While politicians attempt to form a new government, the wider issues that really matter to Palestinians are being ignoredIn my hometown of Tira, an Arab community in central Israel, word spread on election day last week of many residents deciding to vote at the last minute. During the campaign’s final weeks, families watched as the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu launched ferocious tirades about the threat of a “leftist-Arab government”. He told his followers the Arabs “want to annihilate us all”, and that they were “stealing” the elections through rampant voter fraud (his legislative attempts to place surveillance cameras at Arab polling stations failed to get through the Knesset).
Tira’s residents were no strangers to the prime minister’s history of racist incitement, but for many people his shocking escalations compelled a response. If they couldn’t stop him from winning, they thought, they would at least try to make his job as difficult as possible.