Israel Vote Draws Yawns From Middle East Neighbors

Hardline or Harder Line? It Hardly Matters to Arabs.

getty images

By Reuters

Published January 21, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

The region also has more compelling worries than a seemingly predictable parliamentary poll, Israel’s first since Arab uprisings erupted two years ago, reshaping the Middle East.

The upheaval’s biggest scalp so far is Hosni Mubarak, who preserved Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel for 30 years.

An Islamist leader, Mohamed Mursi, is now in power, saying he will not scrap the pact. But videotapes that surfaced this month of speeches he made in 2010 as a Muslim Brotherhood leader have alarmed Israelis and others with their crude anti-Semitic remarks and calls for children to be taught to hate Israel.

Yet Israel’s election is hardly uppermost in the minds of Egyptians, who Al-Sayyid said were preoccupied with this week’s anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt, their own next election and economic difficulties exacerbated by political turmoil.

Syria’s devastating civil war and the ousting of leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have largely overshadowed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite Israel’s brief war in November with Hamas Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist, and its more moderate Palestinian rivals led by President Mahmoud Abbas have renewed attempts to heal their feud since the Gaza conflict. Neither faction has high expectations from the Israeli election.

“Palestinians have no option except to unite against the Zionist enemy (Israel), whose extremism increases every day,” Osama Hamdan, the leader of Hamas in Lebanon, told reporters in Gaza on Sunday in a terse comment on the Israeli vote.

Netanyahu, playing on his security credentials, has tried to keep the focus on perceived external threats, especially Iran’s nuclear programme, while vowing to promote Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, both captured, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 war.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.