Heads up: Top comment and controversy
In Israel, Netanyahu and Likud may be disappointed
23 January 2013 12:44 PM
You may have read that Israel's election has ended in a dramatic deadlock. Our Jerusalem Correspondent, Alistair Dawber, wrote this morning that: "Israelis delivered the narrowest of election victories to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, but did not endorse what most analysts had predicted would be a lurch to right, instead giving their backing to a broader, centrist coalition." What does this mean in practice for Benjamin Netanyahu? It means he may be feeling a little let down.
Over at the New York Post, Benny Avni reflects on the implications of this for Israel's domestic policy. In particular, the emergence of a chap called Yair Lapid from the Yesh Atid party as kingmaker - a kind of Israeli Nick Clegg - complicates things, although not on the issue of Tehran, where there is universal condemnation. As Avni writes:
"Lapid was emblematic of the entire Israeli campaign — which for once all but ignored the top national-security issues the country faces, like Iran’s nuclear dash and the growing unrest in neighboring countries. Even Palestinian issues, Israel’s traditional left-right dividing line, captured only little of the campaign — and mostly as part of a debate over Israel’s relations with America and Europe. That’s not because Israel no longer cares. Security is still Topic A. But most Israelis pretty much agree with the way Bibi’s government has handled those issues: Awaken the world to the threat Iran poses, but don’t stray too far from America."