Tag: Israeli Elections

Relationship Status with Bibi: It’s Complicated


bibi-2015victoryHey, everybody. Greetings from King Bibi-Land. Troy suggested I drop in and offer a word or two about the Israeli election from ground zero, as it were. I’m happy to do so, although I confess to some slight hesitation, as my views on the result run somewhat counter to the general sentiment at Ricochet.

There appears to be much (forgive me) rather uninflected delight being expressed at Ricochet over Bibi’s victory — a victory that does offer obvious satisfaction to anyone who views it strictly in terms of the thumb in the eye it offers to President Obama. I understand this. I can see that the result has really energized some of you, who view it as evidence that a rhetorical, chest-thumping lunge for the throat can, under certain circumstances and when executed by a pro, be a productive strategy against Obama.

But from my perspective here in Israel, it’s hard to view Bibi’s dissing of the US president and subsequent electoral triumph with unalloyed joy. This is not because I have any problem in principle with this president being flipped a well-earned bird, but because the consequences could be precisely the opposite of what Bibi intended. They could, in fact, be horrendously costly to us.

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Critics said these early elections would change nothing. Then they said it was a stupid move that would end him politically. They were wrong both times. Netanyahu got everything he wanted. He, and Israel, are in far better shape than they were four months ago. The three big changes Preview Open

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Gil’s Guide to Israel’s Elections


Knesset voting slipsWhat?: Israel elects its 20th Knesset (legislature).

When?: Today, March 17. Irish Israelis can vote drunk. Exit polls will be broadcast at 10 PM Israel time (4 PM EDT).

How? Each voter shows her photo ID — crazy, right? — to members of a three-person panel, who check the name against their lists. If the voter passes, he or she is given an envelope and goes behind a partition where there’s a tray of white slips of paper with each party’s code letters in big writing and name in small writing. This goes back to Israel’s founding, when many new immigrants couldn’t read Hebrew. The voter chooses a slip, puts it in an envelope, and then puts the envelope in the box in front of the observers.