After Obama’s key election victory in late 2008, four pivotal elections in 2009 pivotal elections may well change the course of history for better or worse in two global crisis hot spots: the Middle East and South Asia.
The first of these four national elections has already taken place on 10 February in Israel. In May, India will go to the polls to pick a new prime minister or sustain Congress Party’s hold on the government. In June and August, Iran and Afghanistan respectively will have their presidential elections.
At the time of this writing, we await in Israel the formation of a right of right-wing coalition government under Prime Minister designate Binjamin Netanyahu. He has until 3 April to form that government.
Two choices are before him. Today he could take his party, Likud, and splice it together with a narrow and far more hawkish coalition of far right of center parties. The coalition would be brittle though, mustering only a thin 65-seat majority in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) of 120 seats. Stray but a little from a Zionist supremist stance of no Palestinian negotiations, no abandonment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and open bellicosity against Iran and it would take only a handful of far-right parliamentarians to snap the coalition apart like a matzo cracker. That is why mid-March has seen Netanyahu engage through intermediaries of Tzipi Livni’s right-centrist Kadima Party perchance to form a broader based coalition — one that might tame the savage right, avoid global isolation and keep options full speed ahead for some settlement of the Palestinian two-state question.
Netanyahu in his previous stint as prime minister in the 1990s has seen how quickly a thin coalition can collapse his power. While talks go on behind closed doors, Livni at least publicly proclaims that all Kadima’s key demands for forming a coalition remain non-negotiable, chief of which is one I do not believe Netanyahu can tolerate: sharing the prime minister’s chair with Livni for two years of his four-year term.
The last several years of forecasting elections has definitely found my “oracle” obsessed with visions of dream team themes. Some of you remember presage quandaries matching team Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton or Clinton-Obama in the White House. Would one be the Vice President of the other? As it turned out the dream team did manifest at last as President Obama-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I have been seeing Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister as far back as at least early 2007 — possibly far earlier if we together leaf through HogueProphecy Archives. Livni also has caught my prescient attention as a future Prime Minister in Predictions for 2008. Dare we presume that these two will have to swallow a pill bitter to big egos in early April and agree to an equal share of the Prime Minister’s seat, or is this just the prophecy of April’s fool?
(15 March 2009)
UPDATE 01/23/10–Also further surprises in US-Iranian and Israeli relations are afoot, see Predictions for 2010.