What To Watch For As The Israeli Election Results Roll In Right Now

The Federalist | 9/17/2019 | Melissa Langsam Braunstein
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On Tuesday, Israel heads to the polls for the second time in five months, as polls remain unbelievably tight between the right-wing Likud and the centrist Blue and White. For Israel’s sake, I hope this is their last election for a while, but as far as America is concerned, it almost doesn’t matter who wins.

This election is all about the Benjamins — just not in the way Rep. Ilhan Omar meant it. Bibi Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are competing to be prime minister, and even if Bibi’s Likud party loses, I predict American discussions surrounding Israel won’t much change. By and large, Republican elected officials will continue to speak effusively about our close ally in the Middle East, and Israel will remain a thorny subject among Democratic pols.

Talk - Left - Year - Problem - Israel

There has been seemingly endless talk on the political left this year about how the real problem isn’t Israel per se, but the current prime minister. For example, in April, presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke dubbed Netanyahu a “racist,” “saying he did not believe Netanyahu ‘represents the true will of the Israeli people’ or the ‘best interests’ of the relationship between the US and Israel.”

Second-time presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders “called the Netanyahu government ‘racist’” during a June town hall. Earlier this month, New York Rep. Alexandria “Ocasio-Cortez told Israel’s Channel 12 News” that “‘the Netanyahu administration has been pursuing a lot of extraordinarily concerning policies.’” Ocasio-Cortez added, “‘I think we can criticize the policies’ of Netanyahu without being anti-Israel.”

Person - Israel - Minister - Government - Policies

This is undoubtedly true. No serious person says one can’t criticize either Israel’s prime minister or Israeli government policies the same way Americans regularly criticize our own government’s policies and elected officials.

But as those on the political left have turned Netanyahu into a giant bogeyman it’s worth remembering that he’s been democratically elected by the...
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