MembersWhen Everyone’s Right-Wing, is Anyone Right-Wing?

The new trend in Israeli politics is to smear your opponents by labeling them as “leftists.” It makes sense, given that a large majority of voters lean to the right.

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Benjamin Netanyahu, Election 2019
Dressed as Donald Trump, an Israeli voter declares Netanyahu to be "Israel's Keeper." Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A curious aspect of Israel’s recently-concluded national election was how all the serious contenders insisted on being identified as right-wing, or at least as not being leftists. They really had no choice, given that the overwhelming majority of Israeli voters between the ages of 18-35 themselves lean toward the Right.

During an election rally just days before the election, the head of the poll-leading “Blue and White” faction, former IDF chief Benny Gantz, was asked about being compared to Yitzhak Rabin, whom many instinctively identify with the Left. Gantz’s reply was that Rabin had been mislabeled: “Rabin was center, a bit left, a bit right, however you want to define him.” In a earlier interview with the local Yom Leyom newspaper, Gantz was adamant that he, too, shouldn’t be tagged as a leftist. The former general insisted that on security issues, he was right-wing, while on socio-economic matters, he might lean a little more left. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was far more blatant in highlighting his right-wing bonafides. The slogan emblazoned on campaign posters across the nation read: “Netanyahu....

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