Israelis go to the polls

Today the Jewish state decides the future of the Middle East. If hardliner Netanyahu wins, you’re looking at a safer Israel. If the left wins, due in part to the Obama administration’s undermining and meddling in foreign affairs, you will see an Israel giving concessions and inviting an Iranian surprise attack.

 

Israelis are voting in an election expected to be a close-fought battle between the centre left and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has ruled out a Palestinian state in a last-ditch appeal to the right.

The outcome of the race, in which opinion polls suggest Netanyahu will win fewer seats than the centre-left Zionist Union, is likely to help determine the prospects for new Middle East peace talks and Israel’s troubled relations with its US ally.

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Top EU diplomat calls for Palestinian state within 5 years

Ahead of her visit Friday, Federica Mogherini says actors in the region ‘need the European Union to be present to make steps forward’

The European Union’s new foreign policy chief called for the creation of a Palestinian state within the five years of her term, and announced that the EU intends to play a more influential role in the Middle East than it has in the past.

“What’s important for me is not whether other countries, be they European or not, recognize Palestine,” Federica Mogherini told the European press in comments published Tuesday, referring to Sweden’s recent recognition of a Palestinian state. “I’d be happy if, during my mandate, the Palestinian state existed.”

This weekend, she is scheduled to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories for her first official visit. During her two-day trip, she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, President Reuven Rivlin, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. She is also expected to travel to Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, where she will meet with senior Palestinian officials. Continue reading

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