Here is Thomas Friedman today on Netanyahu in a column entitled Go Ahead, Ruin My Day:

race-baiting Israeli Jews to get out and vote because, he said, too many Israeli Arabs were going to the polls

If he would have said “the kibbutznikim are being bused to the polls“, would that be okay?

If Herzog had said “too many ‘settlers’ are voting“?

If Gal-on had said “too many mezuzah-kissers“?

But more.

The fact is that there was/is an Arab list.

Their candidates were 90+% Arab.

Their main language in their electioneering was Arabic.

A major portion of the messages of too many of their candidtates was anti-Zionist and they didn’t even sign an agreement with the far-left Meretz because they were Zionist.

A large Arab vote, like a large Russian vote, or Haredi vote or Sfardi vote hurts Likud.

His was a legitimate political call.

And what did he expect Netanyahu to call them?


But he is not all irrational and maligning, writing this, too

It would be wrong, though, to put all of this on Netanyahu. The insane, worthless Gaza war that Hamas initiated last summer that brought rockets to the edge of Israel’s main international airport and the Palestinians’ spurning of two-state offers of previous Israeli prime ministers (Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert) built Netanyahu’s base as much as he did.

But he can’t restrain himself or his disdain:

a good half of Israel identifies with the paranoid, everyone-is-against-us, and religious-nationalist tropes Netanyahu deployed