First Polls Out Since The Knesset Lists Closed Indicate No Change From Previous Two Elections With Avigdor Lieberman Still Playing Kingmaker

If early polling is correct, Avigdor Lieberman will emerge from the new election empowered to end the era of religious parties sitting at the government table and usher in a new, much more secular, Israel

Still kingmaker and the likely midwife of a dramatic secular shift in Israeli politics and Israeli life, leader of the Israel Beitenu party, Avigdor Lieberman

Consolidations on the left and on the right did nothing to change the overall picture from the previous two elections in which neither the center-right-religious bloc nor the center-left-Arab bloc could win a majority of seats in the Knesset. This makes Israel Beitenu and its leader Avigdor Lieberman the most powerful man in the country right now, should the polling prove to be correct.

If these results are anything like the actual election results, Lieberman will have a choice to make: join a coalition government that relies on anti-Zionist communist Arabs or not. The likely answer is no, which means that Lieberman will try to once again attempt the seemingly impossible and force a government that would be based on centrist secular elements from the Likud and Blue and White parties with his own party’s participation, needless to say.

Whether this gambit will succeed where two previous ones have failed is anyone’s guess, but it is not impossible. Politicians are among the greediest and most headstrong people in the world and one thing they never willingly do is cede power. In the previous two elections, both Benjamins: Gantz of Blue and White and Netanyahu of the Likud, were hoping that the third time around will make it possible for them to avoid any power sharing arrangements. If the polling, including internal, convinces them that this would not be the case, they will start seriously thinking about the day after the election weeks before it actually arrives and will be ready for it when it does.

Singularities by their very nature are unpredictable and Israeli politics is now in the grip of a singularity; a once in a lifetime event, a realignment, a paradigm shift. It is quite likely that this paradigm shift will involve the birth of a far more secular Israel, one in which Judaism the religion plays a much more muted role in the public square. If so, this will comport with the wishes of the majority of the Jewish population in Israel, which is why it is indeed likely to happen.

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