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In the new year, Israel’s problems are mainly at home

The regional outlook is better than for some time, and internationally Israel is well positioned. The dangers lie in social divisions and political dysfunction.

The outlook for Israel in the new year is unusually clear, but very complex.

Domestically social divisions and political dysfunctionality will continue. The November election is unlikely to resolve anything. Even if one side or the other manages to patch up a coalition government, it will be subject to the whims of two or three Knesset members in order to stay in office. The alternative, of course, is yet another election. In the meantime Israel will continue as it has been for some time now–a scientific, technological, cultural and military success, despite the political gridlock and the fact that a significant percentage of the population is voluntarily sidelined. The recent Gaza crisis was very indicative in that regard–an intelligence and military triumph, despite the absence of a functioning political system. However, the prominence of intelligence and especially military leadership, brings with it its own dangers to democracy.

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