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Today is Election Day in Israel

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It’s the first time Israelis will directly elect their Prime Minister. Polls show the race between Labor Party leader Shimon Peres and Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu is too close to call. Four million Israelis are expected to cast ballots today in an election that’s essentially a referendum on the peace process, the future of Jerusalem and the issue of Israeli security. 25,000 police and soldiers are on high alert in Israel today. Ari Shavit, columnist for Ha’aretz, a Hebrew language newspaper In Jerusalem. Shavit has received international attention for a recent column re-published in the New York Times condemning the Israeli attack on a Lebanese refugee camp that killed dozens of civilians. In his piece, he challenged the silence of the Israeli peace movement on the carnage at Qana.

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