The Israeli election was on the surface a tie between Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and Kadima, led by Tzipi Livni (who replaced Ehud Olmert as party chief). While Livni loudly proclaimed victory because Kadima had come out one parliamentary seat ahead, the election was largely a victory for the Israeli Right.
In recent years Lieberman shifted rhetorically to the right, and so morphed into a bogeyman of the Israeli Left, which loves to accuse him of anti-Arab “racism.” The hysteria against him probably fueled his increase in strength to 15 Knesset seats, ahead of the Labor party.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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