Israeli Voters Turn Right with a new Political Star

There's a fresh face among traditional politicians vying for votes in Israel's Jan. 22 elections -- an observant Jew, who's a former officer in an IDF elite commando unit and also made millions as a high-tech entrepreneur. His name is Naftali Bennett, and his Jewish Home party has risen to third place in the latest polls -- behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud leading alliance with another rightist partner, Israel Our Home, and the runner-up Labor Party. Why the sudden emergence of another right-wing party, this one led by Bennett? Aren't Israeli conservatives, nationalists and hawks already well represented without Bennett intruding on traditional turfs? Not really. What makes Bennett special and unique is that he has sounded with great clarity the death-knell of the two-state solution. He makes no bones about turning his back on a two-state bromide that has run into growing popular disenchantment and wariness about Palestinian statehood as an integral part of ending the...(Read Full Post)