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Bibi Fatigue: Israelis Are Sick of Netanyahu, But Can't Agree on His Replacement

World  (tags: Israel, elections, Netanyahu, middle-east, government, politics, freedoms, news, interesting, humans, society )

- 1413 days ago -
âEURoeIsrael wants change" was the rallying cry at the demonstration in Tel Aviv this week, as an estimated 35,000 gathered to hear former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and other speakers make the case for getting rid of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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Carrie B (306)
Monday March 9, 2015, 4:23 pm

“Israel wants change” was the rallying cry at the demonstration in Tel Aviv this week, as an estimated 35,000 gathered to hear former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and other speakers make the case for getting rid of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A campaign for hope and change – feeding on a desire for something new is obviously borrowed from the success of Barack Obama’s triumphant campaign against John McCain in 2008.

A new campaign commercial launched by the Zionist Union party, led by Isaac Herzog, Netanyahu’s main competitor for the job of Prime Minister, offers a take on then-candidate Ronald Reagan’s famous question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

In the ad, voters in the street are asked to name Netanyahu’s accomplishments over the past six years. The response? Long silences. People scratching their heads. A drawn out, thoughtful “Ummmmmm.”

The signs of Netanyahu fatigue are everywhere, and not only on the left. In south Tel Aviv, a quartet of multicolored signs greets you at every corner with the message: “Bennett is bad for the Sephardim: BIBI IS BAD FOR ALL OF US”; then “Lapid is bad for the middle class: BIBI IS BAD FOR ALL OF US”; then “Bougie (Herzog) is bad for the right-wingers: BIBI IS BAD FOR ALL OF US”; and then “Lieberman is bad for the Arabs: BIBI IS BAD FOR ALL OF US.”


With only eight days to go until election day, the non-stop hammering of Netanyahu from all sides appears to be taking its toll. From the left end of the spectrum to the right, a universal weariness with Netanyahu and the long shadow he has cast over the Israeli political landscape for so many years has set in.

It’s taken a long time, but many Israelis – even those who share his political views and appreciate his rhetorical flourish – are sick of Bibi and his foibles. His vaunted overpublicized showdown at Congress with President Obama over his Iran speech – now that the dust has settled seems to be have been something of a wash, the polls tell us – neither boosted his standing among voters nor damaged him significantly. His decision to dissolve the government and call these new elections, on the premise that they would improve his base of support within the government, has proved to be a terrible miscalculation.

But here’s the catch: While the “Anyone but Bibi” message seems to be getting through loud and clear, the Israeli public is very far from agreeing on the alternative to Netanyahu.

This is not the U.S., where fostering disgust with the incumbent presidential candidate must necessarily coalesce around a single challenger, strengthening him. In Israel, if you don’t like the current product, there is a whole grocery shelf of “hope and change” possibilities to choose from. The tide may be turning against Bibi, but it is turning in many directions: on the right, to Naftali Bennett, Kahlon, or Lieberman, the centrists to Yair Lapid, and the left to Meretz. The crux of the problem is a major charisma shortage in the blue-blood tag team at the helm of the Zionist Union party - Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni - and the fact that while Bibi may be out of favor, much of the country wants a right-of-center leader in a frightening, unstable Middle East.

So when my American friends ask whether Netanyahu or Herzog is going to win, my answer is “It’s complicated.” I explain to them that while Netanyahu appears to be losing support, that doesn’t mean that Herzog is winning – and I remind them that not so long ago, in 2009, Tzipi Livni and the Kadima Party won more Knesset seats than the Netanyahu-led Likud, yet it was Likud who was able to assemble a coalition, putting Netanyahu in power.

Savvy Israelis aren’t fooling themselves: They know they won’t see a clear-cut answer to the question of who will government them on the morning after the elections. Instead, they are battening down the hatches for what appears to be shaping up for yet another round of long, drawn-out coalition negotiations following the election results filled with confusion, uncertainty, rumor and speculation.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is already reportedly preparing for this scenario. Channel 2 news reported on Sunday night that the president has been consulting advisors on what will happen if neither Netanyahu nor Herzog are able to muster support from the number of Knesset members needed to form a stable government. The report said that in such a case, Rivlin will try to force a coalition between the two large parties, paired with an initiative to change the electoral system to prevent “Israel from becoming Italy” with a chronically unstable government and frequent elections.

So yes, Israelis seem to want change, and it seems a safe bet that some form of change is on the horizon following the election on March 17. Whether it’s going to be change for the better – that bet is far less certain.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Monday March 9, 2015, 4:43 pm
Any women. . .?

fly b (26)
Monday March 9, 2015, 4:57 pm
50,000 Israelis Show Up at the Wrong Protest

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 4:16 am
This coming from the farthest-leftist-humaniac rag. LOLOL!!

