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For those observing, may we wish you a healthy, safe, and sweet 5781.

Israeli Election Clock Counts Down to April 9

The abundance of ways to get news “real time” has opened new markets for media coverage of the Israeli elections. It used to be limited to those with a very personal connection: family, immigrants or emigrants, significant business connections, etc. Without delving into the reasons for such profound interest, suffice it to note that here at The Media Line we are hearing more from our readers and viewers than ever before. Many of the comments are, as one writer suggested, “a great example of why you couldn’t make this stuff up.” Non-Israelis-American-version seem fascinated with the ease with which new parties are born and the horse-trading that goes on between them. We received a great deal of reaction to Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked bolting from their party (“Who leaves the party they already head? Asked more than a few). Some admitting being “blown away” by the early indications that they were “crazy like foxes.” Avi Gabbay’s gambit was seen through different perspectives, perhaps some of it because the intricacies of the multi-party system are not well known outside of the country. Notable that not one note took Livni’s “chauvinism” charge seriously; nor were there any serious attempts to defend or sympathize with Livni. And some – obviously more invested in the country than most – quoted Haaretz’s Yossi Verter’s reminder that “In this relationship Gabbay was the battered wife.” Having noted the above, it must be said that far and away the predominant concern expressed by Americans was (1) will Bibi go to jail? and (2) who will replace Netanyahu? [Editor’s note: The election is April 9 – and lots coverage before we get there. Make sure your friends and relatives are on the distribution list for The Media Line’s Mideast Daily News – that’s it you’re reading now. Send email address, name and location to: editor@themedialine.org for a free subscription.]

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