Just feels like the Israeli elections have become interesting! Like the UK the outcome is unpredictable because as with the Cheltenham Gold Cup Race last weekend an unexpected horse with an inexperienced jockey took the lead and kept it. A week ago most pundits suggested Likud with Benjamin Netanyahu as it’s leader was going to lead the next government. Isaac Herzog’s Labour’s coalition with Zippy Livni is now predicted to have up to 15 compared to Likud’s 12 seats which provides a different possibility. Interestingly the Palestinian Israeli parties have united and are expected to have up to 8 seats. Ironically Likud might still lead the alliance which forms the government because of small parties like the religious and settler supporting parties but that’s Israeli democracy where small parties have more power than their numbers. The President Reuven Rivlin will have to decide which party gets the right to form a government.
The election has focussed on internal issues and the reason why Labour has gained support is housing and the cost of living. Compared to Netanyahu Herzog has been given a hard time by the media because of his lacklustre performance, similar to Ed Milliband possibly here. Mr Herzog describes Likud as having been hijacked by settlers, that Mr Netanyahu understands the necessity of moving towards peace but is unsure he has the guts to do so. He supports a 2 State solution which he thinks needs to agree land division with the Palestinians to maintain the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. What contradicts this is Mr Herzog saying he’s not sure that Mr Abbas isn’t currently a partner for peace. Like Likud he won’t accept a nuclear armed Iran and supports all options. On domestic policy he suggests he’ll try to bring on the contradictions into harmony and unity.
I want to briefly raise the NHS. Today I went to my GP because of a persistent cough, using the Surgery’s walk-in clinic for an immediate appointment. I was given a prescription and sent to the Homerton Hospital for a chest X ray, which I had later in the morning. I thought it incredible that the above process took 3 hours from start to finish. Heroes for today are my GP Dr Nathans and the Hospital radiologists for their swift responses! What it made me think was how important it is to support the NHS as a Public Service, the prospect of increasing privatisation is frightening. I’m not going to advise anyone which party to support.