Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Israeli voters opinionated, Palestinians cynical

Posted by gaetanoditommaso su 10 febbraio, 2009

Feb 10, 2009
By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israelis are seldom shy about expressing a political opinion, even on an election campaign that most found boring, with a lineup of too-familiar faces offering no new solutions to the central problem of peace.

Here are some views from Israel polling booths, plus a few voices from the Palestinian sidelines.

David Dorani, a 64-year-old pensioner, voted near Tel Aviv for rightwing opposition Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is bidding to oust the incumbent leader of the centrist Kadima party, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

“Livni wants to give up land to the Palestinians, who are taught from an early age to hate Jews,” he said. “She wants to divide Jerusalem. We have already given up land and what did it get us? They just want to get rid of us. I would be in favor of giving up land if it would bring true peace but that has not happened.”

Yaacov Adani, 65, voted for Livni, who is bidding to be Israel’s first woman premier since the revered Golda Meir. But he did not betray great enthusiasm.

“I voted for Tzipi Livni because she appears to be quite alright. The other two have already bruised our skin so I hope she will succeed,” he said. The “other two” are former premiers Netanyahu and Ehud Barak of the once dominant Labor party.

“I don’t know how important the election really is. We were just dragged into it,” said Adani, referring to early departure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who faces corruption allegations.

Yana Vitsnudel is a 44-year-old pharmacist who immigrated from Russia 30 years ago. She also voted for Livni’s party, “because it is a centrist party.”

“I want to be in the center. I want there to be peace, but also that we shall be strong,” Vitsnudel said. “Every election is important.”

She scoffed at the notion of voting for the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party of fellow Soviet immigrant Avigdor Lieberman, who gets a lot of support from Russian speakers.

“I’ve been here for 30 years already. Those who are voting for Yisrael Beiteinu are new immigrants,” she said.

In Sderot, a town with a large percentage of recently arrived Russian-speakers and a target of Islamist militant rocket fire from nearby Gaza, resident Biton Tsion’s opinion was typical of southern Israelis who are tired of the random threat posed by these erratic but potentially lethal weapons.

“The right wing will form the government, so they can create a suitable solution for us southern residents,” he said. “Because only they can bring that solution.”

Smadar, 23, a student from Jerusalem, voted for Barak’s Labor, once the giant of Israeli politics.

“My family always vote labor. I took a poll on the internet and my views were most like theirs. Barak is the most experienced on defense. He is the least bad of all the candidates,” she said, refusing to give her family name.

Student Amir, 28, voted for Livni. “I don’t want Bibi (Netanyahu) to be prime minister. For the peace process it doesn’t matter if Livni, Bibi or Lieberman is prime minister. It depends on Obama.”

Palestinian opinion was mainly negative.

“We are sure that all the Zionist parties are the same; they are different faces of the same coin,” said Mushir al Masri of Gaza’s ruling Hamas group, hammered by Israeli military might in a January offensive ordered by Olmert, Livni and Barak.

“They are challenging us by using the bodies of our children, they are looking forward to attack the Palestinian people, to occupy the land, and to increase their aggression and kill our people.”

In Jenin, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, 32-year-old trader Muntasser Badarneh, said he was losing hope.

“I spent 10 years of my life hoping there would be a peace settlement. With the situation as it is in Israel and the people there moving more toward the right, I see no hope for a peaceful settlement. Within two years, if there is no peace, I will leave the country,” he said.

But Ramallah shop-owner Muna Abed Rrabbo, 43, was attentive.

“I’m very interested in the Israeli elections because the Palestinians will be affected by the results and by the policies of the new government,” she said. “The more right-wing the government, the more pressure is imposed on us, more (border) closures and more violence.”

(Additional reporting by Steve Scheer in Jerusalem and Wafa Amr in Ramallah; Editing by Douglas Hamilton and Dominic Evans)




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