Who can curb their Zionism on election day? The low-down on Israel's radical-right race

Published January 22nd, 2013 - 11:48 GMT

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Frosty at best, relations soured considerably between Obama and the Israeli PM after the Jewish state seemed to endorse the U.S. president’s rival in his elections. Netanyahu was a “political coward”, Obama reportedly said and the name calling has continued.
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Image 1 of 10: Frosty at best, relations soured considerably between Obama and the Israeli PM after the Jewish state seemed to endorse the U.S. president’s rival in his elections. Netanyahu was a “political coward”, Obama reportedly said and the name calling has continued.

The darling of the Israeli Left, Tzipi Livni, found herself in scandalous waters when rumors spread that she had admitted sleeping with Arabs for political gain. Never mind if it wasn’t true, the Kadima party lady’s reputation was left in tatters.
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Image 1 of 10: The darling of the Israeli Left, Tzipi Livni, found herself in scandalous waters when rumors spread that she had admitted sleeping with Arabs for political gain. Never mind if it wasn’t true, the Kadima party lady’s reputation was left in tatters.

When Haaretz went Arabic: Although 20% of citizens in Israel are Arabs, most feel disenfranchised by the election process. Liberal newspaper, Haaretz, set out to change the course of history when they wrote an op-ed urging Arabs to vote, in their own language.
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Image 1 of 10: When Haaretz went Arabic: Although 20% of citizens in Israel are Arabs, most feel disenfranchised by the election process. Liberal newspaper, Haaretz, set out to change the course of history when they wrote an op-ed urging Arabs to vote, in their own language.

Going for that right-wing Zionist vote, the PM egged on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While the world’s leaders issued the standard condemnation, Netanyahu watched himself ratchet up the opinion polls.
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Image 1 of 10: Going for that right-wing Zionist vote, the PM egged on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While the world’s leaders issued the standard condemnation, Netanyahu watched himself ratchet up the opinion polls.

The fear of a nuclear attack from Iran is a very real one to many Israeli voters and so the Bibi-bomb exploded onto the rhetorical war-scene. But the Israeli PM didn’t count on his pic being turned against him to show how Arabs are marginalized in his Jewish state.
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Image 1 of 10: The fear of a nuclear attack from Iran is a very real one to many Israeli voters and so the Bibi-bomb exploded onto the rhetorical war-scene. But the Israeli PM didn’t count on his pic being turned against him to show how Arabs are marginalized in his Jewish state.

Haneen Zoabi is the badass Arab-Israeli politician causing the Israeli government to get in a flap. After boarding the flotilla to Gaza, authorities decided she was “undermining the state” and disqualified her from the election.
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Image 1 of 10: Haneen Zoabi is the badass Arab-Israeli politician causing the Israeli government to get in a flap. After boarding the flotilla to Gaza, authorities decided she was “undermining the state” and disqualified her from the election.

With the ultra-right wing still looking for a place to park their votes, The Jewish Home party was born. Netanyahu found even his settlement policies weren’t extreme enough for some and the new face of radical Israel began to eat into his voter base.
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Image 1 of 10: With the ultra-right wing still looking for a place to park their votes, The Jewish Home party was born. Netanyahu found even his settlement policies weren’t extreme enough for some and the new face of radical Israel began to eat into his voter base.

Most ordinary Israelis will decide their politicians based on their plans for the economy, according to the polls. Israel had their own mini-Arab Spring last summer with fiery protests in Tel Aviv sparked by economic woes.
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Image 1 of 10: Most ordinary Israelis will decide their politicians based on their plans for the economy, according to the polls. Israel had their own mini-Arab Spring last summer with fiery protests in Tel Aviv sparked by economic woes.

No political activism would be complete without a Facebook page and NGO. Real Democracy decided this election was their chance to “donate the vote” of Israelis to Palestinians in a last ditch attempt to curb the Zionism.
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Image 1 of 10: No political activism would be complete without a Facebook page and NGO. Real Democracy decided this election was their chance to “donate the vote” of Israelis to Palestinians in a last ditch attempt to curb the Zionism.

With the latest round of bulldozing threatening to split East Jerusalem from the West Bank, the PA went on the defensive, once again saying that the Israeli PM was liable to create an “apartheid state” but will voters take heed?
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Image 1 of 10: With the latest round of bulldozing threatening to split East Jerusalem from the West Bank, the PA went on the defensive, once again saying that the Israeli PM was liable to create an “apartheid state” but will voters take heed?

With elections looming, many Israeli politicians have been looking to rant about Iranian nuclear attacks and push on with settlement building. The all-important right wing Zionist vote is the key to success and Israeli PM, Binyamin Netanyahu, knows it.

But Zionism is not the only story at the Jewish state’s polling booths and liberal voters are keen not to ignore the elephant in the room: Palestine. Sadly for them, the First Lady of the Left, Tzipi Livni, has been mired in more scandal than an Islamist politician, leaving them out in the electoral cold.

For parties across the spectrum, the economy is still key and like many of the Arab Spring nations around them, ordinary Israelis have been protesting spending cuts like never before. No sector is facing economic woes like the 20% of Israelis who are Arab in origin yet they are the least likely to vote.

For Israeli liberals this is a tragedy and many have been doing their best to get Arab representation off the sidelines and into office. However, Israel would be nothing without their ultra-right-wing radicals and even Prime Minister Netanyahu is not extreme enough for some.

With a new, more Zionist party, springing up to attack his voter base, could this be the election to boot out Bibi for good?



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