Arab and Israelis journalists analyze the Israeli elections

Arab and Israelis journalists analyze the Israeli elections
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Journalists Mohammed Najib based in Ramallah and Seth Frantzman offer their analysis of the March 17, 2015 Israeli elections and what they mean. Najib, a Palestinian based in Ramallah, Palestine, and Frantzman, an Israeli based in Jerusalem, each discuss what they believe is the significance of the elections, the potential outcomes and the surprise performance of the Arab Joint List.

By Ray Hanania

RayHanania03-2015NameThmbThe conflict between Israel and Palestine is often broken down to its most base components, black and white issues that tend to appeal to the extremes and to emotions. But, when you drill down deep into the conflict and try to understand what is happening, you can quickly see that the conflict is complicated and that the people involved are a truly complex mix of views and attitudes that may surprises even the most seasoned Middle East conflict watchers.

The recent Israeli elections held on March 17, 2015 offered some disappointments for the peace activists and surprises for political junkies. And two journalists take time to offer their perspectives on what the elections in Israel really mean.

The two interviews were on my weekly radio show broadcast live on YahalaVoice.Com radio. The show is broadcast every Friday and this week will shift times from 4 pm to 3:30 pm every Friday CST Central Chicago Time. The show is also broadcast live on radio in Chicago on 1450 AM.

Journalist Mohammed Najib, based in Ramallah, Palestine

Journalist Mohammed Najib, based in Ramallah, Palestine

The first interview is with Mohammed Najib, a Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah in Palestine. Najib discusses the election results and the battle being waged for freedom by popular Palestinian Israeli Knesset member Haneen Zoabi.

Najib interviewed Zoabi before the radio show and discusses her strategies and concepts of what challenges exist for Israeli and Palestinian relations.

Najib was interviewed on Friday March 20, 2015 and broadcast live on “Talk of the Town Radio” on and on 1450 AM Radio. The show is rerbroadcast every Monday at 11 AM CST Chicago time also.

The second interview is with Seth Frantzman, the Op-Ed Page editor of the English-language Jerusalem Post, where I wrote a weekly column for three years analyzing Middle East and Palestinian-Israeli issues.

Seth J. Frantzman speaking at a Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies conference in 2011 (Photo by Yonit Shiller from Frantzman's website

Seth J. Frantzman speaking at a Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies conference in 2011 (Photo by Yonit Shiller from Frantzman’s website

Frantzman offers some deep insight into the Israeli psyche and the challenges facing Israel, including on the issue of civil rights and discrimination. He also notes that while he expects Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form and head a new government, that the government will be challenged.

Frantzman was interviewed on Friday March 27, 2015 and broadcast live on “Talk of the Town Radio” on and on 1450 AM Radio. The show is rebroadcast every Monday at 11 AM CST Chicago time also.

Both journalists agree that the big story from the election was the surprise strong showing of the Arab Joint List which consolidated three of Israel’s top three Arab Parties into one election campaign, resulting in winning 13 seats and making it the 3rd largest Israeli party behind Netanyahu’s Likud Party (30 seats) and the Zionist Union Party of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni (24 seats).

Remember, the new time of the Talk of the Town Radio show is now 3:30 PM CST Chicago time on Fridays and can be best heard live online at The show plays automatically and you don’t have to download any apps to play or listen. Join us every Friday at 3:30 PM every Friday as we explore the complexities of the Middle East.

“Talk of the Town” Radio is sponsored by The Arab Daily News online news website.

You can listen to the two podcasts of the radio interviews with Najiba nd Frantzman by using the audio players below, or by clicking here:

Mohammed Najib Interview March 20, 2015:

Seth Frantzman Interview March 27, 2015:

(Ray Hanania is the managing editor of The Arab Daily News online news website and the host of Talk of the Town Radio broadcast live every Friday. He can be reached at His personal website is

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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