The curious absence of the Israeli elections in US mainstream media
Americans aren’t known for their support for many things outside of their country, but their support, and especially American politicians’ support for Israel is legendary. The Israeli press and Zionist organizations like to regularly concoct polls that show this overwhelming American support and rub it in the faces of the rest of the world. But for all of this alleged support of Israel, the mainstream tv outlets and all the talking heads in America, both Republicans and Democrats alike neglected to even mention the Israeli elections.
Some background on how the election works in Israel: after the results of the election are formally published in a week’s time, President Shimon Peres will consult the leaders of all parties and will choose one to form a coalition. Whoever is chosen will have 42 days to form a coalition. In the past, the president has always turned to the leader of the largest party, though the law does allow him to turn to others if they are more likely to form a majority. Click here to watch Israel Broadcasting Authority coverage of Netanyahu and Livni both claiming victory after a close election.
With the all of the recent US media coverage of the slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians during Operation: Cast Lead, you would think that the mainstream media would have been more than keen to cover such an important election of its best ally. There was no American media coverage at the deadlocked election results. There was no media grandstanding even as Israel could have elected it’s first female prime minister. The return of the US educated, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to generate even the slightest bit of coverage, even though he will most likely emerge as prime minister of Israel. as
The American media didn’t even feel necessary to cover the it’s favorite topic: racism. By covering the anti-Arab Avigdor Lieberman and the rise of his ultra-nationalist party, Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Is Our Home) Americans could have been given some insight as to how a country that supposedly shares our values promote a leader that is openly racist. Lieberman, a former nightclub bouncer and Russian immigrant regularly and openly threatens Arab leaders , and once proposed that Israel “should fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II,” which I’m assuming means to genocide the Palestinians.
In the beginning of the 2008 US election season, the entire world follwed the US elections and Israel was no different. Haaretz.com’s panel, the Israel Factor, tracked the progression of the politicians’ campaigns, not for how the would benefit the US or the rest of the world, but how good or bad the politicians would be for Israel if elected. Not what would be good for America, but good for Israel.
Surprisingly, before his AIPAC speech and before prominent Jews threw their support behind him, President Obama ranked the lowest out of all frontrunning candidates in the Israel Factor panel. Rudy Giuliani, who ran the most disastrous campaign of all presidential candidates, ranked at the top of who would be most beneficial to Israeli interests.
But the question that Americans should be asking themselves is “why is the US so apathetic when it comes to the knowledge of the relationship between the US and Israel? Why would Israel hold such a large stake in the outcome of the election of the President of the United States when the average American doesn’t seem to care about the Israeli elections or the dangerous manner in which the Israeli government is conneted to the American government?