Israeli Elections about Nothing

Like the war, the continued occupation and its wider meaning are not being discussed at all in this election campaign. No one is suggesting solutions, except for Avigdor Lieberman’s “death penalty for terrorists,” and of course no one is dealing with the fundamental question: Is the two-state solution still attainable and if not, what is the alternative and what do the parties intend to do to achieve it?

This is also a natural and direct continuation of the daily denial and repression – as if, if we do not speak about the occupation and its crimes, it won’t exist. As if, if we don’t speak about the Palestinians and their fate – they won’t exist. The word “peace” was taken off the agenda a long time ago and together with it, the hope of achieving it. In such a state, it is hard to point out the differences between most of the parties when it comes to diplomacy, since none of them have a clear programme or an established platform.

Surveys show that the voters will make their selection based on social and economic issues. It is doubtful this is in fact the case, but even on these issues, a real debate is absent and that is why, here too, it is hard to point to clear differences, beyond the clichés, promises and slogans that everyone dishes out – that they will lower the cost of living. Because who would object to that?

The results of the election have yet to be determined and all the polls show the two largest parties – the Likud headed by Netanyahu and the Zionist Union headed by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni – are neck and neck. These elections won’t be decided by the voters but rather the politicians: in a situation in which as all the polls show the largest party won’t get more than 25 Knesset seats (out of a total of 120), the next prime minister will be the person who can form the broadest coalition – and not necessarily the one that garners the most votes. Whether it is Netanyahu or Herzog, the world should not have any expectations about getting answers to the fundamental questions facing the country. No one, after all, is talking about them in this bubble called the State of Israel.

– Read more: Israeli Elections about Nothing – Gideon Levy, Middle East Eye

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