7 pm Israel time, Friday, December 27 2014
79 Days Until The Election
*Eleven year old Ayala Shapira has survived her first of many surgeries to reconstruct her face in the wake of the burns she received when her family’s car was firebombed. Doctors say that she remains in a “life-threatening” situation.
*The Egyptian assault on the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as well as Egypt’s reconciliation with Qatar under the condition that it stop funding Hamas has led Hamas to seek patronage elsewhere. Under the auspices of Hezbollah leader Hussein Nasrallah, Hamas is in the process of returning to its original patron, Iran. Don’t be surprised if Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal moves his base of operations in the coming months to Tehran.
Does this mean that Qatar is no longer in the Hamas picture? Of course not. It just means that Qatari support for the terrorists in Gaza will become more covert.
You may have noticed, dear reader, that during the last week there has been scant election reportage on israelstreet.
That is simply because the polls continue to blow in the direction of the ideology of the polling group taking the survey. Left wing polls show the Israel public moving left and right wing polls vice versa.
Nevertheless, what seems to have happened is that there has been some stabilization. The early burst of enthusiasm for Labor-Hatunua (Herzog-Livni) has tapered off while support for Likud (Netanyahu) has incrementally increased. The result is that the two groups are running neck and neck.
In essence, if the election were held today, Labor-Hatunua would probably win almost exactly the same number of seats as they currently have in the Knesset (22). This probably represents a net gain, however, in the sense that polls taken prior to the union showed that Livni might not have even garnered enough votes to make it into the Knesset at all.
On the other hand, Likud would gain 4 seats above its current number of 18 bringing its total to 22. In the face of the torrent of abuse being heaped upon Netanyahu by Herzog, Livni, Lapid, Lieberman and others, this increase is actually somewhat remarkable.
The main news of the last few days has been the police announcement of a corruption scandal involving misuse of campaign funds within the ranks of Lieberman’s party Yisrael Beiteinu. This party, as you know, has Russian speakers in Israel as its base–a very large and strong voting block. Interestingly, as the scandal has unfolded and charges have been made, support for Yisrael Beiteinu has actually strengthened among that base.
A very interesting poll taken of Russian speakers in the past few days shows that if the election were held now, this is how they would vote:
39.8% Yisrael Beiteinu
11.8% Jewish Home
5.7% Kulanu (Kahlon’s new party)
5.4% Yesh Atid
Less than 2%: other parties
The 39.8% number voting for Yisrael Beiteinu has increased from 31% before the scandals were announced.
In the coming weeks, as parties choose their lists of candidates, more should become known about where each party stands. Until that happens, election coverage on israelstreet will remain limited.