Why Likud Lost-And Who Won
Had Israel voted its pocketbook in the June 23 elections, the Likud party, led by Yitzhak Shamir, would have won easily. For the fact was—a fact obscured by campaign rhetoric, the obsessive preoccupation with American loan guarantees, and the monthly scare figures of unemployment—that the Israeli economy had made remarkable progress in the six years of Shamir’s premiership.
Indeed, within the last two of those six years, Israel had managed to house, feed, and clothe over 400,000 immigrants—more than a tenth of the state’s Jewish population—from the former Soviet Union, and to employ over 60 percent of them. That this could happen while the Western world was enduring an economic slowdown made Likud’s feat all the more impressive.
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