Due to the realignment of Israeli politicians and parties, Israel’s political life will suffer the most extraordinary change in the last 30 years. To understand what the consequences for the future of Israel, the region and the Israeli-Arab relations will be, is important.
The Israeli political system is living the end of its second era. The first one was the 1948-1977 period with the hegemony of the Labour Party. Gradually, a sort of free space emerged between the right and the centre and Likud was founded, marking the beginning of the second era in which both parties have fought for the leadership of Israel. This opposition is more complex than the one between hawks and doves. In fact, the Labour Party thought, optimistically, that one day it could find an Arab interlocutor to talk to, whereas Likud had a different opinion. The Oslo agreements in 1993 allowed the implementation of such hypothesis.
When in year 2000 Arafat launched his terrorist war against Israel again, a new national consensus was reached. According to this predominant idea, Israel must withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank to get peace but negotiating with the Palestinians is impossible. This new consensus is the core of Ariel Sharon’s policy who maintains his position with regard to the Palestinians but is willing to implement a moderate policy. Hence, some members of Likud describe him as a traitor but the members of the Labour Party are in decline. This is the reason why, with his new party, Sharon should win the elections. Then, he’ll have a strong position in the Arab world.

Daily Star (Lebanon)
Taipei Times (Taiwan)
The Australian (Australia)

Sharon’s centrism the likely winner in Israel’s shake-up”, by Barry Rubin, The Australian, November 23, 2005.
Israel’s political earthquake”, Taipei Times, November 23, 2005.
Israel is on the verge of a political earthquake”, Daily Star, November 24, 2005.