Most of the time, political elections in other countries rarely impacts the consciousness of Americans. Yet many times those elections will have an impact on American economics and/or foreign policy. One such election is in the process of happening in Great Britain and in particular the issue of Brexit, Great Britain leaving the European Union. A divorce between these two political entities will significantly hurt both parties economically. Germany is already in a recession and with the wave of populist parties making gains in other E.U. countries, Italy and Poland are not far behind.
The drive behind populism’s popularity in Europe is the same as what drove Trump’s victory in America. My biased opinion is populism is driven primarily be “me, my and mine” attitudes. It is closing one’s self off from the rest of the world. Yes, unfettered immigration in Europe (as in America) is a legitimate problem and must be addressed but unaddressed it seems to break down into “hatred” of others. European countries are trying to emulate Trump to “Make my Country Great Again” where economically the countries are trying to be self-sufficient in all aspects of their economies. America is the E.U.’s biggest export market and the reverse is very significant to America’s economy. A no deal Brexit will just further the dissolution of the E.U. as each country takes a “ everyone looks out for one’s own” to the detriment of the world’s economy including America.
On the other hand, the upcoming Israeli elections may have significant impact on America’s foreign policy. Bibi Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. His Likud party appears win about 33 seats in the Knesset down from the current 38 seats and a far cry from the 61 he needs to win to form a majority in the Knesset. Bibi’s traditional ally, Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteninu party is splitting from the Likud over Bibi’s promise to support religious Jews with monthly income and exclusion from military service. Leiberman wants to promote a purely secular society without special treatment of religious Jews and Bibi’s promises to the religious Jews was a step too far for Leiberman and his party. Netanyahu has been making promises to annex most of the West Bank if he wins a new Premiership. This is designed to bring the far right anti-Palestininian parties into a possible coalition. Right now it looks like Netanyahu adding the religious and far right parties will only bring him to 56 seats, or 5 seats less than he needs to form a coalition.
That would lead the “Blue and White” party headed by Benny Gantz a military hero in Israel to try to form a coalition. It is expected that the Blue and White party (Israel flag colors) will win 35 seats in the Knesset but has far fewer possible coalition partners to form a coalition. They can easily add the Labor party which ruled Israel for decades but is now down to 6 seats.
The fact that Israel is facing the possibility of a minority and thus unstable government provides some incentive for the Palestinians to vote more heavily than they have in the past. Palestinian citizens in Israel vote far less than their population numbers would indicate as they have adopted a indifference to voting due to the fact that they have been ignored in the Knesset. The Joint List, a union of Arab parties, now has 10 seats in the Knesset but they are poised to get 15 seats if the Arab turnout efforts are effective. This could make the Palestininian Arab parties the Kingmaker in any Minority government. This would be a monumental change in Israel as the Palestinian parties have never served in any Israeli government or even passed any legislation that they have proposed. Such a change would be good for Israel. Palestinian’s represent 21% of Israel’s citizens and their voice should be heard in a democracy.
If Bibi can put together a coalition he MUST proceed with his West Bank Annexation plans or the right wing parties will leave and his government will fall. Bibi’s promise to annex 65% of the West Bank will include more than 1 million Palestinians who will NOT be given Israeli citizenship. Therein lies the death of Israeli democracy with the Arab Mideast blowing up and it’s impact on America’s foreign policy. At that point Israel may feel they have nothing to lose and proceed with their long delayed plans to invade Lebanon to decimate Hezballah and annex the Litani River in Lebanon to help with Israel’s water needs. What would Trump do in such a situation – who knows. Stay Tuned.