Israeli elections

Analysis: Lieberman could still lose

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 12, 2009

President Shimon Peres, during his visit to Britain three months ago, spent a good deal of his time reassuring senior British politicians and opinion-makers that a Likud government with Binyamin Netanyahu at its helm would not automatically mean the end of Israel’s involvement in the peace process.

That was before the surge of Yisrael Beitenu in the polls and Avigdor Lieberman’s emergence as the new kingmaker of Israelis politics. Now the urbane Netanyahu with his American-accented English seems almost cuddly by comparison.

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Analysis: Obama knows Likud’s power

By Shmuel Rosner, February 12, 2009

The Obama administration wanted a decisive Kadima victory, putting Tzipi Livni at the helm of Israel’s next coalition. But just as Israelis want the next government to be a unity one, so the nascent US administration, patiently waiting for its Israeli partner, feels that such an outcome would be tolerable.

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Analysis: Arab view bleaker than ever

By Ben Lynfield, February 12, 2009

Whatever coalition emerges from this week’s election, the new government’s tenure promises to be a bleak period with scant progress towards a negotiated solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to analysts on both sides of the divide.

The election is part of a process under way since the breakdown of the Camp David talks in 2000 in which hard-liners on both sides are fuelling each other. The intifada brought Ariel Sharon to power, while Sharon’s policies contributed to the victory of Hamas in the January 2006 Palestinian elections.

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Analysis: Time to overhaul the voting system

By Jeff Barak, February 12, 2009

Although he is likely to become Israel’s next prime minister, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu in essence lost this week’s elections. A month ago, Likud enjoyed a double-digit lead over Kadima and it seemed as if the only problem Netanyahu would face would be who to not include in his coalition. Now, if Netanyahu is to return to the Prime Minister’s Office, he has no choice but to form, at least initially, the most right-wing government in Israel’s history — regardless of his own preference for a more centrist coalition based on a national unity government.

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Seeds sown for a Green surprise

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 5, 2009

Every Israeli election throws up a host of unlikely political mutations — the result of attempts to cross the electoral threshold and gain a seat in the Knesset. Next week’s polls will be no exception.

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National race gets fresh faces

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

A raft of political newcomers and veterans have already entered the fray of Israel's election season.

This week's most prominent debut was of Benny Begin, the son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who will return to the Likud almost a decade after leaving in protest at Binyamin Netanyahu's acceptance of the Oslo Accords. Another recruit to Likud was Brigadier-General (Res) Miri Regev, the former IDF spokeswoman.

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Record number of women standing to become mayors

By Simon Griver, November 6, 2008

A record number of women are to stand in next week's municipal elections all over Israel.

There will be 40 women standing for mayor, or head of local councils, in the elections, representing a 40 per cent increase over the 2003 elections.

Female representation in this political sector is lower than in the Knesset, where 14 per cent of members are women. There are 245 municipalities and councils in Israel but there have only ever been 10 female mayors.

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Communist a hot ticket in Tel Aviv polls

By Michal Levertov, November 6, 2008

An unlikely candidate has emerged as a viable contender in the race to be the next Tel Aviv mayor - and turned a sleepy campaign into an ideological struggle over the city's future.

Dov Khenin, an MK for the non-Zionist Hadash [Communist party], is predicted to win nearly a quarter of the votes when the city goes to the polls on November 11, and may face a run-off against the incumbent Ron Huldai.

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