Israeli election results a foregone conclusion?

December 9, 2012 - 1:09 AM by

The dust seems to be clearing from the path to the upcoming elections in Israel, with the deadline to declare parties and their lists having passed at the end of the week.

What’s become evident from that clearing is that the next prime minister of Israel is going to be the current prime minister of Israel – Binyamin Netanyahu – and the government he forms won’t be vastly different from the current one.

That assessment is based on the fact that Netanyahu’s main opponents were unable to find enough common ground – or their egos wouldn’t allow them to do so – to band together in a common goal of beating him.

So instead of one possibly powerful center-left coalition made up of the Labor Party led by Shelli Yacimovitz, Kadima led by Shaul Mofaz, Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party and Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid, they’re all running separately, almost insuring a split in votes and none of them coming close to reaching the expected tally of the Likud/Israel Beteinu list. Forget the fact the the seemingly hugely unpopular Ehud Olmert – ironically seen as the one unifying figure to pull the elements together – decided not to run.

So, it looks like we can look forward to four more years of the Bibi-Obama soap opera – do they hate each other, will they meet, does anybody really care? This will undoubtedly be a fateful period, with the Iranian situation coming to a boil, the newly empowered Palestinian Authority flaunting their new UN status, and Israeli being roundly roughed up for its settlements policy.

Whether most voters go to the polls on January 22 with those issues in mind, or like Americans, focus on their pocketbooks and the economic future of their country, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about the results. So love him or hate him, let’s be prepared to welcome second term prime minister Netanyahu, and hope that he can steer the country through its challenging times.

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