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September 14 2019
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Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem.

Israel goes to the polls next Tuesday in what’s surely the strangest election in that country’s history. It’s an Israeli version of Groundhog Day, where voters are being asked to replay an election that took place just months ago. The leading candidates are the same. The issues are the same. And the political crisis that got them to this peculiar pass? The same.

A bit of background: Israel doesn’t have a dominant political party anymore, only a shifting menu of lesser ones. After last April’s election, Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu was unable to muster enough Knesset seats to form a governing majority, mostly thanks to fellow right-winger Avigdor “Evet” Lieberman, who pulled his own party’s support at the last minute. Instead, Netanyahu proposed a re-do, and, incredibly, the just elected Knesset agreed, unceremoniously dissolving itself only a month after being sworn in.

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