Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Potential Political Turnabouts in USA, Israel

As America faces the possibility of a political turn to the left, Israel may be turning hard to the right. Here is the news about the up-coming election in Israel.

Polls show Kadima running slightly ahead of the right-wing Likud, led by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. However, they also show Likud's bloc of right-wing and religious parties running well ahead of Kadima's center-left alliance.

At this point, Livni and Netanyahu seem to have a roughly equal chance of becoming premier, and the next Israeli government could well be a "national unity" coalition including both major parties, with the prime ministership going to the stronger party's leader.

Given the hawkishness of Likud and its religious allies, a national unity government does not portend progress in the long-paralyzed Israeli-Arab peace process.

The second-most-likely alternative, a narrow, right-religious government, might even threaten the current lull in fighting between Israel and its enemies.

Until late last month, there seemed a small chance that Livni, on the strength of her personal appeal, might galvanize the Israeli body politic and lead a government ready to trade land for peace with the Palestinians and Syrians, which would bring the Israeli-Arab conflict to all but an end.

This week, that small chance disappeared. Now the best Livni and the Israeli peace camp can probably hope for is that Kadima will win enough votes to neutralize Netanyahu's hard-line policies.

Read it all here.

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