Parties neck and neck as Israel goes to the polls (& Madonna again gives backing to Israel)

April 09, 2019

 

TO CLOSE TO CALL

[Note by Tom Gross]

Israel goes to the polls today in a general election. Six parties have now dropped out, so voters are left with 41 parties to choose from, representing every conceivable opinion and demographic. Among the parties expected to cross the 3.25 percent threshold and enter the Knesset are communists, Arab nationalists and those advocating the legalization of cannabis. Turnout in early voting is reported to be high. So democracy hasn’t ended in Israel as some prominent western news headlines claimed yesterday.

 

ISRAELI NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYED IN QATAR, ON EVE OF ISRAELI ELECTIONS

For those interested, I attach two short news interviews:

BBC senior International affairs correspondent Lyse Doucet interviews Tom Gross on the eve of Israel’s national elections (BBC News 24 channel)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5W6_dxKvqU

Israel & Arab states bypass Palestinians to make peace: Tom Gross on BBC World

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYjecl-F-_s

 

(There were many anti-Israeli guests on the BBC’s various TV and radio stations yesterday too; and the untruths told about Israel also extended to the lead item on the BBC religious program, which doesn’t usually cover politics. Prominent local radio hosts, such as this one, also broadcast lies that Israel had plans to push Gazans into the sea; and the BBC news website wrongly claimed Hamas rule in Gaza had ended five years ago.)

 

 

DEFYING BOYCOTT CALLS, MADONNA WILL PERFORM AT EUROVISION IN TEL AVIV

American pop superstar Madonna (photo at the top of the page) announced last night that she would perform two songs at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest finals next month in Tel Aviv. It is the first time a pop star of this magnitude of celebrity has agreed to perform at Eurovision (since Abba won the contest).

Madonna said she would spend several days in Israel next month, accompanied by a 65-person entourage.

She has previously performed in Israel in 1993, 2009 and 2012, when she made a point of opening her world tour in Israel, in defiance of other pop stars whom she has criticized for singling out the Jewish state for boycott.

Madonna has also made a number of private visits to Israel.

Tens of thousands of European tourists are expected to visit Israel next month for the Eurovision final.

 

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