Over the past few days I have had the opportunity to take part in tele-conferences with a number of sophisticated political pundits in Israel.Some of the salient points that impressed me the most include;
1.The election appears to be a defeat for both the left and right.Both the proponents of a "greater Israel" and Peace now" have been unsuccessful in selling their policies to the public or to make it work in reality.Indeed Likud,Labor and Meretz have avoided mention of these concepts during the campaign.The election seems to be a move to the center.
2.Kadimah is more of a national unity govt,with left and right represented than a classical political party with members, etc.
If they get above 34 seats, they will be in the drivers seat.
3.The people are not thrilled with the level of leadership-trusted Sharon,and feel cheated by his inability to compete.Nevertheless they are prepared to support unilateral disengagement, even if 70,000 people will be affected ( over 2-3 years ) because they are tired of battle.
4.The election of Hamas brings Iran's influence via Syria and Hizbollah closer than ever.
5.The problem with Iran and the nuclear program, will not be solved unilaterally by Israel at this time,unless we come to the 11th hour.
6.The election of Hamas has placed Israeli-Palestinian relations back 50 years.
7.The polls if correct speak to a malaise especially on the part of the young people.
8.The Iranians and Hamas are prepared to wait 20 or 50 years to keep the pressure on the Israelis.Can the Israelis unite and remain steadfast ? Imagine the cost of Israeli submarines,satellites and anti-missile programs that will be needed to keep the Iranianians from a first strike ( if possible). Remember it was the Star War program that caused the Soviet Union to cry Uncle.Israel has no such ability to surrender her strength