The Aftermath of Israel’s Election

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Air Date: March 24, 2015

Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: David Rubin

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David Rubin is the former mayor of Shiloh, Israel, in the region of Samaria known to most of the world as the West Bank. He is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund. He is also the author of four books including his latest, ‘Sparks From Zion.’

Israel utilizes a parliamentary system of government although it is different from the parliamentary system of Europe. Israel has about 10 different parties that are elected to be in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) each year. So unlike voting in the U.S., in Israel they don’t vote for an individual, they vote for a political party. At the end of the election the president of Israel (whose position is mostly ceremonial) meets with the heads of the political parties that were elected to the Knesset and the head of each of those parties recommends who they think should form the next governing coalition.

In the case of the recent election, Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection so it’s his responsibility to form the new governing coalition. He does this by meeting with the heads of each of the political parties, negotiates with them and after this process is complete, he decides who is to be given certain tasks in the government such as Minister of Defense, Minister of Finance, etc. That completes the governing coalition of the majority of the Knesset.

David believes Netanyahu’s reelection sends a multifaceted signal to the world. On one hand you have the message that the policies of Israel will move politically to the ‘right.’ In addition, he sees Netanyahu’s reelection as revenge. Although perhaps not intentional, it was at least implicit revenge against President Obama because the President, along with his administration, clearly did not want Netanyahu to win.

As the program moved along, Vic had David comment on the following:

–Why the disdain by President Obama toward Prime Minister Netanyahu?
–Where does Benjamin Netanyahu stand on the 2-state solution?
–Did Israel spy on the U.S. and the U.S./Iran nuclear arms talks?
–Is anti-semitism on the rise?

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