Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Apathy & Inconclusiveness"

Emanuele Ottolenghi has the best column I have read on the Israel election.
"Today Israel could have woken up to a new political reality. Instead, it chose the old confused and checkered landscape of twelve parties, and no clear mandate. There are winners and losers of course. Israel Beteinu, with 12 projected seats, has humbled Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud. And with a combined force of 32 seats, the nationalist camp and its vision of a Greater Israel is forever lost. Labour's Amir Peretz claims to be a winner, and demands already the finance and the education ministries. But his only strength is Ehud Olmert's weakness: After all, Labour won 19 seats last time around and 20 this time. It held its ground no doubt, unlike Likud, but with its Meretz ally down to four seats and the Arab parties beyond the pale of consensus, the Left's victory would not cause envy even to Pyrrhus. Olmert controls 28 seats, a far cry from what the polls suggested and his supporters hoped. It will not be easy to form a government that can both last and make fateful, controversial decisions without sparring a coalition meltdown or sowing the seeds of civil war."
Read it all

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