With 26 parties facing Israeli voter, two lead the pack
Entries of slates for the March 17 general election were filed by 26 parties in time for the Thursday night deadline. Many parties introduced a weird collection of apolitical newcomers in an attempt to spice their presentations for an electorate tired of the same old faces – with the result that a quarter of the current Knesset members are off the new lists. For Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-of-center Likud, the main threat to its incumbency comes from the left-of-center Zionist Camp (union of Yitzhak Herzog’s Labor and Tzipi Livni’s group). While the two big parties dog each other in opinion polls, Netanyahu remains the preferred prime minister. This may change now that campaigning can begin in earnest.