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Will political merger mania save or topple Netanyahu?

In Israel, the goal of toppling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has driven center and left-wing parties to unite through"technical linkages," but with no guarantee their alliance will survive the day after March 2 elections.

Anyone picking up a jar of mayonnaise on a supermarket shelf can find a detailed list of ingredients on its label, including the percentage of fat, sodium and number of calories per 100 grams. The law that requires manufacturers to provide consumers with this information was passed to enable them to buy the products best suited to their health needs and taste. On the other hand, Israelis entering the voting booth on March 2 will find 30 party ballots from which to choose, some 22 of them fly-by-night organizations that they will encounter for the first and last time on that occasion. There is no law or even a regulation obliging political parties to present potential “consumers” of their brand with their ingredients. In fact, even those that bother to formulate a party platform simply offer voters a collection of meaningless cliches.

The right-wing voter, whether secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox, who believes prosecutors have indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on trumped up charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, will obviously pick up the slip of paper with the name of one of the parties comprising the right wing-ultra-Orthodox bloc (Likud, Yamina, Otzma Yehudit, Yahadut HaTorah or Shas) and stuff it into the ballot box. All of these parties are standing by the accused Netanyahu.

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