A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israeli Election Day

Israel's election day is finally here, and there are reports that turnout is higher than in the last election. Until the results are known, there's not much to comment on, but one thing did strike me during this campaign: during the Gaza operation, much of the US media, whether supportive of the operation or critical of it, spent very little time discussing the fact that Israel went to war in the midst of a close-fought election. Certainly Israeli commentators always had that fact in mind, but so much of the discussion in the US media dealt with Gaza as if it were completely unaffected by the elections.

I'm not sure why that was; the elections were hardly a secret, and clearly the timing of the Gaza operation was influenced by Kadima's hopes of staying in power. I just thought I'd remark on the fact at this point. Once we have some results it will be easier to speculate about the impact of Gaza on the vote.

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