07 May, 2021

An Enigmatic Leader

It is still not clear what direction the West Asia peace process will take under the new premier

An Enigmatic Leader

LAST week's Israeli elections remain somewhat of a mystery to political observers. By opting for the Likud Party's Benjamin Netanyahu, the voters have sent out mixed signals, especially on the future of the West Asia peace process. Faced with a choice between peace and continuing strife, the Israelis seem to have chosen the latter.

But whether Netanyahu will actually accede to the extreme right wingers in his party and reverse the peace process remains unclear. The difficulty in assessing Netanyahu's real intentions stems from the lack of consistency in his background. In the past he was very close to Ariel Sharon, a prominent military officer, who was defence minister from 1981 to 1983 and known for his hawkish views. In fact, right up to the assassination of Yitzak Rabin early this year, Netanyahu played an active part in the massive demonstrations organised by the extreme right wing against the government's peace policy formulated at Oslo.

But the trauma of Rabin's assassination severed Netanyahu from the extreme right wing to...

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