Op-Ed: Early Israeli elections will not prevent strike on Iran
While Israeli votes could dissolve the current session of the Knesset and call for nationwide elections a year ahead of schedule, these developments will not prevent an Israeli strike on Iran.
In Israel, although elections are held at least every five years, they can be held earlier if either the government loses support or both sides agree to the transformation. This process is employed under the Israeli government parliamentary system designed to reshape the nation’s leadership. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current coalition was formed by many smaller political parties, and some have incompatible objectives.
The Associated Press
and the Guardian
wrote that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu called for early elections to take advantage of his lead in public opinion polls and to inflict damage against any opposition party. The early vote is among many activities that have scrambled calculations for the timeframe of an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear enrichment and weapons production installations and facilities. Netanyahu's Likud Party could acquire 30 of the 120 seats in Israel's parliament, which is a 12-seat advantage over the next largest party if the elections are held in early September, according to Israeli political polls. Likud now has 27 seats. Likud's election bill is likely to pass, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to Y-net news
, early elections will never alter Iran war plans. Disagreements in Prime Minister Netanyahu's coalition concerning military conscription and budget cuts have encouraged the mobilization of parties to bring about early elections. These developments have raised questions about whether an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities could now be either delayed or abandoned because of Israeli government unwillingness to send potential voters to bomb shelters. On Wednesday, 2 May 2012, Defense Minister Ehud Barak guaranteed the Israeli public that the expectation of early elections in Israel will not affect its strategy for frustrating Iran's nuclear program, including war plans for preemptive strike on Iran. Barak stated that "Elections will not affect deliberations of the professional echelon in everything regarding the Iranian issue."
Today, both the Likud and Kadima parties have stated they see benefits for their group in having the elections in 2012 rather than 2013. It is expected that these elections will be held in early September this year, but they might be delayed until after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. While the election will be held against the backdrop of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, the economic difficulties facing the Israeli state could also play a significant role in determining the outcome. Many political and military analysts expect upcoming elections to freeze any plans for military action against Iran until the new government is in place, but this may be part of Israel’s denial and deception operation plan.