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Ira Sharkansky


Sharkansksy is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University.  He may be contacted via ira.sharkansky@sdjewishworld.com 

Thirty-sixth government of Israel at Beit HaNassi to photograph the traditional picture headed by the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin. Monday, 14 June 2021. Photo credit: Haim Tzach / GPO.

Cracks in Israel’s Government Coalition, Opposition

Some instances from the beginning of Israel’s new government: Likud has picked on a law of family reunification in order to embarrass, and perhaps defeat the Bennett-Lapid government. It’s a law that prevents Palestinians, who...

Even Without Bibi, Israeli Politics Will Be Muddled

Yair Lapid has a few days left in his mandate. Possibilities exist, commentators bet against him a few days ago. Now not so sure.. Naftali Bennett has decided against Netanyahu, and Bibi has responded with...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on March 12, 2020. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL.

Is it the end of Bibi’s era?

Is Bibi finished? Not yet, but the signs indicate that his end may be near. He’s had a long run. He served as Prime Minister during 1996-99, and again from 2009 to the present. That makes...
Photo: Jennie Robinson Faber

Israeli Election Analysis at the Seder Table

As the Passover holiday came upon us, we tried to put aside politics for a family celebration. There were two children, plus spouses, and six grandchildren at our Seder. Unsurprisingly,  the talk was more...
Photo: Israeli 2013 election ballots (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Impossible to say who’ll win Israel’s upcoming election

Where are we now? Who knows? Indications of infections are down. The parties and religious events at Purim do not seem to have produced an increase. Widespread inoculations are the explanation. They work to prevent a...
Israeli election ballots, April 9, 2019. Credit: Laliv G. via Wikimedia Commons.

Alignments shifting as Israel heads for new elections

Less than three months to the election, there are clear signs that things are changing. New parties; individual activists, some abandonment of Likud; lots of anti-Bibi. The major new players are Gideon Sa’ar, Naftali Bennett,...
Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whatever happened to Israel’s Labor party?

Remember the greats of Israeli politics. David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres? And the Labor Party, dominating politics from 1948 to 1977? Golda Meir won 49 seats in the election of 1969, and Yitzhak...
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020. Source: Screenshot.

Israeli, U.S. Jews split on Biden vs. Trump

Jews are sharply divided. Here, in Israel, close to or more than 70 percent support Donald Trump, and only 30 percent or less support Joe Biden. In America, among Jews, the figures are opposite. Polls...

COVID-19 impacts health, politics in U.S., Israel

My last column, about Israel’s perils of September, brought forth several comments about similarities elsewhere. No surprise, except for a friend’s note about the correspondence between disease and populism, often distorted with wild claims as...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, June 30, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Pandemic, opposition to Netanyahu mark August

Dog days of August? Or political morass, with no effective leadership? And wandering amidst a pandemic that can be ignored. By some. Israel has recently been mired in a quarrel as to whether to budget...