'Vladimir Lenin is said to have opined that the only thing certain about British elections is who is going to lose. He meant the British working class, at a time when they were effectively unrepresented in the political system.
Equally, whatever the outcome of the Israeli elections, the Palestinians will be the big losers. According to preliminary results, Netanyahu has lost his majority of course – having failing to reach the magic number of 61 seats in the Knesset.
But his opponents – the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza, under occupation in the West Bank, or under annexation in East Jerusalem, an annexation Netanyahu threatened to visit upon the whole of the Jordan Valley – are no better off.
Neither, for that matter, are the so-called “Arab-Israelis” who increasingly identify as Palestinian citizens of Israel and whose treatment as the ‘enemy within’ reached its apogee in Likud hate-speech about them. This saw them briefly bannedfrom Facebook last week.
Neither is an election the final say on the matter – this is the second in five months – and the fact that no-one seems likely to gain a majority will see the attention swiftly turn to horse-trading. And that, for the Palestinians, is the danger.
The most obvious kingmaker in the negotiations is Netanyahu’s former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose furious fall-out and departure from the coalition with Bibi arguably led to this second election. No-one really knows what the beef between the two men really was, but the stated proximate cause was the government’s dependence on the Ultra-Orthodox communities and their Knesset members.
Lieberman, so far as the world is concerned, is a dangerous, even rabid, extremist. But his Yisrael Beiteinu party is vigorously secular and secures its votes from secular hardline nationalists, many from the former Soviet Union.'
Read more: Netanyahu lost Israeli vote, but Palestinians were bound to lose whoever won (by George Galloway)
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