January 24, 2013

Israel elections: the predictions were correct

Before the elections in Israel were held there were predictions that Netanyahu would win but with an enlarged opposition to his right or with his inclusion of more right wing forces than even his own in Likud and Yisrael Beteinu.  Those predictions were largely correct if we ignore party labels and focus on policy and ideology.

Here's Azmi Bishara:
There is an ill-conceived and widespread view that the latest Israeli Knesset elections have created a new balance of powers, with the seats being divided 60-60, and that this stands in the way of a new governing coalition. Yet Yaer Lapid’s new party, which secured 19 seats, is neither leftist nor centrist but a right-wing party, albeit one which is secular, hence the confusion. Lapid is willing to join Netanyahu in a coalition with a few minor conditions, namely the limitation of the religious parties’ power and increased influence for middle class Israelis in dictating domestic and economic policies. The Palestinian cause is of no great consequence to Lapid and he is not a novelty in Israeli politics.

I'm gratified that his response is similar to my own in a comment yesterday:
I think calling him a centrist has been one of those sleights of hand we see whenever Israeli politics is discussed in the MSM. His big thing is secularism, insofar as zionism can be secular. He's still a great believer in Jewish supremacy, as you see from his "I am a Zionist" piece in YNET.
Did the Knesset move to the right or did it stay where it was?  It's literally impossible to tell given the Orwellian way in which these racist parties are labelled and described. The question is why are so many commentators to keen to portray any of these racist ethnic cleansing parties as being on the left?

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