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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:37 PM

Far Right Spells Danger For Netanyahu

JERUSALEM: Israel's election campaign has entered its final frantic two weeks, with political advertisements flooding television and radio focused on domestic socio-economic issues and parties all but ignoring Israel's most intractable challenge - the negotiation of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Polls show that while the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, retains a commanding lead as preferred prime minister, voters were deserting his Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu party list (formed with the former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman) and flocking to the rising political star Naftali Bennett's far-right Habayit Hayehudi party.

Mr Bennett, a 40-year-old former high-tech company director, has emerged as a real force in these elections and is likely to be granted a senior ministry in the next government if his party performs as well as expected.

He opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, a key platform of most of the major parties, including Mr Netanyahu's Likud, and instead pushes a plan of annexing much of the West Bank.

With just two weeks to polling day, there is still a significant number of undecided voters - one television poll put it at 18 per cent or 24 of the 120 Knesset seats - and analysts said there could yet be further big movement in the electorate.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/far-right-spells-danger-for-netanyahu-20130109-2cgrl.html#ixzz2HWab1dGC

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