It’s always good to escape Israel for a couple weeks – to clear one’s the head from the barrage of security concerns and political manoeuvring that dominates the Israeli news cycle. Thus I escaped to northern Europe for a couple of weeks, forcing myself to avoid all possible contact with Israeli news websites or my over-bloated Twitter feed (a battlefield of leftist/rightist hyperbole).
Back ‘home’ the first Israeli newspapers I stumbled across were covered with the news that we will be having early elections – presumably late January.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to call for early election was hardly unexpected. The nature of Israeli politics with its broad (and historically shaky) coalition governments means that it is rare that any government lasts its scheduled term. Now we can ‘look forward’ to three months of electioneering and intense political horse-trading as parties position themselves accordingly – with the prospect of yet another hodgepodge coalition government a given.
It’s hard to be enthused by this election, which is undoubtedly going to be dominated by the Iran, with Benjamin Netanyahu likely to cast the election as referendum on his plan to deal with Iran militarily in the coming year. I am curious to see to what extent the Israeli-Palestinian issue or the increased cost of living in Israel will be debated, and what solutions, if any, the various parties will offer on these issues. Though I am definitely not getting my hopes up.
I will try my best to keep you posted…