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Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

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Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Kadima party, took a slight lead in exit polls and early returns after Israelis voted Tuesday in parliamentary elections. However, with Likud a close second and a splinter ultraconservative party set to win about 15 seats, conservatives may be the real winners. Update

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Will Israel become a "country of fear or a country of hope," as Tzipi Livni, a candidate for Israeli prime minister and the current foreign minister, recently asked? This week's Mosaic Intelligence Report serves up an analysis of the coming election. (Hint: It doesn't look good for the whole hope thing.)

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Though it wasn't immediately official, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won control of the country's ruling Kadima party and, if she is successful in forming a governing coalition, will be the first woman prime minister in more than three decades. Livni is currently Israel's lead negotiator with the Palestinians and, according to the newspaper Haaretz, was seen as likelier to reach a deal than her party rivals. Update

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As if the situation in the Middle East couldn't get any worse, this week's news that scandal-plagued Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will resign has been seized upon by right-wing Israeli politicians, who believe the parliamentary chaos caused by Olmert's departure will open the door for a return to hard-line, ultranationalist government.

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Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, beset by accusations of corruption and bribery, announced Wednesday that he will resign after an internal Kadima Party election to choose a new leader on Sept. 17.

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