Bibi Bye Bye

Tomorrow Israel votes and, as the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, the chances are that vote will be fair and the outcome honoured. If you want to know why I support Israel that is a key reason.

There is a good chance Netanyahu will lose tomorrow. No need to dig into the Big “0” sending people and money to bring this about.  The fact is that Bibi has always had the capacity to lose simply on the judgement of the Israelis of his merits. I’ve always liked Bibi’s tough mindedness but his execution has been shakey.  Ten more days rooting out the Hamas animals in the last Gaza war would have crippled Hamas. Working even more closely with Egypt to cut off supplies to Hamas could have worked as well.

On the dove side there is no good reason to wave the red cape of new settlements in front of a weary world.  They energise the anti Semetic left in Europe, give Obama and that dolt Kerry talking points and make it impossible to achieve the rapprochement with much of the Arab world that the rise of IS and Iran may make possible. It may make sense in terms of internal Israeli politics but it squanders opportunity in the wider world.

If Bibi loses the loss can be of two forms: first, it may well be a reduction in likud seats but without a necessary loss of government,  or it maybe an outright win for the centre left. Given a choice I would prefer an outright win or complete defeat.

Herzog is hardly a push over.  But he does not have the baggage Bibi carries. Israel has a huge opportunity to become even more of a stable, reliable ally for the West and the Arabs in the Middle East.  That will not happen with a man willing, on election eve to push the two state solution under the bus.

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