April 10, 2019

In an Israeli election where Benjamin Netanyahu was fighting for his political life, his Likud party drafted activists and poll workers to sneak cameras into election sites to film citizens voting. The race is still too close to call, with Netanyahu having campaigned on ever-farther right-wing policies in the hopes of winning, a la Trump-style. The two are literally thick as thieves.

Filming at election sites is illegal, but in Arab neighborhoods, Likud party poll workers and activists hid them in their clothing and filmed. According to The Times of Israel,

Some of the cameras were hidden on the bodies of activists and observers from the party, and some were said to be installed in the polling stations. Other right-wing activists were also reportedly involved.

The effort included devices planted in Arab towns throughout the Galilee and Negev, and in Arab-majority areas in Haifa, Nazareth, and elsewhere.

Activists deployed the cameras in areas where they suspected there could be “problematic” levels of election fraud, according to the Ynet website.

Apparently cameras were also installed in some polling places of Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, where irregularities were suspected in the past.

When people who were filming were confronted, they admitted they were being employed by Likud, and had their cameras taken away. They were permitted to stay at the polling places, though, and continue in their capacities as election workers. And when Netanyahu was challenged about his party's illegal election-day activities, he simply deflected, saying, “There should be cameras everywhere, not hidden ones.” In order to make sure there is a "fair vote."

The left-wing parties think otherwise, especially the two left-wing Arab parties running. According to one of them, Balad,

Balad said it "received a message that right-wing activists are disrupting the electoral process in Arab towns by means of wiretapping and hidden cameras [in order] to deter the Arab public from voting. ... We do not give in to the attempts to delegitimize us."

The other, Hadash Tal said,

"the extreme Right understands our power well in overthrowing the government and has crossed every border, using illegal means in an attempt to intervene and prevent Arab citizens from voting — but we, too, understand our strength."

It's a clear attempt at voter intimidation.

Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking his fifth term as Israel's Prime Minister, despite being under indictment in three corruption cases. Sound like anyone we know over here in this country? I mean, minus the indictments, of course.

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