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February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
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POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS

The Future Coalition and the Israeli Right

Like Liberman before, Lapid will likely be Netanyahu's major partner as under almost any coalition figuration Yesh Atid can bring down the coalition.

Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid (r) shaking hands with Likud Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid (r) shaking hands with Likud Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

Still, that is down from the approximate 50 or more polls had predicted. It’s too early to say why, it’s probably a combination of the fact that secular supporters of Yisrael Beitenu voted for Lapid and the Likud’s attacks on the Jewish Home contributed to that (e.g., voters who supported Yisrael Beitenu, but would have voted Jewish Home, switched to Lapid when they realized that Jewish Home’s list was comprised of the religious-right) and may have caused other voters to simply stay home (as Jewish Home MK Uri Orbach has now suggested).

Another contributing factor was Power fo Israel, which was just short of the voting threshold, which is two percent or a little over two Knesset seats. Those two seats (or 1.5 seats after redistribution of the votes) were lost to the Right. While I am sorry to see Aryeh Eldad go, he and Ben Ari made a major tactical error when they refused to join the Jewish Home. They would have been better served had they stayed on board and split off from the faction after the election (assuming they would not sit in a Netanyahu government on moral grounds).

* All is not lost for the Likud as the 31 mandates it garnered this time with Yisrael Beitenu, can be converted into pure Likud mandates in the next election. These voters put “Machal” (the Likud’s election-slip) in the ballot. Liberman was absent during the campaign. They were essentially voting for the Likud-Netanyahu. Yisrael Beitenu may have 11 Knesset members, but it may disappear in the next elections. The question is whether it can be absorbed by the Likud in a manner that is fair to the Likud – integrating the Beitenu members into the Likud’s primaries – and agreeable to Liberman.

* As a final point, this election was a disaster for the large party concept, which is very important to government stability, foreign policy, and pushing an agenda. The largest party is 31 seats, which is not that large, and it’s not really one party. On the Left, Labor failed to present itself as the main opposition and become a 20+ seat party. Lapid garnered 19, but so far, he has not spoken about leading the opposition (and it’s hard to see either Yachimovitch or Livni agreeing to it) and it’s not clear that this is something he can repeat. The temptation provided by Israel’s political system to the voter – to vote for a party that most closely resembles themselves, even if it comes at the expenses of good government for all – seems simply too great for the average citizen to resist.

About the Author: Daniel Tauber is a frequent contributor to various prominent publications, including the Jewish Press, Arutz Sheva, Americanthinker.com, the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz. Daniel is also an attorney admitted to practice law in Israel and New York and received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. You can follow him on facebook and twitter.


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One Response to “The Future Coalition and the Israeli Right”

  1. The other day I was on the internet and came across an interview with Golda Meir. Admittedly, I didn't know much about her. I was very impressed as to how well thought out her answers were. I also respected that she would not not let any Israeli to be victimized by the Arabs. The program discussed the incident in the 1972 Olympics where eleven Israeli athletes were murdered by Arab terrorist groups. When Golda Meir found out what happened, she knew what had to be done and immediately worked on getting a team of experts in line to design a response to the event, she was a Zionist in every sense of the word and would not allow anyone to commit an injustice and let them get away with it. If I fast forward to today, I believe that the Zionist credo is what's missing today in Israel and there are negative implications for this. Golda Meir had a good relationship with Richard Nixon and that to must be taken into account. I blame Obama for this because he lets his personal beliefs influence the responsibilities and duties he has as a president. Still, I can't imagine Golda Meir would allow anyone to disrespect and dictate what Israel should or shouldn't do. In my opinion, I believe Israel's leaders should return to the Zionist doctrine of not instigating trouble but when it came time to take action, she did not wither away from the pressure. I was taken aback when I saw a clip of Golda Meir making a speech at the U.N. , that's exactly how you deal with the U.N. The speech was polite, respectful, and professional. But, after her speech, everybody in that chamber understood how dhe felt and was crystal clear about how much Israel would take before more direct measures would be taken. We are a tiny group of only fourteen million people who have bared the brunt of other peoples failures. I understand there is not too many people would have the skills, fortitude, and intelligence that Golda Meir possessed. But, we should use her as an example about what an Israeli leader must be to survive and ultimately continue to thrive.

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