Israel. Election. Those two words on their own can induce panic attacks among certain segments of the population. Put ‘em together and they trigger a veritable onslaught of political thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Rachel Fish
Rachel Fish (Courtesy photo)

Now picture yourself as an Israeli. (Or, if you are one, go to a nearby mirror.) Imagine having a high-stress, hotly contested national election after a particularly brutal campaign. Throw in allegations of voter intimidation, a legal dark cloud over the country’s prime minister and a glaring international spotlight.

Freaked out yet? Yeah, we thought so. With one election just barely over, another is set for September. That’s right—Israel is going to have a second national election. Why is this happening, what’s at stake and what might happen during Israel’s election re-do?

Yehudah Mirsky
Yehudah Mirsky (Courtesy photo)

We turned to the experts for help. Rachel Fish, senior advisor and resident scholar of Jewish and Israel philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation, and Yehudah Mirsky, professor of Near Eastern and Judaic studies and a faculty member of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, offer their analyses, observations and hot takes on the myriad factors that got us here. Plus, they thoughtfully suggest why Americans, and American Jews in particular, should care.

Edited by Jesse Ulrich, with music by Ryan J. Sullivan.