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Looks like it will be an Yisrael Beiteinu-backed Likud government.

One potential monkey wrench: Lieberman made his support of Netanyahu conditional on forming a broad-based coalition. And so far, Livni looks prepared to keep Kadima in opposition.

So, as they say, it ain’t over till Shimon Peres sings.


With over 85% of votes counted, Tzipi Livni’s Kadima has a narrow lead over Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud in today’s Israeli election.

Netanyahu had a commanding lead in the polls and the election looked like it was going to be a wash, but Livni fought back and now it’s almost too close to call.

Even if Kadima wins, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Livni will be the next Prime Minister. She had trouble forming a coalition government after Olmert resigned last year, and conditions now are even less favourable for Kadima than they were then.

Should be interesting times ahead as the post-election political jockeying begins.

The Israeli blogosphere has been up late following the events as they unfold, of course. Aussie Dave was liveblogging all day. Imshin thinks it’s gonna get ugly. And Allison posts her excellent analysis on Pajamas Media.

In a related story, Meryl Yourish has more on what’s passing for journalism at AP these days.


It’s Bibi


Benjamin Netanyahu has won the Likud primary with 47% of the vote, beating out rival Silvan Shalom for the leadership of a party that suddenly finds itself in third place. When Netanyahu visualized the circumstances under which he’d regain leadership of Likud, somehow I don’t think that’s quite what he had in mind. Still, he […]

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Sharon parts ways with Likud


The media is calling it a “political earthquake”, but those who have been watching Israeli politics have seen this coming for a while: Ariel Sharon has left the Likud party to form his own new centrist party. Most likely, the Knesset will be dissolved and elections will be called within 90 days. Sharon has been […]

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Likud votes down coalition


A vote by Likud to reject a coalition with Labor to push through Gaza disengagement is being presented as a major setback for Ariel Sharon: Likud’s Central Committee, its decision-making body, voted by a 58% majority to prevent PM Ariel Sharon from negotiating with the opposition Labor party. By a narrow margin, even Sharon’s modest […]

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Disengagement plan defeated


Ariel Sharon’s plan to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza was soundly defeated in today’s referendum in Israel, with exit polls indicating 60% of votes against and only 39% for: In an initial response to the resounding defeat of his disengagement plan in a Likud Party referendum on Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that while he […]

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Harry on disengagement


Harry isn’t impressed by how the voting on Sharon’s disengagement plan will be taking place: Am I the only one who is a bit worried about 200,000 members of the Likud party determining the future of Israel? Shouldn’t the referendum be open to all Israelis, not just Likud? Last time I checked Ariel Sharon is […]

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Because he couldn’t pull it off


The Jerusalem Post asks, in an opinion piece, Why not Mitzna? Why, when during the last Israeli election campaign, former Labor party leader Amram Mitzna proposed essentially the same “pull out and fence off” plan that Ariel Sharon’s government is pursuing now, was he so readily dismissed? As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reviewed his year […]

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Random musings on Israeli politics


So who’s celebrating? Well, ironically, not Sharon. He knew he’d be re-elected. He’s not going to celebrate until he figures out how on earth to string together a coalition in this mess. Amram Mitzna’s not celebrating too hard either. He gambled and opted to compete for votes on the Left instead of in the middle. […]

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Israeli election results summary


Montreal/Israel in Brief sent a special election mailing that contained this handy table summarizing the election results: Party Ideology Leader Seats ’99 Seats ’03 / change Center Right and Religious Bloc: . . . 67 Center- Right Parties . . . 46 Likud Possibility of Palestinian State – Violence must end. Ariel Sharon 19 37 […]

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