Israel Considers Early Elections; Impacts with Iran Discussed
Following the seven-day period of mourning for the death of his father, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to call for for an early polling, as the Knesset could be dissolved by next week. ”It’s all anyone is talking about,” said Avishay Braverman of Labour. “All the discussion is about the election, what the date will be, who’s bluffing.” Netanyahu is expected to be moving the election up ahead of schedule so he can confront the controversial ”Tal law” – the mandatory conscription law that remains deeply unpopular with Israel’s majority secular population – which was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court in February.
The move by Netanyahu has decreased the possibility of an Israeli impending airstrike against Iran as a “divisive political campaign would paralyze the government and focus attention on domestic issues.” Daniel Ben-Simon, a member of the Labor Party in the Knesset, said ”[Netanyahu] can’t do anything before elections. He’s a lame duck. Nothing will be decided before the vote.” But by moving the vote up by a year, Ariel Zirulnick, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, says predicting Israel’s next steps towards Iran will be difficult. While MJ Rosenberg writes, “One after another, Israel’s most knowledgeable (and usually hawkish) members of the security establishment are coming around to the U.S. view that the Iranian government has not yet decided to develop nuclear weapons,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin for downplaying the threat from Iran, saying the three are “serving Iran.”