Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Uncertain

The good: Those recent Israeli protests might bring down Netanyahu's government. Shas in particular may be primed to bolt (Shas' religious conservatism is paired with a strong welfare state mentality that has a lot of overlap with the protesters).

The bad: The relative vulnerability exposed by the protesters caused Netanyahu to back out at the last minute of a planned Israeli/Turkey rapprochement.

The uncertain: A recent poll finds that if elections were held today, Kadima, Labor, and Meretz would combine for 48 Knesset seats while Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Shas would combine for 47. On the one hand, Shas' 8 seats in that set are a bit swingy (see the "good", above). On the other hand, there are still 25 Knesset seats unaccounted for in that tally, some of which will go to the Arab parties, some of which will probably go to the Israeli Communist Party, and some of which will go to various fringe settler parties. The question of how those minor parties shake out will ultimately determine who is the real winner.

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