Let's re-word that title: A relatively few Israelis..the farthest-leftist-humaniacs.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 10:55 am
These 35,000 protesters make about 0.5% if Israel population. Even less than those famous 1%.

During my recent business trip to Israel, I asked my Israeli friend is he is reading Haaretz, because it's a free newspaper. He laughed and said that the only use he has for Haaretz is to serve as a mat on a beach, when he steps on it after swimming to put on socks.

And here is Carrie posting from it...

Panchali Yapa (26)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 11:02 am
Thank you

Lona G (66)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 11:06 am
Israel has a government based on coalitions, just like many European countries, and at the moment almost all these countries experience great difficulties in getting a viable government together and then keeping it from falling again. Often voters end up voting "strategically" rather then where their hearts lie, and still end up with coalition they had not anticipated on and certainly are not happy with. Sadly Israel is no exception to that.

Sjors S (1)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 11:07 am
I would love to see Bibi dissapear ..whether by death or simply through elections...dont re-elect this clown! The world is better off without him (being in charge)..

Justin Vale (13)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 11:17 am
this is exactly what i mean. you guys read no signs. you spend too much time fishing, and very little thinking. moshe kahlon is the zionist behind the mask. he pulls all the strings. in front of the cameras bibi and others are the royalty. but behind close doors there is only one boss in israel. an absolute power. all major branches are in his pocket. the mossad is his. everything is his. he had his people on omar the chechen when omar was a young teen in georgia. as soon as betas came out of his assembly lines he flooded the somalia and sambisa forest with them. he will foment unrest among palestinians and then claim that there is no true leadership there to deal with and he will sell this to the world as he proceeds to kill more palestinians than israel has killed since 48. read the signs yo. everybody in israel has already. they have to accept it. resist him at your own risk. he's got the jump. he's been planning takeover since the 90's.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 12:22 pm
Bob A.
"During my recent business trip to Israel, I asked my Israeli friend is he is reading Haaretz, because it's a free newspaper. He laughed and said that the only use he has for Haaretz is to serve as a mat on a beach, when he steps on it after swimming to put on socks.

And here is Carrie posting from it... "

I post news from the Financial Times, as well as wrap food waste in it, and use the different sections for drying wet shoes. . .

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 12:45 pm
Yes, darren, but SHE thinks she is proving some obscure point by posting from a rag that only the most far gone would even look at.
Who posts a nation's pulse by posting articles from the National Enquirer, the Daily Mail, or Mad Magazine??
Yet I'm sure she's quite proud of her accomplishment. Now she can proudly announce that ALL Israelis are sick of Bibi and and add that to her arsenal of inanities.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 1:08 pm
The Daily Mail does an excellent job of exposing crap in our society. . .

Joanne D (37)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 1:18 pm
Kansas and Wisconsin have similar problems. Probably Florida too.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 1:22 pm
When the Daily Mail reports Nellie Smythe's sighting of a UFO complete with explicit details of the occupant's slimey, warty green anatomy, even a marginally intelligent person does not automatically assume that EVERYONE in Britain witnessed and believed this *phenomenon*.
And certainly doesn't parade it about as some telling point.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 3:00 pm
Yes, Darren, but you don't use the Financial Times EXCLUSIVELY to dry your shoes. And this was the exact point: Haaretz is a free newspaper to be used EXCLUSIVELY as a mat to put it down on a sandy beach.


Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 3:03 pm
Simplify the point even further: It's FREE.

Jeannet Bertelink (74)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 3:22 pm

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 5:33 pm
Barbara, there is nothing wrong with free newspapers, I read them as well.

I think that a newspaper which only use is to be a mat on a beach is funny.

Ray M (0)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 8:12 pm
They'd better agree on someone (anyone would be better) soon or else the war monger will be in charge for years to come. That would be like having Ted Cruz or some other radical extremist in charge here. Heaven forbid.

Roslyn M (32)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 10:11 pm
Why am I not surprised?

Leslie Stanick (102)
Tuesday March 10, 2015, 10:32 pm
I'll be happy to see the back of him.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 11, 2015, 5:11 am
Leslie, I have to tell you that you should have thought out your comment a little more carefully. It can very easily be misinterpreted!! LOLOL!!!

Thomas M (8)
Wednesday March 11, 2015, 6:55 am
The Israeli electorate will handle its business and the rest of us will have to live with it. If they want Netanyahu, the one who meddled in US foreign policy at the request of republicans in the US Congress, so be it. I hope like hell he does not get elected.

Ben O (135)
Thursday March 12, 2015, 10:31 am
Sorry, I'm not allowed to say what I really think of that bastard Benjamin Netanyahu... : ~ (

Past Member (0)
Wednesday May 13, 2015, 8:23 am
I'll just say, noted. Thanks Carrie.
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