Israeli election talk drowns out Iran debate

Reuters reports: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped heavy hints on Sunday of an early election, shifting the national focus from a former spymaster’s accusations that he could start a rash war with Iran.

The next general election in Israel is not due until October 2013, but a new conscription law that might force ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the army and an upcoming budget debate could crack open his coalition of religious and nationalist parties.

With opinion polls showing the right-wing leader on track to win another term if an election was held now, speculation has been ripe that Netanyahu will opt to bring the ballot forward.

Meeting with cabinet ministers from his Likud party on Sunday, Netanyahu signaled he was considering an early vote, after having insisted publicly that he would wait until 2013.

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