Israel's 2006 Elections: With a Whimper, Not a Bang

Print this page Print this page

The Arab parties (9 seats), for better or worse, would not be part of this national conversation. The Likud and the merged National Religious Party-National Union failed to present a scenario whereby Israel could hold on to the territories and still maintain its Jewish and democratic character.

The ultra-Orthodox parties, as always, would accommodate everyone else's chief priority (defense and security) in exchange for consideration of their's: funding for their growing networks of institutions and a rolling-back of Netanyahu's welfare cuts.

Kadima would not be the magic bullet that would, at a stroke, redraw Israel's borders and ensure the country's future for the foreseeable future, but real change seemed to be on the horizon. For years there had been a silent consensus in favor of leaving most, if not all, of Judea and Samaria, but it never found expression as an electoral mandate. Now it had. Not in dewy-eyed hopes for a New Middle East, but as a necessary excision that would enable Israel to meet the multiple and unending challenges--military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural--that lay ahead.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Yehudah Mirsky

Yehudah Mirsky, a former US State Department official, lives in Jerusalem and is a Fellow at the Van Leer Institute and Harvard.