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Peace falls off agenda in Israeli vote

2006-03-27 19:07:16

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I think this article speaks for itself, historically Israel continues to find excuses to not make peace when they hold all of the colds both militarily, financially and politically.  They may not like Hamas but a lot of governments aren't liked, and Israel's allies for years decried the lack of democracy in Palestine, but now that the results aren't what they wanted they refuse to recognize the results, it doesn't get much more hypocritical than this.

Full Article:

Peace falls off agenda in Israeli vote

With the centrist Kadima Party seemingly headed for a narrow win in Israel's general elections Tuesday, few of the 31 parties in the race have made peace a priority because of the recent Hamas electoral victory.

Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party has a narrow lead in polls heading into Tuesday's election. (AP file photo)

"These are Israel's saddest elections, the first with barely a mention of peace," analyst Yossi Klein Halevi told Reuters.

"Few party banners compete at intersections, few political bumper stickers appear on cars, and the ratings are down for the campaign ads that used to provide nightly entertainment in our raucous election season," he said.

Some analysts believe the recent win by Hamas Islamists in Palestinian elections has pushed aside talks of peace as an election issue, even among the more dovish parties.

The Kadima Party, founded last year by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, still has a strong lead over the centrist Labour Party and the hawkish Likud Party. Sharon has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in January.

Current polls show Kadima would capture just 34 of 120 seats, not enough to control parliament, even in a coalition with the Labour party. Polls last week showed Kadima with enough support to secure 36 seats.

Kadima's leader, acting prime minister Ehud Olmert, has already said a Kadima coalition would not include parties opposed to Israel's withdrawal from parts of the West Bank by 2010.

In Gaza City, incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh indicated he is ready to hold talks with international mediators regarding the Mideast conflict. Observers hopes this could be a first sign of flexibility after Hamas' long insistence that it would not recognize Israel.

Israel has deployed about 22,000 police and volunteers to enforce security during the election campaign and vote.

Palestinian militants have disrupted the election process in the past, something Israeli officials hope to avoid this time around.

Polls close at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday.


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