Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Gil Hoffman spoke about the four elections which are important to
Israel: the US Presidential election, the Israel election (10 February),
the Iranian election in June 2009 and the Palestinian Authority
elections (January 9, though they will almost certainly be
cancelled). Opinion in Israel about Obama had swung round from
opposition to support, helped by the great efforts he had made to reach out to Israelis - he even had a blog in Ivrit. Now the candidates for the Israeli Premiership are each trying to convince the electorate that they are best placed to work with Obama. The polls suggest Netanyahu will win by 5-10 seats (of 120) but they are irrelevant. What matters is what’s in the news in the two weeks before the vote. Political scandal will help Tsipi Livni, seen as a clean pair of hands; security concerns will help Netanyahu; so will economic concerns as he is seen as experienced even though his economic policies when in office were very divisive. Little will help Ehud Barak’s Labour Party which is trailing.Hoffman said that he has been called on TV “the greatest optimist in Israel”. Finally he said he had been asked what we could do here to help Israel. He said it’s ‘EASY’ - “Education, Advocacy, Solidarity and Your Prayers.”