Everywhere we turn these days the talk is about upcoming elections. Not in Venezuela where Hugo Chavez—the freely elected dictator—won a resounding victory. Neither is it about elections in the first locale in which the Arab Spring was alleged to have sprung—the Palestinian Authority so-called territories. Those elections are now four years overdue.
What we have on our agenda today are two very important elections—here in the US on November 6, and January 22, in Israel. You don’t need to read it here to understand that these are potentially momentous turning points in the “future history,” if you will, of both countries as well as the fashion in which the two interface.
It always struck me as somewhat odd that while the government here in the US leans right, the government in Israel tends to lean left and on occasion it is the exact opposite. During the last few years of the George W. Bush tenure, the Prime Minister in Israel was the ebullient and now frequently investigated and prosecuted Ehud Olmert. Just about the same time that Mr. Bush exited and Barrack Obama entered the Oval Office, the right leaning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assumed office.
It makes one wonder what Israel would look like today if Ehud Olmert would still be Prime Minister after four years of the Obama administration. In other words how much havoc could that dynamic duo of Obama and Olmert have wrought in particular on the state of Israel.
And now it is happening again as both Americans and Israeli’s end up going to the polls just a few weeks apart from one another. Here in the US it is increasingly difficult to effectively prognosticate the outcome of the November election. Governor Romney enjoyed a great bump in the polls after Mr. Obama’s listless performance at the first of their three debates in Denver.
The other night at Hofstra University the president seemed to have returned from wherever he was during that first debate two weeks ago. Mr. Obama did indeed make somewhat of a comeback but he seemed defensive, bitter and even a little angry. Mr. Romney did not seem as smooth or as comfortable as he appeared to be at that first debate. But he made some excellent points and caught the president in a colossal deception on the Libya issue. It remains to be seen how that gets played up over the next few days leading to the foreign policy debate scheduled for Monday night in Florida.
In Israel it appears that former Shas strongman Aryeh Deri is about to make a comeback of his own. Instead of having Deri spin off a new version of a political party that would siphon off Knesset seats from Shas, it looks like a decision was made by Rabbi Ovadya Yosef to have Deri once again lead the party while current party leader, Eli Yishai, plays a secondary role in the future of the party.
There will be news emanating daily from Israel on their election that differs significantly from our electoral system here in the US. New political parties are coming at us from every direction led by broadcast journalist Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party that will probably render the Kadima party as obsolete going forward. Lapid, the son of the late political strongman Tommy Lapid has picked up a great deal of national support in Israel. On the surface he seems to have adopted what looks like policies hostile to the religious community in Israel, however, a supporter of his from within the dati community say that is not the case.
More in this weeks 5TJT.