TLR 153 – Long Live The Status Quo?

The Israeli economy is chugging quietly along, with a run of better-than-expected data sending the bears back into hibernation (and the stock market soaring). Even the corporate scene, with its long list of tycoons and their empires in varying states of distress, has become boring and ‘samey’. The only show in town is the elections – which, ironically, also ensure that nothing will happen vis-à-vis Iran in the next three months.

This issue, therefore, focuses solely on the election campaign: why it’s happening now, who’s who and what the outcome might be. But, as so often, events have overtaken analysis. The issue should have gone out a few days ago, but was held up – fortunately, as it turns out. Last night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pulled yet another rabbit out of his seemingly-bottomless hat, this time a merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. Whether or not it works as planned, this qualifies as a major development on the Israeli political scene and therefore required updating and altering the discussion to take account of it (had the issue gone out on Wednesday, it would have been rendered out of date the next day – a not-unprecedented event in the life of Israel analysts…).

The result is that in addition to the sections discussing the decision to call elections now and the review of what I term ‘orthodox analysis’ regarding the structure and dynamics of Israeli politics, there is now a section on the merger between the two main right-wing parties, the motives behind it and its potential outcome. There are also a few sentences added to the previous sections to bring them up to date, which appear in a different font to highlight them.

The second half of the analysis originally contained in this issue, which presents an unorthodox approach to the political scene and suggests that major socio-political changes are bubbling just beneath the surface, has fallen victim to this latest Netanyahu gambit and will be deferred to the next issue. Which is fitting, because it mirrors precisely what the Likud/ Yisrael Beiteinu merger is designed to achieve in the national political arena.

 

Contents

B: Domestic Politics

 

  1. The run-up to the decision

 

  1. Orthodox analysis: a four-word phrase

 

  1. Political M&A

 

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