Right, left, housing, pensions, Bibi, two-state solution, traitors, security, kindergartens, Livni, discrimination. Change. Israeli elections 2015 are about many issues, but more than anything they are about change. JFK once said that change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
Today Israel is on a brink of not only missing , but destroying its future for years to come. During the last six years prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did everything that could be done to alienate the world from Israel, to destroy its strategic relations with the U.S., to worsen the relations with the Palestinian authority and to destroy a two-state solution by pouring money into newly build settlements and fore-posts. The preservation of the status quo in regards to Israeli-Palestinian conflict proved to be mission impossible -- Israel had dealt with two painful wars in Gaza, with waves of terror in Jerusalem and with a real threat of Israeli commanders and soldiers being tried by Hague court.
Can the situation get worse? Unfortunately, yes. Even if the Zionist Union becomes the largest political party -- and according to all the recent polls they have a clear advantage on Likud, the ruling Israeli party -- there is still a chance that Netanyahu will be able to form a narrow, extreme right-wing government. If this scenario takes place, by April 1 Israel will find itself in the Hague court, battling against multiple PA lawsuits. This development will sever the already shaken ties between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and will most probably result in painful financial and political sanctions against PA, as a continuation of the current policy of freezing PA assets and funds. One can only imagine the turmoil in the West Bank, and especially in East Jerusalem -- the hotbed for dissent and terror activity in the last few months. The international community will have to act on Israel and Palestine to prevent another major Mideast crisis. One possible result for Israel could be a very tough US-EU-Arab resolution in the UN Security Council that would call on Israel to withdraw its forces from the West Bank for the sake of an independent Palestinian state.
In just a few months both Israel's security, economy and prestige might be compromised and the damage will be unbearable. Only in the case that Yitzhak Herzog forms a government with Tzipi Livni, a seasoned politician and well-experienced negotiator, by his side, can this nightmare scenario be avoided. Herzog and Livni, and millions of Israeli voters believe in the necessity of change in foreign policy, security and economy. Not only that they have a plan and a vision, but they also have the support of the international community necessary for implementation of this plan that will provide to Israel maximum security and maximum legitimacy.
The current situation, in which the two-state solution is still viable, and Israeli efforts will be supported also by Egypt, Jordan, Gulf states and other regional and international partners will not last forever. This is why these elections that were designed by Netanyahu to get rid of unwanted coalition partners (Yair Lapid) and to create his dream government, with an extreme right and the ultra-orthodox, are so important and so crucial. History teaches us that the window of opportunity can be closed at any moment. It's important that Israel not lose its chance for a decent future.
Ksenia Svetlova is a politician, Knesset candidate on behalf of the Zionist Union party, Arab affairs analyst, journalist and lecturer in Herbew University of Jerusalem.