Bintel Blog

Sayed Kashua in Demand, Israeli Press in Purgatory

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli Arabs have never been so in demand, and they have the strong showing of the hard-line anti-Arab Yisrael Beiteinu party to thank. This is the thesis of the novelist and satiric columnist Sayed Kashua in Haaretz. Kashua, one of the country’s best-known Israeli Arab writers, has a knack of giving a great insight in to the complexities of Israeli-Arab identity, which he alludes to so entertainingly this essay.


Late last week when President Shimon Peres chose Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form the new government, every Israeli, whatever their political opinions, had reason to celebrate.

This is no endorsement of the hawkish Likud party. Rather, it is a simple observation that in the days between the election and Peres’ decision, newspapers here became as dull as dishwater.

For almost a fortnight, newspapers had nothing to say, except to speculate which party’s leader various factions would recommend to Peres. And it was hardly rocket science to predict that the right-wing parties, a majority, would endorse the right-wing option, Netanyahu.

There was even detailed coverage of Kadima going to tell Peres whom it favored for Prime Minister (amazingly its own Livni) and Likud going to make its nomination (yes, Netanyahu).


Every month, Tel Aviv University pollsters gauge Israeli public opinion. Here are the numbers, just in, from their latest poll:

• 17% of people are happy with the election results and 43% are disappointed.
• 90% of people would vote the same way if given the chance to vote again.
• Kadima is more popular than Likud, like it was in the election. If polls were held again, 30% of people would vote Kadima and 27% would vote Likud.
• Regarding their preference for Prime Minister, 37.5% of people want Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and 37.6% want Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.
• 36% of people want a unity government of Likud, Kadima and Labor. 22% want a Likud-led rightist coalition and 16% want a coalition of Likud, Kadima and Yisrael Beitenu.
• Some 77% of people think that the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit should be a prerequisite to any Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement.
• A third of people are content with the results of the recent Gaza operation (Operation Cast Lead); 36% are disappointed.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shimon Peres, Sayed Kashua, Benjamin Netanyahu, Tzipi Livni

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.