Israel decides

Israelis go to the polls to decide their new government next Tuesday. There’s a lot at stake, not only for Israelis and for Palestinians, but for the entire Middle East and wider world. WHYS will be live from Tel Aviv on Monday, and from Jerusalem on election day, putting you in touch with Israelis and hearing from them at this pivotal time.

We’ll be trying to find out what will be top of Israeli minds as they step into their voting booths. The security situation is obviously a major concern, but people we’ve been speaking to have also told us that issues like education, water and energy are big issues too. How much will those factor into who becomes the next Prime Minister? At the moment right-wing Likud and centrist Kadima are neck and neck in the polls, but Israeli elections are notoriously hard to predict.

The BBC website has a great guide to the elections, and why it is that a former Moldovan security guard could be the most important person in the Israeli parliament from next week.

Post your questions and messages for Israelis here, and tune in on Monday.

10 Responses to “Israel decides”

  1. February 6, 2009 at 20:34

    Thanks Madeleine:

    I have a question for the perspective guests on WHYS….What will your decided to voted for the candidate based on what type of issues that you hold dearly to your hearts….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  2. 2 Nischal K Acharya
    February 7, 2009 at 01:42

    Best wishes to israel!!Hope the country will choose best man for the Prime Minister .Hope that new Prime Minister will stand as “hero” to solve all the matter and for their good future.

  3. 3 Luci Smith
    February 7, 2009 at 10:37

    Some of us are completely outside the conflict.I have not been in Israel since 1973. But I would like you to ask some normal Israelis if they cannot see how the bombing of Gaza was perfectly timed to fit with the last days of Bush’s time in office?

    To our cynical eyes, it looks like the government of Israel wanted to get rid of all of their old weapons so they could get new ones once Obama has gotten into office and these contracts are ready to be renegotiated. A lot of my friends here in Copenhagen saw it the same way. Hence our protests about the disproportionate force used in the attacks and the “hemsk” – a Swedish word that translates as “horrific/evil” killing of innocent civilians and especially children.

    So what about peace? It is a tough act to follow with this war. Are Israelis just as easy to manipulate as everybody else when their politicians try to sway them at an election?

  4. 4 Roberto
    February 7, 2009 at 11:11

    RE “” The security situation is obviously a major concern, but people we’ve been speaking to have also told us that issues like education, water and energy are big issues too.””

    —————— Recent assaults on Irsael from Hezbollah and Hamas should ensure the election of the closed fist of Netanyahu.

    Education, energy and water issues become part and parcel of security. In that vein, Israelis should look around at the bankruptcy of the US and other western economies, and understand traditional support for both Israel and Palestininians is likely to suffer as well and implement austere regulations.

    The days of plenty look to be coming to a screeching halt with expected new conflicts and uprisings..

  5. February 7, 2009 at 13:00

    Centrist Kadima party understand that they have taken a right decision in right time.In fact they want to take some benefit with reference to the war acheiving some success therein but they are wrong because they have been failed in achieving the real target.

    Tunnles were refreshed and smugging still continued and due to millitary action israel earned bad name in the world,united nations memeber states condemned its action.

    Under the leadership of present rulers,Israel committed crime by targeting United Nations school, warehouses and Headquarter,

    So in the present scario,chances has been created for right wing Likud of unique success in the forthcoming general election in Israel.

  6. February 7, 2009 at 14:11

    Failure in gaining the real destination in the war,
    Kadima will face defeat in the election expected after a week.

  7. February 7, 2009 at 15:23

    Israel can pride itself on being the most democratic country in the Middle East, but so far it has failed to grant the Palestinians an independent state and to reach a settlement with Syria over the Golan Heights. These are some of the reasons why it has many enemies in the Muslim and the Arab worlds.

    Here are my questions:

    1- Can Israel survive without its close alliance with the United States from which it gets the most militarily and financial support?

    2- How serious is Israel about an independent Palestinian State?

    3- Does it envisage sharing Jerusalem with an independent Palestinian State?

    4- Concerning water, how can it be a source of tension between Israel and Jordan?

    5- How deeply is Israel affected by the current financial crisis?

    6- Is it true Sephardic Jews have less influence than Jews form Europe and they are the ones who have extreme views concerning the creation of a Palestinian State?

    7- How Judaism is still important in Israeli society. Is it drifting to more secularism?

    8- How far have Israel’s relations with moderate Arab countries and Turkey been damaged because of its recent attacks on Gaza?

    9- Which countries does Israel consider as the biggest danger to its existence and stability?

    10- In Israel there are more than 800,000 Jews of Moroccan origin. Do they still have an affinity to Morocco, as legally they are still considered as Moroccan citizens with the right to return?

  8. February 8, 2009 at 05:17

    I hope there’s some peace in the Middle East. But I guess it’s more in the hands of the Arabs and the Islamists to decide that than the Israelis.

  9. 9 Asher
    February 8, 2009 at 11:07

    The election will be won by the right wing parties thanks to Hamas.
    In 1977 it was not Menachem Begin who said I will go to Cairo and make peace with Egypt; It was Anwar Sadat who said ‘I will go to Jerusalem and make peace with the Israelis.’

  10. 10 Alby
    February 10, 2009 at 01:59


    Very interesting you use the stock statement “thanks to Hamas”.

    Many of us in the international world think Hamas getting elected in the first place is directly because of the half-hearted offers by the Israeli Right-wing to Arafat re: an Non-viable Palestinian state with strings attached to water and Jordan River security, etc. And the pressures from the US voters on Clinton to make Arafat look like the bad guy.

    So, maybe you can go back a few more years to decide who to “thank”.

    Netanyahu was elected back in the 1990s which changed the whole tone of the thing in a very dramatic way, and he is still out there making ridiculous statements today about the Global Economic Crisis at World Economic Forum which will end up sounding in History like Marie Antoinette’s remarks about eating cake!

    Israel could have had their deal, but the Right-wing in power don’t want 1967 borders. And, they’ve shown through spending their money on settlements what they really want.

    This is coming out now to more and more people so these stock statements so commonly used and accepted just won’t work anymore.

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