Election fever is officially rife in the state of Israel as the nation – gifted for the first time since 1986 with a day-off to ponder the political landscape – votes on Tuesday for mayors and municipal councils. Also fanning flames is the growing belief that Prime Minister Netanyahu will soon call for elections. In the U.S. meanwhile, with the intensely important midterm elections a mere week away, Israel is again displaying its uncanny talent for inserting itself into the American political process – a skill-set many American Jews opine they could live without. Within the realm of Israel’s domestic politics, the elected official most visible on the international scene, albeit in a bully-pulpit sort of way, is the mayor of Jerusalem. With a distinctly lackluster field, that election’s results will be felt only when the picture of the new mayor’s weltanschauung and sense of the holy city’s universality becomes clear. But what is hot and growing hotter is the once taboo-to-speak-about issue of the onset of the post-absolute-bipartisanship-regarding-Israel era and the fiercely debated suggestion that Israel is rapidly becoming a one-party cause in the U.S. Not long ago, it would have been beyond the pale to expect Israeli officials to distance themselves from a sitting American president, but we’re seeing more than that. Based on inquiries we receive at The Media Line from broadcasters and journalists states-side who ask penetrating questions about political relationships once off-limits for popular discourse, clearly ‘the times, they are a-changing.’ A sad note made even sadder: seeing the unbridled political posturing polluting the somberness of the aftermath of the Pittsburgh shootings, some of which involving Israeli emissaries.
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