• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal


We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.

And in Those Days There was No King in Israhell

Photograph Source: Amirosan – CC BY-SA 4.0

Non-Israeli friends have been asking me what the hell is going on with the 2019 Israeli elections round 2; I decided to write it all up and break it down for ya:

Bibi Netanyahu, our eternal PM, aka The Magician, aka Sabotage Angel, aka Blind Goat, has run out of tricks. Where are the tricks? They were blown up by a new Megazord party of generals called Blue-White (Kachol Lavan). They are really good at bombing things. They bombed Gaza “into the stone age,” says their leader Benny Gantz. He’s tall, blond, and blue-eyed (my mom thinks he’s handsome) and has boasted about murdering thousands of Gazans. He also murdered all the tricks. He’s too good at blowing things to smithereens, his gift and curse. Now there are no tricks left. Gantz doesn’t have enough tricks to become Prime Minister. Stalemate.

Avigdor Lieberman, crypto-fascist and apparently atheist who hates Hasidic Jews as much as he hates Palestinians, was empowered by a loyal base of Russian migrants to be Tiebreaker. However, he’s too racist to form a coalition with either Arabs or Hasidim and will only agree to sit with both Bibi and Gantz in a kind of white secular fascistopia with buses and bacon on shabbes. Totally untenable—because Gantz mobilized on a platform of “anything but Bibi,” and Bibi on a mirroring platform of “anything but the leftist pacifist weakling bleeding-heart generals.”

Meanwhile, the Joint List, a precarious coalition of Palestinian citizens of Israel led by an adorable communist goat-herding magician (see FB page “Ayman Odeh does cute things” (Hebrew)), snatched some tricks. Ethiopian voters abandoned the right, sick of being shot by police. Neo-Nazi Kahanist party Jewish Power (yeah, that’s their actual name) fell to the abyss, because Bibi drank all their mandates, but no worries, as with their predecessors, they will have another chance to storm the Reichstag in the ‘30s. In Israeli elections, the two big parties, Blue-White (Gantz) and Likud (Bibi), engage in a mandate-drinking game, a kind of campaign to steal power from smaller, affiliated parties, but Ayelet Shaked, aka Israeli version of pre-fascist-coup Serena from Handmaid’s Tale, swooped some tricks for herself with her broken three-pronged broomstick during the bar brawl.

It’s democracy, the only democracy, the only game in town (as my mom says), the stupefying pendulum between two shades of apartheid and creeping genocide, the rule of the people for the people by the people against the people. The People of Israel all stand and cheer. The People of Israel have decided. Will there be another round? A third? A fourth? Will Bibi keep running from the other side of freedom? Ask the People of Israel, whoever they are. Ask President Rivlin and his stamp collection. Ask Ehud Barak, lighting candles for Jeffrey Epstein at the JCC of San Francisco. Ask Amir Peretz’s shaved mustache. Ask the Ethnic Demon. Ask Moshe Gafni, the unknown secretly moderate ruler of Hasidic electoralism; actually though, do ask him, because his party Yehadut Hatorah may be the real tie-breaking key to a government with the first-ever representation of non-Zionist Palestinian citizens; problem is—Yair Lapid, the idiot handsome son, Blue-White Number Two, kept losing in chess to the decaying corpse of his father. Otherwise, we’re going to Round Three (which, rumor says, ends with the news junky drowning themself in the mikveh).

Bottom line: this is all a tautological whirlwind, a self-canceling feedback loop, a twisted perverted mad game which Israel plays with itself. Half the population—the great majority of Palestinians—have no vote. And there’s Gaza, too, plus refugees.

Amitai Ben-Abba, writer and producer of the forthcoming film Objector, is an Israeli dissident currently based in the Bay Area.


More articles by:

Amitai Ben-Abba is an Israeli writer and dissident based in the Bay Area.

October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
Christopher Fons – Conor McMullen
The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
Nino Pagliccia
Peace Restored in Ecuador, But is trust?
Rebecca Gordon
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse
Kathleen Wallace
Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh
Clark T. Scott
Cross-eyed, Fanged and Horned
Eileen Appelbaum
The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills
Olivia Alperstein
Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat
Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?
Sarah Anderson
Where is “Line Worker Barbie”?
Brian Cloughley
Yearning to Breathe Free
Jill Richardson
Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?
Jesse Jackson
What I Learn While Having Lunch at Cook County Jail
Kathy Kelly
Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen
Maximilian Werner
Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
Arshad Khan
The Turkish Gambit