June 18, 2019

The Bewildering World of Israeli Election Ads

“With just over 60 days left until Israelis head to the polls, election season is now in full swing. But alongside the typical mudslinging and vying for votes, an unwieldy slew of short, viral video clips are being uploaded by parties and politicians to social media.

And each one seems to be more outrageous than the last.

Let’s start with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a master at election campaigns. Aside from plastering gigantic posters of himself shaking hands with a beaming President Trump at the entrances to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he has also launched his own TV channel.

Sort of.

Promising that it will report only the “truth” and good non-fake news to the public, Netanyahu has dubbed it Likud-TV — even though it is available only on his Facebook page and has had just one broadcast so far, featuring him.

That single segment, which was published live on Sunday evening, was presented by Eliraz Sade, an actor and reality TV star. Sade conducted a carefully constructed interview with the prime minister, who continues to evade interviews with mainstream media outlets, setting him up with questions that enabled him to attack his adversaries and highlight his achievements (including his strong ties with the current U.S. administration).”

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