Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surprise Results in Today's Israeli Election

The political tide in Israel is turning--turning toward the center. In today's Knesset election, the brand-new centrist party, Yesh Atid ("There is a future") headed by Israeli TV personality Yair Lapid, blew past Kadima or the Israeli Labor Party to finish a close second to the conservative Likud party.

The Likud overall victory means Benjamin Netanyahu will almost certainly serve a third time as Prime Minister, however, he and Likud have been significantly weakened. Netanyahu has already reached out to Lapid and Yesh Atid with an offer to form "the broadest possible coalition" to govern.

The election was a rebuke for Netanyahu, his party losing seats in Parliament when he had been seen as having no real challenger. Lapid only entered the race a couple of weeks ago, and did most of his campaigning via his Facebook page. He  ran a campaign of change that appealed to the middle class--education, housing, health, transport and policing--improving the condition of the middle class, and achieving equality among all Israelis. His signature equality issue: a call to integrate the ultra-Orthodox and Israeli Arabs into the army and the work force.

Read more on the New York Times.
geopolitics, Israel, Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid, Kadima, Israeli, Labor Party, Likud  
Yair Lapid

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