Tuesday, March 17, 2015
There Goes the Neighbourhood
Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to pull his fat out of the fire. Faced with a seemingly desultory turnout at the polls today and the prospect of losing badly to his Zionist Union rivals, Bibi summoned a little of that old magic and, in short order, the turnout at the polls increased.
Netanyahu's magic appears to demonstrate that fearmongering, pretty much the essence of his campaign, works. In an act of desperation he took to the airwaves today warning of a massive turnout of Arab Israelis at the polls and alleging that foreign operatives were at work to help the leftists defeat Likud.
The latest exit polls show Netanyahu and Zionist Union are in a virtual tie with some giving Likud a slight edge. The outcome will influence each side's ability to strike the ever critical coalition needed to form government. Likud has the advantage in the coalition game.
Netanyahu in the closing days of the campaign courted Israel's hard right with promises of no deal for a Palestinian state on his watch which probably means the Middle East peace process will go from nearly dead to complete flatline. Netanyahu has also promised to ramp up construction of illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories if he's returned to power. That should cement Israel as a pariah state in the eyes of the advanced democracies of the world and, in all likelihood, be celebrated by giving the Palestinians another "mowing" at the hands of the Israeli military.