December 12, 2012 -Election Campaign in Swing Sort Of- Egypt in Turmoil Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

December 12, 2012 -Election Campaign in Swing Sort Of- Egypt in Turmoil

The Israeli election campaign is in full swing. Well sort of. It seems that the Likud/Beiteinu has seemingly decided (based on the advice of Arthur Finkelstein, the American political consultant) not to run a traditional campaign. Instead they are betting that the way to guarantee the largest victory is for their twin leaders, Netanyahu and Lieberman, to attack the Europeans almost daily, comparing them to Nazis. This may be a great way to win elections, but it's certainly not the way win friends.

Remember that this election was called because Netnayahu did not want to try to pass a budget- a budget that will necessitate major cut backs. On the budget, so far, there has not been a word from anyone but Yachimovich, who is trying desperately to get the public to focus on our economic situation. Of course, while her heart is in the right place, her economic plans are totally unrealistic, as they do not deal with the realties of situation here. The bottom line is: this country cannot provide social services like the rich OECD nation that it likes to think of itself being, with the triple burdens of defense, the Haredi population, and the settlements. In short, nothing substantive regarding the economy is being discussed now, nor will it, in this waste of an election.

Meanwhile, as much as Yachimovich would like to discuss the economy, the instability of the countries all around us seems to worsen. On one front, Assad seems to be taking ever more desperate steps, in what is clearly a losing game. In Egypt the crisis continues, with Morsi going ahead with his rushed referendum on the Constitution. The Liberals have failed to stop him from going ahead. As of the moment, it is unlikely Morsi's opponents will be able to vote the Constitution down, but are equally unlikely to accept it once passed. One thing is clear, Morsi’s decisions-- both to employ emergency powers and to rush through passing a Constitution have permanently lost him the support of a large swaths of the Egyptian population. It does not seem like the Egyptian people will be as pliable to religious rule as the Iranain people were when the Shah fell.

Tomorrow the Attorney General annnounces his decision on Liberman..

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