January 28, 2013
Doris Strub Epstein
ISRAELI ELECTIONS REFLECT “DEEP CHANGES” IN THE COUNTRY; KEDAR
The overflowing audience at Temple Sinai Sunday night was treated to an in-depth, insider’s analysis of the recent Israeli elections and an unvarnished, profoundly knowledgeable look at the Middle East, from a man who tells it as it is with no fear of being politically incorrect. Dr. Mordechai Kedar. He is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam who is fluent in Arabic, a lecturer at Bar Ilan University and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Middle East and Islam. He also spent 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence acheiving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Short of stature but huge in personality, he cut through the complexities of Israel and the Middle East in simple language. He was called a “ball of fire” at the Brooklyn synagogue where he spoke last week, part of a month long North American visit and lecture tour.
Kedar’s analysis and insights of the recent election, sheds light on what the results tell us about today’s Israelis. Likud had 40 seats in the Knesset and expected even more. Instead they lost by 25 per cent. By concentrating on security in their campaign, and ignoring the economic complaints especially of the younger generation, Likud “missed the point”, Kedar said. Their slogan was a “Powerful Prime Minister for a Powerful Israel”. “Israelis didn’t buy it.” The reason he gave was that because of the chaos of the Arab Spring, Israel’s neighbours and enemies do not at present, pose an imminent danger.