Netayahu’s ‘gevalt’ campaign has already begun

An election seems inevitable at this point. The chain of events that began with a botched operation in Gaza – followed by Hamas shooting more rockets in one day than ever before, a ceasefire and Avigdor Liberman resigning as defense minister – have led us straight to the other coalition partners saying that there is no way to salvage this government.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still says he’s trying to keep the coalition intact, and accused other party leaders of being irresponsible and acting out of personal interests, in a televised statement on Sunday.

Netanyahu is using the tactic known as gevalt, a Yiddish expression of alarm, which in the political context means he is trying to scare people. It has worked before. In the weeks ahead of the 2015 election, the term “gevalt campaign” was coined to describe Netanyahu going to just about every radio and TV station to make his case to the public, pleading that if they vote for smaller right-wing parties, the Likud will lose. In the end, despite the final election polls showing the Likud and Zionist Union being neck and neck, the Likud won 30 seats. Continue reading

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