Jan 23, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Israel’s parliamentary election has ended in a deadlock between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline bloc and centre-left rivals. This result is forcing Netanyahu to put together a coalition of parties from both camps, despite dramatically different views on Mideast peacemaking.

Mohammed Ishtayeh, who’s a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says the makeup of the coalition that Netanyahu forms will send a clear message of his intentions.  “There has not been much talk of peace talks or a peace program by Netanyahu.  So I think he’s going to repeat himself in the last three years that we have lived through.”

This election was not seen as about making peace with the Palestinians, nor about Israel’s relations with Arab states in the region.  It was about what Israeli’s wanted in their daily lives.  It was three months ago when Benjamin Netanyahu called early elections, expecting an easy victory.

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