Best Of The Web
“Israelis go to the polls in just over two months, on Sept. 17, for the second time in less than six months, and the dead end looks deader than ever. According to the polls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not have the parliamentary majority required to form a new right-wing government without the support of his nemesis Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman, whose electoral strength keeps growing. The rival Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid will not have the majority needed to form a center-left government, either.
The recent decision by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak to join the race has not changed the situation in any substantive way and the left-wing parties — Barak’s Democratic Israel party, Labor and Meretz — are having a hard time deciding to join forces. The situation on the right side of the political map is no better. The parties led by Rabbi Rafi Peretz (HaBayit HaYehudi) and Bezalel Smotrich (National Union) have already announced a joint run as they did in April, but the other players — Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, Moshe Feiglin and the ultra-radical Jewish Power headed by Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel — are running circles around themselves, unable to reach a decision on uniting. No one knows what Sept. 18, the day after the elections for the 22nd Knesset, will bring.
Netanyahu is making a supreme effort to ensure his political survival. He will try to score once again during “injury time” (the campaign period between the April and the September votes), possibly by a joint statement with President Donald Trump on a US-Israel defense treaty, and perhaps even get Trump over to Israel for another visit. Meanwhile, his Likud party has dropped in the polls, as has Blue and White, losing support to smaller parties on both sides. The question is what happens if the election results cannot break the current tie. Will Netanyahu manage to keep holding his Likud ministers and Knesset members hostage? Can a formula be found to enable the formation of a unity government comprised of Netanyahu, Gantz, Lapid and their party colleagues Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya’alon? Polls indicate this combination is a favorite with voters, who are fed up with political divisions and infighting. But is this a realistic option?”
JJ Editor's Picks
"During the debate on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal in the United Kingdom’s Parliament on Saturday—which ended, as these things often have, with a vote calling for another delay—Johnson exposed the most basic blindness of Brexit..."
"Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, wants to change his story about Ukraine. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Mulvaney confirmed that when President Donald Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in July, one reason was that..."
"I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food..."
"The ultrasound technician places the wand on my daughter’s lower abdomen and moves it slowly across taut skin glistening with gel. I’ve been holding my breath since being ushered into the dimly lit cubicle to witness a sonogram that will..."
"Even many Democrats are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren for refusing to admit, in plain words, that her Medicare for All plan will require taxes to increase. They’re right to complain. The point could hardly be simpler: All presidential..."
"How do you update Watchmen for 2019? That might sound like a question with an obvious answer: You just do Watchmen. After all, the graphic novel, which has been consistently in print since its 12-volume run ended in 1987, is pretty terrific..."
"The climactic face-off of the 2019 Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg took place on a wide, sunny plaza, between a statue dedicated to the millions of anonymous miners who had toiled under inhuman..."
"Mark Zuckerberg has rarely been so compelling. Facing increased scrutiny — especially after leaked audio of an internal meeting in which Zuckerberg called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) an existential threat — the Facebook CEO outlined his..."