Economic issues have been identified as the top issue in the forthcoming Israeli elections to be held on 17 March, with security issues trailing far behind.
The polls are confidently predicting a four-seat difference in favour of the Zionist Camp over the current Likud-led Government and the possibility of a new Zionist Camp Government being formed.
Zvi Zhariyha pointed out on 15 January:
“In Israel’s proportional representation system, in which parties are awarded seats in parliament based on the proportion of the vote that they receive, the ranking of the candidates on the slate becomes all-important as seats are filled from the top of the list. Top spots on the Labor list went to MKs with a social-justice and economic agenda, including former journalist Shelly Yacimovich, and Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who were both prominent in the 2011 social justice protest movement.
Yacimovich finished first in the party vote, which will place her in the third spot on the slate, behind Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, the leader of Hatnuah, which is running on a joint ticket with Labor. Shaffir finished just behind Yacimovich, granting her the fourth slot…"Two of these top four Zionist Camp candidates have expressed viewpoints that are distinctly anti-Zionist. Prime Minister-in-waiting Isaac Herzog – according to respected analyst Sarah Honig – has voiced opposition to the term “Jewish State”:
“The Jewish state expression is entirely mistaken,” he says recurrently (and we have a recording to prove it: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9nHlX19roA) “because it creates the impression of a nationality that enjoys excessive privileges.”
Were US Secretary of State John Kerry somehow able to get Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table again, then this long standing Israeli demand – supported by President Obama – and the Congress since 2004 – would ostensibly fall by the wayside under a Government led by Herzog.
Sarah Honig further points out:
'Stav Shaffir, for example, refused to share a podium with the Likud’s Yoav Kish because he is a reserve fighter pilot. She also thinks that “Hatikva is a racist national anthem.”
It’s not our say-so. Journalist Asher Schechter wrote a book on the 2011 demonstrations in which Shaffir was a key mover (Rothschild – the Chronicle of Protest, published by Kibbutz Hameuhad/Sifriat Hapoalim). On page 96 Schechter describes Shaffir’s vehement opposition to singing Hatikva. She was so emotional about it that “she burst into tears and yelled out that Hatikva is racist.”'Another Zionist Camp likely member of the Knesset – Merav Micaheli – told Galei Zahal
“women should not at all send their kids to the army when there is a continuous occupation for over 40 years. The regime in Israel doesn’t make the effort to solve this in other ways, so it’s necessary to stop being prepared to send children to the army.”Sarah Honig has identified two other candidates likely to pop up as Zionist Camp representatives in any Zionist Camp Government:
Veteran Ha’aretz journalist Gideon Levy has also delivered a withering attack on the Zionist Camp:
“This camp knows only how to trick and mislead, in the best of its tradition.”Economic issues also topped security issues by a country mile in the 2013 Israeli election – yet Netanyahu still emerged as Prime Minister.
With 14 per cent of the voters still undecided – they could re-elect Netanyahu again – figuring out that improvements in economic and social justice conditions aren’t worth a shekel if you are not alive to enjoy their undeniable benefits. [Emphasis added]