Tag Archives: Hope

Israel Elections a Cliffhanger for Netanyahu, New Hope for His Opposition

Israel Elections a Cliffhanger for Netanyahu, New Hope for His OppositionGALI TIBBONJERUSALEM–It will be a long night in Israel, where initial exit polls Tuesday evening indicated a close electoral victory for opposition head Benny Gantz, a former army chief of staff. But the prognosis for his chances to form a winning coalition block against right-wing parties led by the Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has held office for 10 years, and dominated Israeli politics for a generation.Both candidates declared immediate victory, though Gantz’s declaration, issued jointly with his deputy, former finance minister Yair Lapid, had a more exuberant tone.“We won! The Israeli public has had their say!” the pair exulted in a statement. “Thank you to the thousands of activists and over a million voters. These elections have a clear winner and a clear loser. Netanyahu promised 40 seats and lost. The President [Reuven Rivlin] can see the picture and should call on the winner to form the next government. There is no other option!”A few minutes later, in a Hebrew-language tweet, Netanyahu declared victory on behalf of his political wing, not himself or his party: “The right-wing bloc led by the Likud won a clear victory. I thank the citizens of Israel for their trust. I will begin forming a right-wing government with our natural partners tonight.”Netanyahu’s position was weakened by news that he faces indictments for corruption, and, to all appearances, by a brutal campaign in which he attacked Gantz, without basis, for allying with Arabs, for supposedly celebrating the “martyrdom” of Islamist militants killed in fighting with Israel and allegedly concealing an a sex-tape putatively hacked by Iran.  While Netanyahu ran a mudslinging blitzkrieg against his Israeli opponents he basked in the extraordinary support of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump. Putin helped to return a long-lost Israeli casualty of the 1982 Lebanon War in a public ceremony with Netanyahu in Moscow just days before the vote.  And Trump over the last year has gone far to meet Netanyahu’s most hardline diplomatic demands: moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, closing the consulate there which handled Palestinian affairs, then announcing in recent days his support for Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, while declaring the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist organization.In truth, virtually all of Trump’s Middle East policy has been oriented toward, if not directed by, Netanyahu’s vision of the region, which often is coordinated with that of  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (the suspected murderer of journalist Jamal Khashoggi). In Israel on Tuesday night, the exit polls brought surprise figures showing a virtual dead heat between the two main political blocks in the raucous political arena. But figures are expected to shift as definitive results stream in overnight.Historically low turnout of under 70 percent appeared to be the one clear result of the bruising, incitement-filled campaign which was low on content or policy debates. The mixed results–and potential loss for Netanyahu–was relayed in televised exit polls and at a massive rally planned for Tel Aviv, where Likud activists faced the unimaginable: the possible scenario of President Rivlin having to choose between two more or less equal voting blocks of 60 and 60.In addition, a disengaged and disaffected Arab public, the brunt of constant attacks by Prime Minister Netanyahu, appeared reluctant to take part in the electoral process. Haaretz senior pollster Camil Fuchs, of Tel Aviv University, said that if the figures being reported from the Arab sector hold steady,  historically low participation rates such could “completely change the Knesset map.”Whichever man is chosen, the interim results indicate the Israeli populace may be thirsty for a change, and the country seems headed for a period of political instability. Even if Netanyahu is called upon to form the next government, he is likely to face stiff opposition from within his own political camp when indicted late this summer. NetanyahuIf Gantz is chosen, the quiet general with no political experience may go down in history as a dragon-slayer.While widely criticized for remaining a political cypher, the soft-spoken Gantz ran on two clear positions. He insisted that Netanyahu himself, with accusations of corruption trailing him, was the greatest danger facing Israel. This was the argument he used to explain the seemingly contradictory inclusion of right-wingers such as former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and left-leaning candidates such as Lapid. Gantz said it was a response to an “emergency”: Netanyahu. Gantz also launched his campaign with the promise he’d change the controversial Nation-State Law, a measure Netanyahu claimed as his principal legislative achievement demoting Arabic from its status as an official language of the state and granting a special, elevated status to Jewish communities. The law’s passage provoked the largest public protests Israel has seen in decades and prompted Rivlin to sign the measure in Arabic, an unprecedented act of protest by a sitting Israeli president.Netanyahu, an experienced master of Israel’s parliamentary maneuvering, cannot be dismissed and may yet form Israel’s next government, but he will be a chastened giant, unlikely to escape the clutches of indictment and confronted by a robust, invigorated opposition in the Knesset.Whatever results Israelis wake up to in the morning, King Bibi is no more. At a Tel Aviv rally, Gantz, the old commander, thanked Netanyahu for his service and declared the dawning of a new day in Israel. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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Palestinians see little hope in Israeli elections

