The Israeli election is less than one week away so I decided to get an opinion from someone who knows much better than me. My Friend and Teacher Barry Rubin. Barry is not only a historian and professor but he is also a candidate for Knesset on the Israel Hazaka List. Below is Barry’s analysis of the election in Less than 100 words:
1. The likely result is to be a national unity government whose policies in general will be like the existing one.
2. Bibi is winning precisely because he is viewed as a centrist and ideas that he is right-wing and hardline are out of date. For example, he favors negotiations with Syria and working with the PA.
3. If Israelis are reacting it is because they see that: the PA is not ready to make peace; that Hamas is determined to wage war on Israel, and that the world does not reward–or even speak well– of Israel when it makes concessions and takes risks. Thus, Israel’s total withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and dismantlement of all settlements there, its readiness to offer concessions to Syria for peace, and its long restraint in facing Hamas’s attacks from Gaza seemed often to be totally ignored in the media, international public opinion, and even government policies abroad. Israelis are not moving to the right, they are just responding to the environment they see.
4. All Israeli leaders are very much aware of the importance of maintaining good relations with North America and Europe.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Herzliya, Israel, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His books include The Truth About Syria; The Tragedy of the Middle East; and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.