Gil Hoffman goes from polling station to polling station in Jerusalem’s diverse neighborhoods following around the candidates for mayor including Ofer Berkovitch, Moshe Lion and Ze’ev Elkin on Election Day. He hears the candidates hopes and fears in English and takes you behind the scenes on this festival of Israeli democracy. He even visits an empty polling station in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina where he does not see anyone coming to vote.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat is not running for re-election in next Tuesday’s municipal election after a decade in office. In an interview for The Jerusalem Post and The Land of Israel Network, he explains why he believes Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin is the only one of the four major candidates running suitable to replace him. Barkat bashes his former deputy mayor Ofer Berkovich, who leads in the polls, calling him a charlatan, as well as deputy mayor Moshe Lion, who he warns will be controlled by the parties that back him.

Likud MK Sharren Haskel, who heads the Israel-Australia Friendship caucus in the Knesset, talks to Gil Hoffman about why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t initiated elections yet, when she thinks the election will take place and why Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced he is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Gil also talks about the significance of Netanyahu starting to talk to the media and reveals which politician came to an interview unprepared.

Gil Hoffman explains all the different political possibilities for the months ahead and compares the craziness in the political systems in Israel and the United States. He goes into all the factors that will decide the timetable for Israel’s next election in 2019 and why the period after the election could be even more exciting than the race itself. Lastly, Gil apologizes for the “shallow coverage” of the current municipal elections by himself and the rest of the Israeli media, yet vows to continue more of the same.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/State Department Photo Public Domain

Gil Hoffman speaks to veteran Israeli political insider Tal Shalev, who just returned from accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to New York, about what happened behind the scenes at the United Nations General Assembly. Hoffman and Shalev speculate about when the next Israeli election will be held and when US President Donald Trump will reveal his ultimate deal plan for Middle East peace.

Photo Credit: Office of the Prime Minister of Israel

Gil Hoffman speaks about the challenges of Israeli democracy, as Arab MKs are en route to the European Union to seek condemnation of the Jewish state and writing letters defending the antiSemitism of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and right-wing Jewish MKs are saying Arab MKs and Arabs in general are unwanted.
He also gives listeners an update on the state of the award-winning honey farm in Samaria that he visited last year after it was ransacked by Arab vandals just ahead of the Rosh Hashana holiday. (To listen to last years show click here.)

Are American Jewish leaders deliberately misleading the public when they blame Israeli policies for the widening rift between Israel and progressive, young US Jews to make up for their own failures in reaching out to them? Rabbi David Eliezrie, who is Chabad’s liaison to the American Jewish establishment thinks so, and tells it to their face and to Gil Hoffman on this week’s Inside Israel Today. Eliezrie says the problem is not with the Jewish Nation-State Law or the broken compromise on the Western Wall but with the lack of Jewish education for non-Orthodox Jewish children and follow up programs to Birthright Israel. He also questions whether Reform or Conservative Jewish leaders can still claim to speak for a majority of US Jews due to their dwindling membership. But he gives hope that in Israel, trends are going in a more positive direction.

Gil Hoffman and Peggy Cidor, who have been covering the exciting race to succeed Nir Barkat as mayor of Jerusalem for The Jerusalem Post analyze who has the best chance to win the October 30 election. Hoffman provides audio from a political event in the holy city. Cidor, who has been covering municipal politics for 20 years, explains why this election is different than all mayoral races in the city in the past. She also answers what Barkat’s chances are to succeed Benjamin Netanyahu and become prime minister of Israel one day.

Gil Hoffman broadcasts live from the Knesset, which is supposed to be in what Israelis call “cucumber season,”  when no news happens. He explains why the news from the empty parliament building is surprisingly intense now.
He then interviews Rabbi Ari Koretzky of the Meor Jewish outreach program at the University of Maryland about the fight for Israel on college campuses.

Isaac Herzog explains why he left his jobs as opposition leader in the Knesset and a Knesset member in the Zionist Union for the chairmanship of the Jewish Agency in excerpts from his Jerusalem Post interview broadcast here with permission. Gil Hoffman asks him whether leaving the Zionist Union is akin to fleeing the sinking Titanic.

Gil then talks about the new head of the opposition, Tzipi Livni, and gives examples of how not to head an opposition that perhaps could come in handy for her, from protests this week, from demonstrations that failed to prevent the Gaza Strip withdrawal this week 13 years ago, and from a Jerusalem city council member who claims to know the ways of God.

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