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Demography Favors Rise of Israel's Right

Demographic changes are strengthening Israel's right wing, writes Akiva Eldar.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men take part in a yoga class at a studio in Ramat Beit Shemesh, some 20 km (12 miles) from Jerusalem January 1, 2013. Almost a dozen devout Jewish men meet weekly at the studio, the only one of its kind in a neighbourhood where tensions have flared in the past between religious and secular Jews. The studio offers gender separated classes in accordance with the religious beliefs against mixing of the sexes in public. Picture taken January 1, 2013. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: S
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The Likud lost power twice since its mythological leader, [Prime Minister] Menachem Begin, took over power from the absolute rule of the Maarah (today’s Labor Party) in the historic 1977 upset. Both times voters sent the Likud back to the opposition benches of the Knesset because it had placed Israel on the opposition benches of the world stage. In 1992 voters punished the Likud, headed by [Prime Minister] Yitzhak Shamir, for its role in the clash with President George Bush (Sr.) over the settlements. Seven years later, the electorate ousted Benjamin Netanyahu from the prime minister’s office (in his first term), after President Clinton slammed the door to the White House in his face.

No more. According to the polls, as of 2013 the tables have been turned; a heavily invested four-year campaign of fear — of the Iranian nukes, of Palestinian terrorism, of the Islamization of the Arab Spring and of the “hypocrisy of the world,” has borne fruit. The Israeli public is expected to strengthen the hold of the right wing on power and to vote against the world, and what is even worse — against the United States.

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