In response to news that the Likud’s voter suppression bill failed to pass, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch released the following statement:
“Equal access, equal standing, and equal trust in the integrity of the system are critical parts of a healthy democratic country — the kind of country most Israelis want to live in. But Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political theater over the last few weeks has put Israeli democracy on thin ice. His tactics are both transparent and dangerous. He is pushing out the hard-right vote by demonizing broad swaths of citizens, labeling them “criminal” and playing into racist tropes and stereotypes.
“Netanyahu’s statements that Arab citizens of Israel are ‘stealing’ the election are an Israeli remix of Trump’s claim that the 2016 election was ‘rigged.’ Both fabricate stories about massive voter fraud; both set themselves up to discredit the electoral process down the line.
“Today’s Knesset committee decision stops this racist electioneering trick from going to the Knesset floor. It lets Israelis who believe in democracy and equality breathe a little easier. Still, Netanyahu’s disdain for democratic norms is rivaled only by his dedication to avoiding the legal consequences of his criminal actions. Voter suppression may not be legislated in the next few days, but the right’s assault on the rule of law and democracy in Israel is far from over.”