Fears of Fascism as Israeli Extremists Prepare to Take Elections

Israel’s upcoming general elections early next year could see some of the country’s most extreme right-wing elements, accused of being racist by some, winning the elections.

metimes.com

by MEL FRYKBERG (Middle East Times)

JERUSALEM — Israel’s upcoming general elections early next year could see some of the country’s most extreme right-wing elements, accused of being racist by some, winning the elections.

Right-wing poster boy Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Israeli prime minister, and chairman of the right-wing party Likud, is battling even more extreme elements in his own party in a bid to become Israel’s next prime minister.

He will face off against Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the chairman of the more centrist and ruling party Kadima, to lead the country. Current opinion polls indicate Netanyahu to be in the lead.

Likud held its primaries on Monday to prepare a list of candidates for the Knesset (Israeli parliament) with those from the far right making a strong showing.

Netanyahu had hoped that the more moderate elements he had brought into the party would help the party maintain a more moderate image. But during the primary hardliners captured and dominated the first 20 spots.

Chief extremist to make huge political gains and threaten Netanyahu’s chairmanship was Moshe Feiglin, a fan of the early fascist and Zionist pioneer, Zeev Jabotinsky, who hailed from Russia.

His strong showing prompted incumbent premier Ehud Olmert to comment that Likud had turned from a party of peace to an extreme right faction. [continued…]

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