The most recent elections took place in April, but in a manic vote Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the centre-left Blue and White Party both topped the seat count with 35 each. Divisions are high in Israel on religious and political issues, and that is reflected by the contrasting ideologies of the parties. Nationalism is rising but this is met with intense opposition from Arab voters who feel marginalised by Netanyahu’s government. One reference point for Arab frustration is the suggestion by Netanyahu to place cameras in polling stations.
This was deemed a move to intimidate and restrict the Arab vote.
Netanyahu denied this, claiming :”Put them [cameras] everywhere!”
But the Likud Party’s PR firm contradicted this message when they boasted on their website that cameras would target polling stations in Arab sectors.
This division is largely what cost Netanyahu a coalition government last time round, he was just one supporter short after Avigdor Lieberman’s hard-line Yisrael Beitenu party objected to the religious parties’ excessive influence.
As a result, the Israeli Prime Minister was forced to suspend parliament and call a snap election in a bid to regain power.
However, Palestine has given the US the cold shoulder ever since Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, and Palestine dismissed Trump’s new deal as yet more biased treatment in favour of Israel.
More recently, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called Netanyahu a “prime destroyer of the peace process”.
Israel has built 140 settlements on contested West Bank land, and their occupation of East Jerusalem is still illegal under international law despite Israel’s denial.
Last week, Netanyahu also tried to display his machismo when calling out Iran for its alleged operations at a nuclear site in Abadeh, central Iran.
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