Thursday, March 30, 2006

Election Day in Israel

As I write this post, the Israeli election is over and done with. No party got an overwhelming number of Parliament seats, not even Ariel Sharon's (and Ehud Olmert's) Kadima.

Final unofficial results show that Kadima was on top, garnering 28 seats, followed by the Labor Party which won 20.

I was not a bit surprised that the Likud Party faired poorly, getting 11 seats and consequently placing 5th in the list of parties in contention, behind Shas' 13 seats and Yisrael Beitenu's 12.

It can be safely said that Likud's dismal performance in the election is expected -- a glaring effect of Ariel Sharon's break away from the party which he co-founded and the creation of Kadima. Surely, it was a humbling (if not humiliating) experience for a party which for decades has been a dominant fixture in Israel's political arena.

Indeed, the election came and went with hardly a noise. It was a day of lackluster performance, not only of the political parties -- but also of the voting population. Turnout of voters was low. On election morning, a TV news coverage featured some Israelis in a coffee shop stating they would spend that day like their usual one, away from election activities.

While many Israelis openly showed their feeling of indifference toward the election -- it cannot be deduced that they are also uninterested with their country's future. Now that the election is finished, I believe that the Israelis will come active in engaging in lively discussions and debates regarding what path the State will tread in the near future, vis-a-vis the various issues and problems hounding it, the most conspicuous of which is the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

The Israelis' primary concern is the goal of lasting peace and security.

They are in pervent hope that the just concluded election would jumpstart the process towards peace to its reality.

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