34 political parties, vying for 120 seats in the Knesset, led by "Bibi", "Bennett", "Tzipi", "Shelly" et al, some newly created, others on the fringe and yet others driven by religiuos fervor, nationalism and zealotry.
It has been a rancorous campaign so far and it promises to get worse as the date looms and the realisation that many will not win the 2% require to win seats and others, like the Likud- Israel Beitennu, the new coalition of Netanyahu and Lieberman are losing support to the newly formed,more right-wing anti-Palestine Habayit Hayehud of Naftali Bennett, a former aide of Netanyahu. Kadima which was formed by the iconic Ariel Sharon and won the most seats in the last election is expected to fare badly and win no seats; Shas, the party of the Orthodox which favors exemption from military service on religious grounds is doing well and may win 11 seats; the Pensioners party, which won 7 seats in the last election is not expected to win any, so too the Green Leaf Party, the "on line" party, but the irrevent, Eretz Hadasha which exposed the use of big money in politics is expected to win at least 2 seats.
"Bibi" Netanyahu and Lieberman's coalition was expected to win about 42 seats but after Lieberman's corruption charges, is now expected to still finish with the largest number, about 36, while Labor ( the grand old party of Meir and Rabin) of "Shelley" Yachimovich is expecting to win 18; Hatnua, formed by Tzipi Livni, (after she lost the leadership of Kadima) should win about 10,; Naftali Bennett's Habayit 14 and Israel's Chuck Norris, Yair Lapid (officer of elite forces) of the Yesh Adid 9-11.
The splintering of votes and the new players makes for an interesting scenario, the day after election. Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition with the support of Shas, Hamayit, Yesh Adid. It will be the most extreme, right-wing, religious , settlers government of Israel, building more settlements on Palestinian land, legalising "outposts"(Netanyahu's visit to Ariel to change status of local college to that of a university and to the illegal settlement of Rechelim, to try and stop the bleeding of votes to Bennett (critised by British as an "obstacle to peace"). His proposal to build housing on the last stretch of usable Palestinian land east of Jerusalem, chopping the West Bank in half and thus denying the Palestinians their state.
He is howling at the moon, unconcerned about international isolation in his pursuit of personal ambitions and power.
The continued seizure of Palestinian lands and the expansion of settlements will kill any prospect of peace and with it the two-stste solution. Rather it will eventually lead to a South African-style apartheid state with a small minority ruling over a ever growing majority....a small hard-line Jewish minority,( the religious and the settlers etc) ruling over a majority Arab/Palestinian , with the same eventual outcome. Stop the madness.
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(Fig 2a) The Death of Innocents
Ishwar R. Prashad recently retired from over 47 years of teaching.