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The completion of the marathon series of elections in Israel could determine the nation’s existence. If Netanyahu loses, Benny Gantz as prime minister will likely return Israel to the Leftist positions. Although Gantz has been characterized as a moderate, he may be offering those positions for public consumption. The fact is, Gantz is an unknown politically, and Israel needs a leader who will take clear and firm positions.
A number of issues have shifted in the Middle East that suggest Israel is not criticized as severely as it has been in the past. That shift begins with Arab countries that have discovered they have much to gain militarily and commercially with Israel. This change doesn’t mean that these countries will embrace Israel; in fact, many of the exchanges between the two countries are only first steps, and those countries could always sever their connections. But at this time, Sudan, Saudi Arabi, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Bahrain have all showed an interest in changing their relationships with the Israelis, agreeing to a “normalization of relations.” Behind those decisions, for example, are the purchase of spy equipment by the Saudis, discreet meetings with a Minister of UAE; cooperation between Israel and Egypt to provide security in and out of the Gaza strip; a security buffer between Israel and Jordan, as well as Israel supplying Jordan with water.
All is not rosy, however, internationally. The United Nations continues to try to cripple Israel. Most recently they created a boycott list against Israel of over 100 companies, which is clearly political and meant to be punitive: