Israel election: Netanyahu win dims peace process prospects

Israel election: Netanyahu win dims peace process prospects

The outside world tends to look at Israeli politics through the prism of the peace process with the Palestinians.

But over the course of a long election campaign the issue did not appear to have a high profile.

The judgement of most candidates seemed to be that Israeli voters were preoccupied with cost-of-living issues.

The ruinous expense of buying or renting a home is at the top of the national agenda, especially for the young.

On the Palestinian question, differences within the right- and left-wing blocs are small and if they were to steal votes from their adjacent parties they would have campaign on other fronts.

Everyone knows, of course, that the Israeli right, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is at best sceptical about the prospect of a peace deal with the Palestinians, while the left under Yitzhak Herzog is much keener on the kind of constructive engagement that would keep the White House and the State Department happy.

For long weeks the candidates appeared content to allow the voters to draw their conclusions on the basis of those underlying assumptions.

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