04/05/2012

Early Elections in Israel: a dangerous year? No risk

The decision of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to call early elections in Israel, probably on 4th September is put into perspective a national context which is always more favourable day by day. Indeed, the current Prime Minister always rises, according to Haaretz, 48% of Israelis who believe it is the best candidate at his re-election.

His coalition government, which doesn’t support any concession to the Palestinians, to Iran and to its close neighbours in political transformation, resists well. Actually, Bibi has avoided the mistake made in 1996, when for the first time Prime Minister, seeking a dialogue with the Palestinians and the Syrians, he had caused the fall of his majority. Today, it’s installed and the main reason that becoming a principal political strategy is simple: the status quo and the intransigence.

Status quo about the Palestinians, where negotiations haven’t clearly taken on the creation of a Palestinian State, on the resolution of the conflict that animates the belligerents for 64 years, the colonization of territories and accelerated Judaization of East Jerusalem. Status quo about the protesters of the largest social protests that the State has seen in last summer: a few scoops were taken after one year on housing, indexation of prices, but nothing more. The priority of the State lies elsewhere: its immediate environment and its safety.

Looking anxiously the political development in Egypt, almost regretting the stability provided by Mubarak and the peace treaty signed by Sadat in 1978, Netanyahu monitors across Syria and Bashar al-Assad. Objectively, the tyrant has brought unprecedented stability to the Jewish State, but the idea of ​​a civil war, if Bashar al-Assad fell, worries the Israelis at the highest level. Finally, status quo in the political landscape, where intolerance and firmness of a right-wing government and extreme right in respect of the international community, Palestinians and Arabs in general, allowed at Likoud to remain in the first part of in the State. This strategy has helped the collapse of the party regarded as moderate Kadima, the party of former Prime Minister Tzipi Livni who failed in his re-election being removed from the primary after being maintained in opposition; finally, existential crisis of the Labour Party with Ehud Barak, ever-present Minister of Defence that has long been associated and who now openly knock at the door of the Likud, despite the creation of his Hatzmaout party.

Is the opportunity for the Israeli left to return plausible after 10 years of collapse? The transformation of the events trial of last summer hasn’t allowed the reconstruction of a real Labour opposition force, even if the party is now the leading opposition force in the State. However, voting intentions for Shelly Yachimovich, former presenter of the TV, only peaked to 15%. Benjamin Netanyahu remains the undisputed master in his castle. He became the lord of a secluded country estate each additional day in its regional environment, but also internationally.

The idea of ​​a strike against Iranian installations, in coordination with the U.S., is far from being achieved. Barack Obama hasn’t any interested in the campaign for his re-election of next November. And the latest polls of Israeli public opinion reflect the uncertainty of a dangerous choice for the State: indeed, 44% of Israelis believe that after an attack of Tehran, the regime said that Mullahs will be reinforced, 45% think it’ll be weakened. But worse: only 19% of Israelis believe that Israel may attack Iran alone, against 42% applicant logistical and policy support of U.S. The Israeli Army isn’t infallible and is long time that it didn’t win a war: on Lebanon, in 2006, was a failure such as “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza in 2008. Finally, a sign of nervousness of Israelis interviewed in the same survey of Sadat Chair at the University of Maryland with the support of Dahaf Institute in Israel: 22% think that the operation against Iran would last for years, 29% for months, and 19% for weeks. Enough to understand why Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the voters for ensure the support of his people, even though they were more than 400,000 in the challenge of last summer to protest against the country’s budget choices. Now the defence represents 30% of the State budget. The Israelis want the social: Netanyahu doesn’t take much risk because it hasn’t serious opponent at the moment. Not even Yair Lapid, a former journalist at Maariv, far behind him but he has created his party Yesh Atid and making his buzz right now. Can someone of civil society, as Lapid or Yachimovich, counter the power of the generals, political leaders of the eternal State for almost 65 years? A way out of the impasse of military obsessed by the only security of the State? A political and social hope to recreate a real opposition force in a democracy undermined? It should, because the social crisis in Israel is increasing, and the cost of a war of several months or even years with Iran could be fatal to the State: in terms of image, in terms of policy, but also in terms of economy, the sinews of war in a State with a flourishing economy, but a rich State of poor people. A third of Israelis are below the poverty line.

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