Tuesday's vote, it seems, is all about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – hold it or dump it. But our photographer has found that it is not half.
JERUSALEM – The story seemed to have approached Benjamin Netanyahu.
Despite the fact that he approached the sign that was laid by the founding leader of Israel David Ben-Gurion, as the longest prime minister, a whole host of new enemies rose around him. He faced an unexpectedly tough challenge from Benny Ganz, the six front-line 4th Army Chief of Defense and a soldier who could reliably compensate Netanyahu's trust as "Israel's Security".
However, if Tuesday's elections were a referendum on Mr Netanyahu's writing, he was happy to work on it.
He was in full swing, opening up contacts with Muslim countries in Africa, defrosting relations with leaders of the Sunni Arab states, building allies in Eastern Europe and building trade ties in Latin America and Asia. He testified President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and only two weeks ago – his sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
On Thursday, he used his relationship with President Vladimir Putin, using Russia's assistance to bring home the remains of an Israeli soldier who died in Lebanon almost 37 years ago.
Gantz asked voters to focus on corruption, selfishness and arrogance that tarnished the achievements of Mr. Netanyahu. Against the powerful policy of the separation of Mr. Netanyahu – directly against the left, the Jew against the Arabs, the religious against the secular, the working class against the rich, the peripheral cities against Tel Aviv, those whose grandparents fled from the Arab lands against those whose grandfathers were pioneers of the kibbutznik – Mr. Hunts offered a message about unity and healing, that "Israel was before all"
. The result is that one of the most consistent Israeli elections was one of the most mysterious and deepest.
There was no debate and several serious interviews with the top candidates. The election rallies have been replaced with Facebook and Twitter videos and anonymous texts.
Many, like Netanyahu against Hunts, focused on elections as a head-to-head competition, under the chaotic and confusing Israeli parliamentary system. If elections are close, parties that control only a few places can give one or the other side enough to assemble the governing majority. The annexation program for the entire West Bank, including the Jewish seizure of the temple mountain.
Now, having grabbed the headlines with the call for the legalization of marijuana, the iconoclastic politician gains thousands of young people with a free market platform aimed at reducing living costs: a single tax, privatization of hospitals, end-of-pipe tariffs, and land reform to reduce housing costs.
There was a high drama in other sections of the electorate. The Labor Party's Labor Party, it seemed, was threatened by its new head Avi Gabbey, a former centrist law-enforcement officer who was cast by many liberal Labor Zionists. But the hot advertising campaign resumed its relevance, and many voters were ready not to notice Mr Gabbey in order to bring Labor's legislators back to parliament. To the right, the bold step of Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Aylet Shake, who broke off from the party of the Jewish home to form a more secular New-Right Party, seemed in danger of reversing. The two young leaders who seemed to be in line for one day to defeat Netanyahu, fought to keep their seats, not to mention their ministries
. A strong turnout among Israeli Palestinian citizens, which is 20 percent of the population, has the potential to increase the number of votes needed to bring it to parliament, which threatens smaller parties on the right and left. This prospect was particularly threatening the party of Avigdor Lieberman, a militant former minister of defense, who advanced these electoral rules, primarily to eliminate Arab parties
. During the last month, the boycott of the vote gained momentum, which was partly an expression of popular disappointment by Arab politicians such as Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi, whose struggle for supremacy forced the Arab coalition to break into fractions.
The Gangsian gangster about the number of Palestinian fighters he killed in Gaza in 2014 has also weakened all the excitement that Arab voters could feel when he saw that he had pushed for Mr Netanyahu.
Ganz must face the difficulty of defeating Mr. Netanyahu. His team includes Jar Lady, a popular former talk show and amateur boxer, and two other popular former military chiefs, Moshe Ya'alon and Gabi Ashkenazi. Having gathered along the Lebanese and Gaza fronts in Uniqlo jackets and jeans, these four sought to calm the savage Israelis, as they say, there can still be a safe and stable Israel without Mr Netanyahu. The Ganz partnership with Mr Lapid provided a promise to return the Prime Minister, and Mr Gantz was the first, and Mr Lapid – after two and a half years. The agreement struck many voters as a sign that Mr. Ganz had no fire in his stomach. Indeed, the humility that, according to Mr. Ganz's predictions, contradicts Mr. Netanyahu's indissolubility requirements, has led to his own risk.
Most Israelis prefer their leaders to be carnivores of alpha dogs. a questionnaire who once worked for Mr. Netanyahu. "Tell me you are about Bibi," he said, using the nickname of the Prime Minister. "He wants the work to be bigger than anyone else. He wants this more than anything in the world "