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In Israel, Netanyahu fails to impose cameras in Arab polling stations


By proposing this measure to Parliament, the Israeli prime minister remobilized his base and fired a smoke screen on the campaign for the legislative elections of 17 September.

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Benyamin Netanyahu, September 8 in Jerusalem. POOL / REUTERS

Benyamin Netanyahu failed to pass an amendment in the Israeli parliament on Monday, September 9, which would have legitimized the sending by his party, the Likud, of hundreds of militants with cameras in the polling stations, during the legislative elections scheduled for September 17. . The goal, barely disguised, was to intimidate voters in the Arab-dominated constituencies of the country, to dissuade them from going to the polls.

This failure was written since the right-wing dissident Avigor Lieberman refused to join on Monday morning. His decisive vote in committee prevented consideration of the amendment in plenary assembly. Lieberman said election supervision, a well-executed mechanic in a country that has never had a major election fraud scandal, should be left to civil servants, not "Netanyahu's private militia."

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This rejection does not change the case. The debate on cameras has already done its job, mobilizing the Netanyahu base. In a video posted on Facebook Sunday night, the prime minister warned them against his opponents who conspired, he said, to "steal" the elections. By the way, Mr. Netanyahu was shooting a smoke screen on all other issues of the campaign.

Reduce the Arab vote

He put the revelations of the press on the corruption charges against him to the background, and erased any discussion of the stalemate of his government's purely security policy in Gaza, where the economic and humanitarian crisis is dragging on. and from which rockets have been regularly fired since August.

This amendment is not an improvisation, eight days before the polls, when no poll gives Mr. Netanyahu and his allies of the ultranationalist and religious right a majority guaranteeing them to form a government. Mr. Netanyahu is actually pursuing a long-term and tested strategy: already in 2015, in the days of fiercely disputed previous elections, he had electrified his constituents by saying that the Arabs went to the polls "en masse", in buses he said chartered by leftist NGOs.

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At the last poll, in April 2019, the Likud had already sent 1,300 militants to the Arab polling stations, in defiance of the law, and in complete impunity. A party-related communications agency involved in the campaign later boasted that it had helped reduce the Arab vote.

Source: lemonde

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