It is not surprising that 20 months after the last elections, the coalition has collapsed. Many issues are facing
including economy, social,
educational issues, as well as improving infra-structure and affordable housing
for young couples. Much money was funneled into the illegal settlement
enterprise - the baby of the ruling right wing at the expense of solving many
of these problems. Israel
The most important problem facing us is the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
relations with the US, EU
and many other countries in the world are influenced by the way deals
with this issue. We have not had any word yet on what the contesting parties
intend to do in order to jump start peace talks with the Palestinians. The
solution can only be achieved by negotiations with strong motivation on both
sides to end the conflict. Israel ’s
international image has never been as poor as it is since the Likud coalition
had been in power within the last couple of years. Israel
We all know what has occurred on all these various issues over the last 20 months especially. The Likud coalition has achieved very little in the economic sphere, prices have soared, salaries have remained static and there is hidden unemployment.
In July 2014, there was Operation Protective Edge and despite Hamas being heavily bruised, they were not defeated and the war ended inconclusively with Hamas coming out of their holes under the debris and massive destruction in
Time will tell how soon the next round of fighting between Gaza and
Hamas will recommence. Hamas has been holding massive demonstrations of
strength in rhetoric with their militants parading in army uniforms. The usual,
hate-filled stereotype slogans of fantasy and glory are becoming common place
in Israel Gaza Street
including the firing of an occasional missile into despite the cease-fire.
Nothing has been done to alleviate the stressful situation of the
citizens of Israel
including rehabilitation of homes destroyed in Operation Defensive Shield. Gaza
|Voting at the Polling Station in Israel|
In the background of all these security threats, Netanyahu's coalition partners have not been playing Netanyahu's game and were demanding various reforms that Netanyahu was not prepared to concede. He decided to hold elections in the hope that he will strengthen his hand after the elections assuming that his Likud Bloc is re-elected.
The Labor Party under Yitschak Herzog and Hatnuah Party under Tzippi Livni have decided to run on one ticket against the right to extreme right Netanyahu-led Likud bloc. These two party leaders have formed a center-left bloc and it remains to be seen who else will tag onto their list. Avigdor Lieberman, a right wing leader of Israel Beitenu, whose views on transference of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to the autonomous areas of the Palestinian Authority are well known, has indicated that he has no problem joining the left of center bloc or the right wing bloc, thus ensuring a seat for himself and a cabinet post in the new government.
The Shas Party of ultra-Orthodox Sephardim is splitting with the resignation of Eli Yishai, one of the leaders of the party, to form his own party. What is interesting is the new party formations such as Moshe Kahlon's right of center, Kolanu Party. If one seeks a party that has an ideology which has stood the test of time and with which one can identify, it will not be easy. Even the traditional difference between left wing and right wing is becoming more blurred than ever before.
The situation in
is very fluid electorally with new alliances forming between most
unlikely bedfellows which changes on a daily basis. The polls by the various
polling organizations show that the left of center block and right of center to
extreme right are garnering equal support of 50 - 50 with the center block,
Yesh Atid, holding the balance. The ultra-Orthodox Parties could support either
side. The split in Shas will cause Shas to lose a lot of support forcing it to
become marginal. Israel
The main blocs are bending over backwards to get support from doubtful voters. Party loyalty to any party other than being left or right wing is not as strong as it was in the past. The race seems to be for egotistical reasons by getting a seat in the Knesset at all costs even if it means changing loyalties.
The situation is very unpredictable at this stage and the various polls are showing trends rather than predicting who will win.
When one goes to vote, the voter will land up with a coalition that would be ungovernable and many people refuse to go out an vote for this reason.
When one is faced with such a strange mix of parties, many of whom do not reflect the desires of many voters makes the choice difficult. Partisan parties that are one-issue parties and only represent a section of the population rather than all
citizens is not good for the country. The newly elected government must
represent all Israel 's
citizens irrespective of race, color or creed and solve the various
communities' problems as they arise. Israel
It is preferable to vote for a party that will not sacrifice its ideology for coalition wheeling and dealing for the sake of a Knesset seat. There are very few parties in that category. The Arab parties are partisan and do not represent the interests of the Arab communities, who are citizens of
could have done this as well as being a bridge for facilitating peace talks
between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, rather than rabble-rousing
pro-Palestinian sentiments in the Knesset that were unproductive as well as
being divisive. The religious parties join any coalition in order to get money
for their yeshivot and religious coercion that is so-called "status
quo". They have no problem being part of any government coalition with the
exception of Eli Yishai's ultra-Orthodox breakaway party that has stated it
will support Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister. Israel
This leaves us with only two parties that over the years have retained their ideologies and will not join any coalition that is anathema to their ideology as well as being relatively non-partisan. These two parties are Meretz and Hadash, the latter is a joint Jewish-Arab party and is non-Zionist, while the former is left wing and Zionist with a social democratic basis that is social issues and peace-oriented. For those voters who still believe in integrity and no automatic tagging onto a coalition that is opportunistic and does not lead us to the reforms that are necessary for all Israel's citizens, are really faced with these two choices, including advancing the peace process as well as an end to the occupation.
There will also be no compromise on terror and no government, whether left or right, will tolerate a
State alongside Israel that is ruled by Hamas that will dig
tunnels to facilitate terrorist group infiltration into for
establishing an Islamic state and massacring hundreds of innocent civilians.
Hamas record of accomplishment for peace with Israel is non-existent by their
admission and charter. Israel