My election misery


By Orlando Radice
October 12, 2012
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For election-watchers, a cursory glance at the candidates likely to be battling it out in Israel next January is enough to make you roll over and go to sleep. But it’s not because Ehud Olmert (as yet undeclared), Shaul Mofaz, Avigdor Lieberman (if he survives his criminal indictment) or Shelly Yachimovich are especially monochrome political characters.

It’s just that, at the moment, the outcome looks entirely predictable. Assuming the candidates mentioned above run, none look like coming close to budging Benjamin Netanyahu.

While his opponents have spectacularly failed to capitalise on widespread anger about wealth distribution and lack of progress towards peace, Mr Netanyahu has been busy picking up votes in all areas of the political spectrum and on other issues. The Israeli religious right admire the way he has stood up to the secular, especially over the pared-down legislation to force Charedim to join the army, and his hard line on Iran has won him backing across the board. There is also considerable admiration for the respect he commands from the diaspora and beyond: it was reported this week that 97 per cent of his electoral campaign cash comes from foreign donors.

None of which is especially encouraging. While Mr Netanyahu is right to put Iran somewhere at the top of his agenda, continuing to ignore the peace process and a two-state solution will, ultimately, be a catastrophe for Israel. Olmert may be a convicted criminal but he understands the urgent need for two states – remember how close he came to unpicking the deadlock in 2008. Let’s hope he throws his tainted hat into the ring.

COMMENTS

Real Real Zionist

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:49

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Orlando I agree that Olmert is the best available to Israel.

Despite his ( many ) flaws he is at least a realist and realism is what Israel needs above all else. The la la land that Netanyahu and Lieberman inhabit is likely to prove catastrophic.

They have decided there is no solution because they know that any solution they could accept would not be acceptable to the world at large.

So we have a " no solution just management" policy. Manage the situation and hope everything turns out ok.

It won't.

Time is not on Israel's side.


Advis3r

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:59

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Isn't it cute how a fake Zionist considers his opinion on the forthcoming Israeli Elections is worth anyone's time. Should Olmert be foolish enough to return to politics the common view in Israel is that it would mark one of the lowest points in Israeli political history. However as they say the country gets the Government it deserves - unlike the fake Zionist at least I will have - albeit however small - some say in the outcome of those elections. As for time - the nay sayers were telling us that for two thousand years!

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