The 2019 elections in Israel have been called unprecedented, a last chance to save Israel's democracy, a last chance to buttress liberal institutions and the rule of law, a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu's swerve to the autocratic right, on his corruption and deliberate racism, on his West Bank annexation trial balloon, on his political marriage to Donald Trump and his engagement to Vladimir Putin.
Is it the end of an era – the Netanyahu Epoch – or another chapter in the career of Israel's most canny and longest-lasting premier? Can Netanyahu out-troll his accusers?
Can Netanyahu provide a poll-busting template for his populist right-wing 'brothers' in Europe and the Americas? Has he found a permanent formula for delegitimizing, and ultimately disenfranchising, the human rights, anti-occupation narratives of an already-subdued and unpopular left?
Has his strong-arm style and his longevity finally triggered the birth of a substantial, sustainable centrist camp in Israel's wildly fractious political culture?
The verdict of Israeli citizens and of history await. In the meantime, if you're angry, confused, repelled or fascinated by an election campaign that's both energized and disillusioned Israelis and pundits in equal measure, here are key Haaretz op-eds to expand and clarify the issues in this high stakes election.
Netanyahu? Gantz? Who Would American Jews Vote for in Israel’s Elections? | Opinion | Jonathan S. Tobin
Despite what Trump may think, U.S. Jews can't vote in Israel's elections. But if they could, the political chasm between them and most Israelis would be laid bare for all to see
Annexing the West Bank: Take Netanyahu's Pre-election Stunt Seriously | Opinion | Victor Kattan
Annexation would be disastrous for the Palestinians. It would also be enormously damaging for Israel. But Netanyahu knows his base has moved rightwards, and Trump will back him anyway
Only Five Arab Women Have Ever Served in Israel's Knesset. And It's Not Getting Any Better | Opinion | Anwar Mhajne
Arab women’s political activism still faces major obstacles, from discrimination to deep social conservatism. For local elections that's changing – but not in the legislature governing our lives
In Israel's Orwellian elections, national 'unity' means no Arabs, self-censorship is rife, 'freedom' is vague and fear is a core political asset
Leftists, Flock to the Polls in Droves | Opinion | Haaretz Editorial
The recognition that every vote counts is particularly true for this race, with its dramatic implications for Israel’s future
Israel's Last Election Before It Becomes an Illiberal Democracy | Opinion | Steven Klein
Preserving Israel’s democratic institutions, independent judiciary and free press must take precedence above all else. Including peace with the Palestinians
Netanyahu Deserves to Win the Election. And We Israelis Deserve Him | Opinion | Anshel Pfeffer
Outside Israel, there's disbelief at Netanyahu's success when he’s so corrupt, divisive, racist, rejectionist and autocratic. But he's delivered, on his own terms, and Israeli voters have serially failed to demand better
Netanyahu and Erdogan Agree: Their Political Foes Are Traitors and Terrorists | Opinion | Louis Fishman
Facing elections, both leaders are playing from the same ethno-nationalist political playbook
Trump Just Boosted Netanyahu – but Handed Putin an Even More Priceless Gift | Opinion | Evan Gottesman and Abe Silberstein
Why Trump's electioneering Golan Heights move is so risky, transparent and foolish
It’s a Grave Mistake to Entrust American Evangelicals With Israel’s Future | Opinion | Eric H. Yoffie
Netanyahu thinks evangelicals are more reliable guarantors of U.S. support than liberal American Jews and fractious, inclusive groups like AIPAC. He’s wrong: the fury many U.S. Jews feel is directed against him, not Israel
Netanyahu Now Endorses Jewish Fascism | Opinion | Etan Nechin
Netanyahu lost his moral compass years ago, but his electoral deal with Israel's most extreme racists is a moment of crisis, and a test, for American Jews
Non-Jews Are About to Lose the Right to Vote in Israel | Opinion | Samuel Heilman
The Israeli right is not so subtly moving toward an atmosphere of disenfranchising non-Jewish voters
Esther Solomon is the Opinion Editor of Haaretz English. Twitter: @EstherSolomon
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now