The first reaction of the Israeli Right to the possible revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations has been to rush legislation ensuring a referendum on a future agreement. The idea is to supplement Israel’s 2010 law with provisions that tailor it to apply to any kind of agreement (the existing law passed in 2010 is somewhat more limited), and to make it harder to overturn such a law. A recent poll I conducted for Open Zion at The Daily Beast among Jewish Israelis showed that a clear majority of respondents – 53 percent to 34 percent – prefer to hold a…Read More... | 17 Comments
The answer is not in the government - which would deepen inequality and won't be willing or able to end the occupation - but in the unusual alliances that could be formed in the opposition. Benjamin Netanyahu has until the end of next week to introduce his new government. All indications show that it will likely include Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party (19 seats), Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home (the settler's party, with 12 seats), Kadima (2) and perhaps Tzipi Livni (6). Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu is already part of the Likud, so it will also be in the coalition, which…Read More... | 23 Comments
There are two new elections polls out, both following the trends of the last few weeks. First, Netanyahu's right-Orthodox bloc is pulling ahead, now polling 67.5 seats in our average (out of the Knesset's 120). As I argued when the elections were called, it's clear that no candidate but Netanyahu will be able to form the next government. But another story is unfolding before our eyes, and that's the rise of the extreme right. The National Religious Party – traditionally the political home of the settlers – is now polling at around 13 seats. The more extreme Otzma LeYisrael, led…Read More... | 13 Comments
In a surprise move, former Labor leader Amir Peretz has joined Tzipi Livni's new party. Former defense minister and Labor leader Amir Peretz announced today that he will be leaving his party and joining Hatnua, the new party formed by Tzipi Livni. Peretz, who criticized current party leader Shelly Yachimovich for not having any diplomatic agenda, will be placed third on the new party's list – exactly the spot he held on Labor's list. This move – made just before the parties had to submit their final lists to the election committee – concluded a strange couple of weeks, in…Read More... | 16 Comments
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