Inside Views on Netanyahu’s Desperate, Illiberal Attempt to Hold on to Power

For decades,” Chuck Freilich — a former deputy Israeli national security adviser and Harvard fellow — writes, “commentators have warned that the politico-military and societal processes underway in Israel pose severe dangers to our national future… and that [previous] elections were nothing less than critical. The warnings were prescient, but the future does not happen all at once: it creeps up slowly over time, almost without our noticing – and it has now arrived, big time.”

Israel’s redux election seemingly offers a stark choice: Between the Netanyahu-led right-wing bloc that’s committed to West Bank annexation and protecting Netanyahu from criminal corruption proceedings, and a center to center-left that declares its commitment to the rule of law and liberal democracy.

But the lines between the blocs are more fuzzy than that: Kachol Lavan won’t reject going into coalition with the Likud, and its language on Gaza and annexation is not always distinguishable from the right-wing. With the interminably-delayed Trump peace plan in the offing, and Netanyahu’s all-in embrace of Trump being tested as the U.S. president offers mixed messages on Iran, which cluster of parties scrapes together a viable coalition will have clear consequences for the future of the Jewish state – and its repercussions will be felt far more widely as well.

Here are the Haaretz op-eds that will both clarify, analyze and perhaps infuriate anyone seeking an insight into a critical election.