Benjamin Netanyahu will soon face Israeli voters again. And in a curious coincidence, the Israeli prime minister, who took office just a few weeks after Barack Obama did in the U.S., will see his fate decided at the polls Jan. 22, 2013, exactly two days after the U.S. presidential inauguration in Washington, where Obama may or may not be taking the oath of office again.
In contrast with the American election, however, the race in Israel does not look close. The pundits agree that Netanyahu will handily beat his rivals, with his Likud party winning the most seats and his right-wing coalition emerging perhaps stronger than it is now.
It’s worth remembering that just a few months ago Netanyahu was being crowned the “King of Israel” by the international press, due to a new coalition deal that everyone was convinced had given him 16 more months in office before he would need to call an election. Netanyahu had won the reprieve by persuading the largest opposition party, Kadima, to join his government, resulting in the biggest coalition Israel had seen in three decades. That arrangement quickly fell apart, however, proving once again, as a sage one said, that the most difficult thing to predict is the future.