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No surprise that Israel voted for the 'strong man'

Dr Kevin McCarthy (Write Back, March 23) is upset by the Israeli election results.

For the record, the Israeli democratic process resulted in a record number of Arabs (17) and a record number of women (28) being elected to the 120-seat Israeli Knesset.

Thanks to the strong showing of the new Joint Arab/Communist List, the new Knesset will see a significant increase in Arab representation.

Seventeen Arabs will sit in the 20th Knesset, compared with 12 previously. Along with 13 out of the 14 members of the Joint Arab/Communist List, there will also be four Arab parliamentarians representing "Zionist" parties.

Only nine members of the 20th Knesset live over the "Green Line" in the West Bank, so it's not full of Right-wing "extremists" as Dr McCarthy may fear.

Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu - whose constituents are mainly Russian-speaking voters - ran on one ticket in the last election, when they won a total of 31 seats.

In this election, Likud surprised the pollsters and won 30 seats alone (compared with 20 in the last election).

Could it be that Likud did so well when voters realised that when, after 10 years, the long-overdue Palestinian elections take place in the West Bank, Hamas could sweep the board?

With Isis on Israel's borders in Sinai, Syria and Jordan, many voters supported the "strong man's party" - even if they don't care for him personally.

DR F R BAIGEL

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