Israel Turns Right—and Away From America

Two weeks before election, Netanyahu poised for victory
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2009 7:29 AM CST
A poll conducted after Israel ceased fire in the Gaza Strip found Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, the front-runner in Israel's upcoming elections with 29 of parliament's 120 seats.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
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(Newser) – Polls indicate the next prime minister of Israel will be Benjamin Netanyahu, an election result that will push the country even further to the right and away from a two-state solution. The Likud leader presents a paradox, Damien McElroy writes in the Telegraph: although Netanyahu is the most "American-style" politician in Israel, "no leader has had more strained relations with American administrations."

The Gaza war was highly popular in Israel, but government ministers Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak have seen little political gain. Instead, the electorate is shifting right, supporting Netanyahu's platform of "total military dominance" over a future Palestine—if an independent state is established at all. For McElroy, the prospects for next month's elections send a clear signal: "Israel has not been seduced by dreams of President Obama's new dawn."