When it comes to the political landscape of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the only thing more insignificant than an American election is an Israeli election. The outcome of these campaigns, which seem to bathe in the limelight of the world stage, tend to have worse consequences for the Middle East almost every time. Both Netanyahu and Livni are different shades of the same gray area that has continued the ongoing legacy of devastation since 1948. Neither truly believes in giving Palestinians statehood or any of their land back, and neither has worked towards achieving any of the peace goals.
While the US elections brought some glimmer of hope to a minority in the Arab world who still believe Obama’s foreign policy might bring about a sliver of change, that hope is non-existent when it comes to Israeli elections. The latter is really just an event that some in our part of the world will be watching closely in order to gauge, predict or measure just how bad things will be in the next few years. For instance, the sharp advancing of the right wing parties, including the Lieberman-led Yisrael Beitenu party, foreshadows a near future that is incredibly dark for the Occupied Territories – as if that were any more possible.
And this is perhaps what I find to be the most interesting lesson about this conflict and perhaps the status-quo of this region in general: never underestimate the ability for things to get worse in the Middle East. It is a region that seems destined to finding new ways to sink deeper and deeper in to a night already devoid of stars.
Whoever truly ends up winning the Israeli elections, whether through seats or the formation of a coalition government, one thing is for certain: Palestinians will be losing out.