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As the World Burns…Israel Votes

Israel has its flaws and some of its policies can, in Via Meadia’s view, be counterproductive and poorly conceived. Its system of proportional representation empowers the nutcases and tiny fringe parties. Nevertheless, facing one of its biggest threats since independence (Iran), with relations chilly with its closest ally (the U.S.), the region in flames, and serious cultural and economic splits polarizing its politics, Israel is…holding an election. The FT reports:

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, on Tuesday called an early general election in a bid to cash in on his strong showing in recent opinion polls and in the hope of defusing a simmering coalition crisis.

Mr Netanyahu will be seeking to renew and bolster his mandate at a time of rising regional tensions. […]

Israel’s leader has little to fear from an early election: according to the latest poll by the Dialog polling group, published in the Haaretz daily last month, Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party is set to win 28 out of 120 seats in the Knesset, a result that would make it the largest in parliament.

Via Meadia can only wish that more countries can achieve the stability and democratic culture the Israelis have built. Israel gets lots of criticism for everything it gets wrong; it deserves some recognition as well for what it does right. May the campaign offer all points of view a fair hearing, and may the result give Israel a government wise enough and strong enough to make the best decisions in what may well be a fateful year ahead.

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