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      Shalom Yerushalmi Predicts An Election Victory For Bibi

      Ma'ariv columnist Shalom Yerushalmi predicts that with the backing of rightist parties, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will win.
      By Scott Krane
      First Publish: 10/11/2012, 6:46 AM

      Elections
      Elections
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Journalist and senior political commentator Shalom Yerushalmi, from the newspaper Ma'ariv, estimates that the political right-of-center in Israel will sustain its power in the upcoming elections.

      "The right-wing bloc has a solid majority, mainly due to the fact that right-wing parties continue to maintain loyalty to the prime minister," Yerushalmi told Arutz Sheva. "Today there is no internal rivalry within the right-wing Likud bloc and no one challenges Netanyahu. Yisrael Beytenu, HaBeit HaYehudi and Shas, all support Netanyahu."

      He said that the political left-of-center is a real problem. "They can not formulate an agreed candidate, be it Olmert [or Livni, or someone else]. This will be good news to Netanyahu and I appreciate that he himself will come to the same conclusion.”

      "[Labor leader] Yechimovich also aims her gun at Olmert. She said that he was corrupt and that he should not return to politics. Yechimovich is the leading candidate, but does not have the security elements, and that is a problem," he added

      Yerushalmi says Yair Lapid will benefit from the disintegration of leftist parties. "Yair Lapid will benefit from early elections because otherwise he would lose his momentum."

      Yerushalmi estimated that the Independence party of Ehud Barak will not pass the threshold.

      "The emphasis is on issues of policy and security; maybe he is better at that but I doubt his party will pass the threshold, although you never know if he might not enter through the back door and be used again as Defense Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government," he said.