Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Center-left coalition predicted to win majority of Knesset seats

Israel election results, hot off the exit polls:

Kadima-Labor-Meretz-Arab Parties: 62-66 seats

Likud-rightist parties: 48-51 seats.

If these results hold, Olmert will have the support he needs to make his unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank a reality. And I say more power to him.

Had I been in Israel, I would have been torn between Kadima and Labor, but very curious to learn more about Yisrael Beitenu. They've jumped into the political mainstream with 12-14 seats, beating out even the Likud, which seems to have sunk to the 4th largest party. This is a major, huge, enormous change in Israeli politics--it would be the equivalent of the Reform Party winning a majority in the American House of Representatives. No, more than that--it's the equivalent of a new party, formed last year by, say, Bill Clinton, surging to power and winning a mandate in the House. No, Kadima didn't win a majority in the Knesset, but because of differences in the way the Israeli system works from the way the American system works, the analogy holds.