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March 11, 2015 0

For Many Israeli Voters, It’s “The Economy, Stupid”

On March 17, Israelis will flock to the polls in order to elect their Knes­set mem­bers and Prime Min­is­ter. Being a rel­a­tively young demo­c­ra­tic state at the heart of the Mid­dle East, Israel faces chal­lenges in var­i­ous spheres – secu­rity, soci­ety, econ­omy, health, edu­ca­tion etc. And while secu­rity has tra­di­tion­ally been the focus of Israeli elec­tions, — and cer­tainly leads in the head­lines abroad – in recent years Israeli vot­ers and can­di­dates have shifted their focus to the economy.

This new focus comes in the after­math of the 2011 social protest in Israel when hun­dreds of thou­sands of Israelis took to the streets in protest of the cost of liv­ing, and the result­ing mete­oric rise in the 2013 elec­tions of the Yesh Atid party, who ran with the motto “Where’s the money?”

IsraelEvent_candidate_graphic

In the cur­rent cam­paign, eco­nomic issues have taken hold.  In addi­tion to Yesh Atid, for­mer Likud MK Moshe Kahlon estab­lished his Kulanu party, focus­ing almost exclu­sively on the finan­cial hard­ships of daily Israeli life. Sim­i­larly, the ultra-orthodox Shas and Yahad par­ties, which have tra­di­tion­ally stressed eco­nomic issues, are also cam­paign­ing  on these same cost of liv­ing issues.

In a Chan­nel 2 poll from two months ago, 57% of respon­dents said that eco­nomic issues would guide what party they voted for, com­pared to 25% who said they would be guided by secu­rity poli­cies.  Sim­i­larly, a poll pub­lished on The Marker web­site found that 61.5% of the peo­ple regarded cost of liv­ing as the main cam­paign issue, while 28% viewed the strength­en­ing of Israel’s deter­rence and secu­rity as the core issue.  In media inter­views,  “unde­cided” vot­ers say most of their ques­tions and con­cerns relate to the social and finan­cial gaps in soci­ety and the high cost of living.

As Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid said a num­ber of days ago: “the elec­tions are over the shop­ping cart”, mean­ing how Israeli afford their daily lives, and less about secu­rity chal­lenges they may face in the future.

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March 3, 2015 0

After ISIS Destroy Artifacts In Mosul, Iraqi Official Blames Israel

Dur­ing a Mon­day TV appear­ance on the pan-Arab satel­lite TV sta­tion AlMayadeen, Iraqi Deputy Min­is­ter of Tourism and Antiq­ui­ties, Qais Hus­sein, claimed that ISIS’s destruc­tion of ancient arti­facts in the Iraqi city of Mosul is an Israeli con­spir­acy against the his­tory of Iraq.

Qais Hussein

Qais Hus­sein

Accord­ing to AlMayadeen, the Iraqi offi­cial “accused Israel of being behind the destruc­tion and the loot­ing of archae­o­log­i­cal sites in Mosul, includ­ing the City Museum.” Hus­sein said, “Israel bares the pri­mary respon­si­bil­ity in the van­dal­ism of the archae­o­log­i­cal sites.” He also claimed that the Iraqi gov­ern­ment has evi­dence that antiques have been sold out and trans­ferred from Iraq to Israel, stress­ing that Israel “is con­sid­ered, today, a place to assem­ble the Iraqi antiq­ui­ties, where some are kept while oth­ers are exported over­seas to be sold at auctions.”

Accord­ing to Hus­sein, Israel is behind these acts of destruc­tion because of “the Torah and Jew­ish mythology.”

A num­ber of Iraqi pub­lic fig­ures have made sim­i­lar absurd claims in the past few days regard­ing an alleged Israeli role in the destruc­tion of Iraqi ancient arti­facts on the hands of ISIS.

ADL has pre­vi­ously doc­u­mented sev­eral con­spir­acy the­o­ries, con­nect­ing ISIS to Jews and Zionists

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March 2, 2015 0

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Propagates Anti-Semitism

On the eve of the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to the U.S. Con­gress warn­ing about the threats posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Aya­tol­lah Khamenei, is once again using Twit­ter to prop­a­gate age-old anti-Semitic charges of Jew­ish domination.

Khamenei.ir, the twit­ter han­dle used by the Supreme Leader’s office, posted a series of tweets Mon­day on the theme of  “Zion­ist dom­i­na­tion” of the U.S. and world governments:

Khamenei Tweet 1

Khamenei Tweet 2Khamenei Tweet 3The tweets also fea­ture the hash­tag #Shut­Dow­nAIPAC, the ral­ly­ing cry for anti-Israel groups protest­ing out­side the annual con­fer­ence of the Amer­i­can Israel Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil, includ­ing SJP, Code Pink, the US Cam­paign to End the Occu­pa­tion and the Answer Coalition.

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