Friday, December 28

Predictions for the April 9th 2019 Israeli Elections

Many of us are addicted to polls, which are fairly accurate. By calling early elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is racing his own indictment.1 There is no doubt that the Likud, even with a limping Netanyahu, weighed down by future indictments in three criminal cases ( Case 1000, 2000 and 4000) is destined to receive the most votes. “The voters, I think, understand exactly what we have done for Israel,” Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party on Monday.2

The big question is whether he will be indicted before the elections or not. We should bear in mind that a prime minister suspected of felonies and about to receive an indictment should resign and not put himself up as a candidate for reelection let alone becoming prime minister for a fourth term. Apart from that, Netanyahu is doing all in his power to weaken the law courts, police, attacks the press and of course, the left for his predicament. He views it all as a witchhunt against him by his political opponents. Netanyahu is putting pressure on Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit so that he doesn’t dare to think of deciding to indict him, even subject to a hearing, before the election takes place. There are reports in the press that if Netanyahu is indicted before the elections, he will not resign. The Jerusalem Post has reported that the matter was not even discussed. So who must one believe? The election result will still be the same. The Likud will get the most votes even if Netanyahu is indicted before the elections. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is expected to receive the most votes in Israel's upcoming election, according to polls published by three main television stations on Tuesday. 3

Thugs even went into the Yarkon Cemetery, Petah Tiqva and vandalized the tombstone of Baruch Mandelblit, the father of the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. The thugs were not found. Likud election campaigns are not the most gentlemanly on earth. If their "king" is a suspected felon there are thuggish members, who are capable of carrying out acts against opponents.

Israel’s Electorate is swinging to the right and extreme right. Left-wing is a swear word. Netanyahu and his shenanigans have succeeded in ostracising and demonising the left. They will be viewed as enemies by many Israelis. It is a mindset that is becoming more popular in Israel. This will be his legacy even if he does resign because of his legal problems. The present government is the most divisive, hateful and racist government since Israel’s establishment. If only there was some hope of a change for the better but this will not happen.  Netanyahu is viewed by many Israelis as the best prime minister that Israel has ever had. The cases against Netanyahu 4 will probably not affect the mindset of most Israelis, who have no problem in voting for a corrupt prime minister “who has done a lot for Israel and there is nobody worthy of replacing him” in their view.

Those of us who are left of centre in our ideology have nothing to look forward to after the elections. There will be no change. There is no true left-wing in Israel anymore. They are disunited, fragmented and weak generally. They have no common programme that can attract voters. These splintered left-wing groupings, who view themselves as an alternative to the present coalition have a mammoth task ahead of them in order to remain relevant in Israeli politics. The Zionist Camp views itself as mildly left of centre - God Forbid that they should be viewed as “left” which is close to heresy against the establishment and “favours Israel’s enemies”. The left-wing are walking around with their tails between their legs and have lost pride in their beliefs.

The upcoming general elections are a foregone conclusion. What is not is whether Netanyahu will or will not be indicted before the elections - that is the question. Netanyahu cannot be beaten easily. He will not give up. He changed his battery of defence lawyers as he knows that there is an indictment against him. He has taken on the best criminal lawyers that money can buy.

A recent development is the decision of former Chief-of-Staff of the IDF, Benny Gantz to enter politics and establish a new party called ‘Israel Resilience Party,’ amid reports he will team up with ex-defence minister Moshe Ya’alon. His party manifesto is unclear. However, he is a very popular figure and stands to get a lot of support. It is highly unlikely that he will have much influence on the outcome of the elections

The recent weeks have seen a flurry of developments in a number of criminal investigations involving Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. These developments fueled debates as to whether Netanyahu should continue serving as prime minister while facing criminal charges. Netanyahu has signalled that he has no intention of resigning. He attacked Israeli media and law enforcement for persecuting him and his family and peddling baseless allegations. His critics have argued that it would be unethical and irresponsible for the prime minister to continue running the government and making consequential decisions while juggling multiple criminal proceedings that could lead to a trial, and potentially a jail sentence.5

The government that will be elected will pass a law that prevents the prosecution of a prime minister in office.6 This may be the first weird law that will be passed by the future right-wing government that will be elected.7


  1. 26 Dec. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  2.  24 Dec. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  3. 26 Dec. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  4. 25 Dec. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  5. "Indicting a Sitting Prime Minister: The Israeli Constitutional Framework ...." 2 Mar. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  6. "PM curbs bill that could save him from prosecution: 'There'll be no ...." 23 Oct. 2018, Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
  7. Analysis: How Netanyahu Plans to Stay in Power and Beat Criminal Charges By Yossi Verter Dec 27, 2018 11:15 AM

Thursday, December 20

Israel's Growing Friendship with Neo-Fascist Leaders

Never in many of our wildest dreams or perhaps nightmares, could we imagine Israel’s leadership ever making friendly overtures to Europe’s far-right national leaders and Africa’s cruel dictators. The history of the Jewish People has been a history of persecution, racism and expulsion from the countries of their origin over thousands of years. The worst of all was the Holocaust.

