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Israel Election Results: A National Unity Government Is the Least Worst Outcome

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Among Israelis who care about the country’s liberal democracy and disgusted by tawdriness in high places, the results of this week’s elections can only be a cause for long overdue cheer. They don’t yet spell the end of the Netanyahu era, but they bring us tantalizingly close. What is harder to explain is why investors and the business community are sharing in the celebration.

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The most evident sign of that were the gains on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange the day after the election. The broadest indices rose about 0.5% and were continuing higher on Thursday while the banking index – widely regarded as a benchmark for the state of the economy – rose no less than 2.3%. Prices for medium- and long-term government bonds advanced more than 1%.

Without besmirching the individual good names of the people who trade securities, the stock market as a whole isn’t driven by ethical values – if war breaks out and shares fall it isn’t because the market is upset over the impending loss of human life but because of its impact on the economy and corporate profits. An investor may not like war, but that is not going to cause him to tearfully sell his shares.

There is ample reason to believe that market players on the TASE are happy on a personal level to see Bibi packing his bags, yet the real........

© Haaretz