-- May 3, 2012- Elections Set For September 3, Israel Receives New Submarine

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

May 3, 2012- Elections Set For September 3, Israel Receives New Submarine

It's almost official. The parties have agreed that the next Israeli elections will be held on September 4th. (note: just as I started writing this piece, it was reported by the army radio that the Shas party objects to the date). It looks like Prime Minister Netanyahu has been planning this move for a while. Otherwise, there is no real reason why there should suddenly be new elections. Yes, the coalition has some tough weather ahead, with the Tal Law replacement and the need to pass a new budget. Despite these challenges, there is no reason to think that the current government could not have made it through. Still, Netanyahu seems to have decided to strike while his public opinion polls are high; and before President Obama possibly becomes re-elected.

Of course, one of the major unknown factors remains the question of whether Foreign Minister Lieberman will be indicted, or not. The State Attorney's office has promised an answer within weeks. They have been investigating the Lieberman file for months--since the police recommended that he be indicted, and after Lieberman has had the opportunity to rebut the charges against him. This is something I can never understand. A decision like this would be made in a matter of hours in the US.

Israel received delivery of its fourth submarine today in Germany. The submarine is said to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, thus providing Israel with a second strike capability. This is Israel's fourth advanced sub. There are two more submarines in development, with delivery expected approximately every 2 years. The Germans are covering one third the cost of the subs, which are built in their shipyards..

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