The reason for Netanyahu’s overtures to these far-right nationalist leaders appears to be his reaction against the European Union’s criticism of Israel. Despite their (the far-right nationalist leaders) differing views on the Holocaust, including in some cases, minimalizing the amount of Jews annihilated and the praising of some Nazi and fascist supporters. These leaders appear to be pro-Israel in Netanyahu’s eyes. What amazes many of us is “How can far-right-wing nationalists with records of anti-Semitic statements be pro-Israel?” This seems to be so surrealistic if not a paradox. In the land of Bibi, anything is possible if it serves his right-wing ideology of ”Herrenvolk” (master race, chosen people).

Last week, Israel welcomed the leader of Italy's far right, Interior Minister and Deputy PM Matteo Salvini. Called a neo-fascist by his left-wing critics, Salvini was accused of embracing World War II-era dictator and Hitler ally Benito Mussolini when he echoed Mussolini's words in a tweet marking the anniversary of his birth. Netanyahu last Wednesday called Salvini "a great friend of Israel."

PM Benjamin Netanyahu has adopted a policy of waltzing with neo-fascists ruling Austria, Hungary, Italy and Poland. Hungary and Poland have played down their role in the annihilation of Jews in their respective countries. This goes against the evidence that proves the contrary by scholars who have researched records with Yad Vashem.

The desire of PM Victor Orban of Hungary is to whitewash Hungary’s part in the murder of half a million Hungarian Jews during World War II by the establishment of a new revisionist Holocaust museum to be opened in Budapest. Orban also used anti-Semitic tropes to demonize George Soros and to praise Miklós Horthy 1—the regent who presided over the murder of Jews during World War II—to seek to honour the notorious World War II–era anti-Semite Bálint Hóman 2, Orbán, the self-styled defender of Christian Europe, has shown himself willing to tap into this hatred to score political points. The Figyelő cover, an attack on a prominent figure in the Hungarian Jewish community, appears to be a bold escalation by the leader whose Fidesz Party 3 won a landslide victory earlier this year. Far from paying a political price for exploiting anti-Semitism, Orbán is thriving.  He is also adopting racist migrant policies that Netanyahu is on the road to adopting. Far-right populist Mr Orbán, re-elected in April, also put Jewish-Hungarian philanthropist George Soros 4 on an anti-immigration billboard campaign and appeared to evoke antisemitic language in denouncing the Budapest-born billionaire 5.

Austria should also be held with suspension in Netanyahu's cultivating of relations. The Jewish community in Austria and the State of Israel are not ready to give the Freedom Party (FPÖ) a kosher certification. The reason for the boycott of the ministers of the FPÖ is not the Nazi past of the German nationalist camp. The party has never distanced itself from it. What the FPÖ is today and what the party really stands for - that is the problem. This cannot be camouflaged by Freedom Party leaders' symbolic visits to Israel

Despite all that, the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, who has many members of this Freedom Party in his government, appears to be bending over backwards to dispel Israel's fears of anti-Semitism in his government and giving a very pro-Israel impression. 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in July during a joint press conference in Jerusalem.
Credit: Debbie Hill/AP

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini attends a memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem last week.
Oded Balilty/AP

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki 6 has supported legislation to crack down on claims that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. "Those who say that Poland may be responsible for the crimes of World War II deserve jail terms," Morawiecki told Polish lawmakers in June. It appears that the Polish prime minister is in denial and wishes to hide certain truths. There does not appear to be any difference between Hungary and Poland in their attitude towards the Holocaust. Even Yad Vashem’s committee was not happy about the visit of these leaders to Yad Vashem.

The courting of right-wing nationalist leaders by Netanyahu is a strategy that we should view with strong doubts as to its morality as well as realpolitik.

An attempt to alter the history of the Holocaust by these very countries, with Netanyahu's consent is most disturbing. Ideologically these right-wing nationalists and Netanyahu's government coalition share much in common in their right-wing ideology when it comes to hatred of migrants to their respective countries as well as not opposing the occupation or at least make an issue over it.

The strong criticism of Israel by the EU has also made Netanyahu seek friendships amongst potential despotic leaders to show the EU and other countries that Israel is not dependent on their support.

Recommended Reading:

  1. Israel's Netanyahu Embraces European Leaders With Controversial Views On Holocaust
  3. Opinion: How Benjamin Netanyahu Became a Holocaust Revisionist By Anshel Pfeffer Dec 13, 2018, 10:09 PM


  1. "Miklós Horthy Jr. - Wikipedia." Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.
  2. "Hungarian Academy of Sciences releases opinion on Bálint Hóman ...." 15 Jun. 2016, Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.
  3. "Fidesz - Wikipedia." Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.
  4. "George Soros - Wikipedia." Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.

  5. 19 Jul. 2018, Accessed 15 Dec. 2018.
  6. "Mateusz Morawiecki - Wikipedia." Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.