Translating to English from Israeli politician-ish

From political speak to an understandable language.

March 14, 2018 08:26
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

It is a common occurrence for politicians to say what they believe the people want to hear – and not what they really mean. That practice was more pronounced than ever during the political crisis that finally ended Tuesday with the deal that prevented an early election.

One particularly common lie is that politicians do not want to go to an election. If they are doing well in the polls, they actually often do want an election but do not want to be blamed for it; That can explain behavior by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days that was seen as zigzagging.

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The public rarely wants to go early to the polls. A survey taken by pollsters Mano Eva and Mina Tzemach for Channel 2 found that 54% of the public opposes an early election and just 30% want one.

A group of visiting American dignitaries who attended Netanyahu’s Knesset speech Monday said they were impressed by his impassioned plea to keep his coalition together. They were shocked to hear afterward that Netanyahu’s aides were seeking votes for an early election at Netanyahu’s orders as he spoke.

Therefore, as a service to the readers of The Jerusalem Post, rather than merely translate what politicians say from Hebrew to English as usual, here are translations of what the politicians say to what they actually mean.


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