Israel’s Elections: Hope Springs Eternal


Posted by Bob Lord

Just when many of us, myself included, were about to slam the door on any hope of sane policy coming from the Israeli government, logic and reason magically prevailed in the Israeli election yesterday. Salon has a good summary of the results here. The results were not entirely magical, as a weakened Netanyahu likely will hold on to his position. But the center and left made enormous gains, despite predicitons throughout the media that Israel would be taking a sharp right turn.

The road ahead in Israel still is daunting, to say the least. Netanyahu, the most sucidal leader in the modern world, and his right-wing cronies will do all they can to push Israel into the abyss. But the election results give us some hope, something many of us had given up just a few days ago. I guess there's a reason they say "hope springs eternal."


  1. No matter how you look at it, the Israeli elections have returned a parliament that is 90-10 in favor of ethnocracy. Netanyahu and Lieberman are portrayed as “hawks” and on the right, while Labour, Kadima and Yesh Atid are lumped together as being center-left or moderate, but when it comes to the all-important question of Palestine, there isn’t really much difference in their views. No matter how the parties are classified, most of the Knesset is made up of parties who believe in maintaining a regime of Jewish privilege at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians. Their vision of a Jewish state means no return for Palestinian refugees, inequality for Palestinians with citizenship, and annexation of key sections of the West Bank.

  2. Interestingly, Israel and the US are the only countries in the Western world encountering this problem, and also the only ones where religion is a driving force in politics. Their isoloation was there for all to see in the recent Palestinian statehood vote at the UN. Ironically, their religion-influenced politics makes them more like the Muslim countries they often deplore than the Western countries with which they identify.

  3. Good news that the Israeli people haven’t bought into Netanyahu’s line completely. According to a recent New Yorker article, Netanyahu is being dragged to the right out of fear of losing power, like some of our less insane conservative politicians were dragged to the right by the Tea Party. Maybe, like this country, Israel is ready to move back toward more reasonable positions and repudiate its truly dangerous and militant right wing.