As in the past, these parties may well have the opportunity to change the character of the country, especially in a coalition with Netanyahu and the more extreme religious-nationalist right. Thus, it is not only the ultra-Orthodox parties that could change the character of Israel if Netanyahu once again struggles to form a coalition after 17 September.
Results for Tag: Netanyahu
Sadly, while most of the Arab countries were edging ever closer to Israel in recent years because of their common enemy Iran, the result of these elections will certainly deter further improvement of relations between Israel and Arab states. As a result, Israel’s regional isolation will only increase. Moreover, Israel’s very democracy, which has for past few years been teetering on the edge, is now poised to fall.
Yet a deeper explanation of the results lies not only with the tactics employed but also with changing demographics in Israeli society and growing internal divisions. It is also important to note the years of relative calm Israelis have experienced despite the con-inued occupation. Indeed, the occupation was rarely mentioned during the election campaign, except by the small parties on the left. Nor was the economy much of an issue. People may complain about the cost of living, especially the cost of housing, or poor hospital conditions. But the past several years have seen no economic crisis, and the economy appears to be running smoothly.
Despite the immediate headlines, Trump’s tweet has little significance for the Heights. The international community, including the UN, is not going to shift its position on their status. And, while Netanyahu may be boosted, the Israeli presence will continue to depend on the strength of arms, the expansion of settlements and the acceptance of actors such as Russia.
Israelis are more concerned with their economy and their security. Though they would like to resolve their long-running conflict with the Palestinians, or at least “separate” themselves from Palestinians and stop ruling over them in the West Bank, most Israelis see no safe or easy way to do so. However unsatisfactory it is, the status quo is bearable for them.
So far, this speculation is undermining discussion about the real issues facing Israelis today: the occupation, emerging apartheid, the anti-democratic nature of recent legislation, government incitement and racism. Only anti-corruption is accorded a central place and only because there are four cases pending against Netanyahu. A decision on whether he will be indicted will be announced before the elections.
With general elections set for April 2019, he has emerged as the only candidate with a real chance of unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Moreover, electing Gantz represents a first step toward reversing the country’s drift to the right, leaving the elaboration of policies and plans for the new, centrist government coalition.