally seeing the light. Full story >

Susie Gelman | Fans of West Bank Annexation Won't Admit What It Will Really Cost Israel

As Israelis head to elections, it's critical to debate annexation – even if its proponents won't admit that they're playing with fire. Full story >

Larry Derfner | This Zionist Is Voting for the Arab Parties That Reject Zionism

I'm voting for the only slate that challenges the occupation - despite the militant anti-Israel antagonism of one of its factions. Full story >

Nimrod Goren, Gil Murciano | Israel Now a Key Battleground in the Global Clash of Liberal Democracy and Its Enemies

Netanyahu is calling in unprecedented re-election favors (read: interventions) from his illiberal brothers - Trump, Putin, Modi, Bolsonaro and Orban. Full story >

Benjamin Goldschmidt | If Israel's Left Ever Wants to Regain Power, It's Got to Stop Hating the Haredim

Haredi Jews are not naturally right-wing or anti-peace. It's the antagonism and ignorance of Israel's left and center towards them that has serially pushed them into Netanyahu's arms. Full story >

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