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Netanyahu win in election sad day for Israeli Arabs

Benjamin Netanyahu's victory in the Israeli elections is a triumph of the politics of fear over socio-economic concerns.

It also means the socio-economic political preferences of nearly half of the electorate who voted for the Leftist coalition led by Isacc Herzog and Tzipi Livni and the new Joint List of Arab parties have been consigned to the periphery.

This will have profound implications for the national political project if Netanyahu stands by his pre-election pledge that a Palestinian state will not come into existence under his leadership.

Furthermore, his alarmist and discriminatory focusing on the voting pattern of Israeli Arabs who for the first time organised into an effective bloc vote exhibited the worst discriminatory traits of Le Pen's National Front and Greece's Golden Dawn.

This has traumatised many of my Israeli friends, who are proudly Zionist in their absolute loyalty to a Jewish state, but are also deeply committed to a just two-state solution to the tragedy of Israel-Palestine.

They are most certainly not disloyal; they are the political descendants of former prime ministers David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, who prioritised - above everything - the security of Israel, but also acknowledged the rights of the region's Palestinian inhabitants.

DR KEVIN McCARTHY

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