Palestinians see little hope in Israeli electionsTayseer Barakat is like many Palestinians when asked about the upcoming Israeli elections. “We have learned from past experience that we are always the victims of Israeli elections, and it doesn’t seem there will be anything new,” said 58-year-old Barakat. “It is more than likely there will be no meaningful changes, despite our hopes that there will be something new to change the situation,” he added as he walked with bags of groceries in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.



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Netanyahu jokes with Trump about corruption probe: 'I hope they don't open an investigation on us'

Netanyahu jokes with Trump about corruption probe: 'I hope they don't open an investigation on us'Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to mock the investigations he and his close ally Donald Trump have faced in recent months during a joke shared with the US president. Mr Trump was joined by Mr Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, where he signed a proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a reversal of longstanding US policy. Although the Mueller probe has come to an end, the prime minister faces prosecution back home after his country’s attorney general said he plans to indict Mr Netanyahu over claims he received illegal gifts.



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Trump news: Hope Hicks accused of lying to Robert Mueller as president is blamed for Bush ‘heart attack’

Trump news: Hope Hicks accused of lying to Robert Mueller as president is blamed for Bush ‘heart attack’Hope Hicks has been accused of lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by a former spokesperson for Donald Trump’s legal team. Mark Corallo said the former White House communications director lied to investigators from the special counsel’s office about discussions that were had with the president on Air Force One after the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting was made public through media reporting.



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PHOTOS: In Gaza, women walk thin line between hope and despair

PHOTOS: In Gaza, women walk thin line between hope and despairThose restrictions have devastated Gaza’s economy and left many of its women, like Rudwan’s younger sister, struggling to find work after graduating from college.



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'We hope he learned his lesson,' Pelosi says of report Trump wants $8.6B more for wall

'We hope he learned his lesson,' Pelosi says of report Trump wants $  8.6B more for wallHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer warned the new request would suffer the same fate as the $ 5.7 billion demand.



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Hanoi Postcard: Children hope to give Kim comradely welcome

Hanoi Postcard: Children hope to give Kim comradely welcomeHANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Children at a kindergarten in Hanoi, some in Korean traditional "Hanbok" dress, have been practicing singing and dancing, hoping to show off their talents to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when he comes to town this week for his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.



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Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soon

Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soonThe 38-year-old is one of many Venezuelans suffering from malnutrition as the once-prosperous, oil-rich OPEC nation has seen its economy halve in size over the last five years under President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelans’ diets have become ever more deficient in vitamins and protein, as currency controls restrict food imports and salaries fail to keep apace with inflation that is now above 2 million percent annually. Growing malnutrition is one of the reasons Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido has moved ahead with his plans to bring supplies of food and medicine into Venezuela by land and sea on Saturday, despite resistance from Maduro.



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US cardinals hope new accountability stops abusers in future

US cardinals hope new accountability stops abusers in futureVATICAN CITY (AP) — Two U.S. cardinals attending the Vatican's sex abuse prevention summit said Friday that the downfall of their former colleague, Theodore McCarrick, was sad for the Catholic church but they hoped a new spirit of accountability would prevent future cover-ups of bishop misconduct.



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Honda Tomo EV is the cute concept we hope to see in future cities

Honda Tomo EV is the cute concept we hope to see in future citiesDesigned in part by Master of Transportation Design students from Italy’s Istituto Europeo di Design, the Honda Tomo EV that’s expected to go on display at the Geneva Motor Show represents the compact, smart EVs of Honda’s future, according to the institution. In January, the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy, announced that about a dozen of their graduate design students were partnering with Honda to create what turned into the zero emissions-producing Tomo concept car, whose name means “friend.” Since this was announced last month, all we’ve known about the project — which is part of the Master in Transportation Design graduate students’ theses — is that the model will be a compact electric vehicle that will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show, March 7-17.



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