web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Israel’s Election: A Preliminary Analysis

Attention now turns to the question of how Netanyahu can put together a coalition that will hold 61 seats, a majority needed to form a government.
Haredi men cast their votes for the 19th Knesset in Bnei Brak, January 22 2013.

Haredi men cast their votes for the 19th Knesset in Bnei Brak, January 22 2013.
Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash9

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

As expected, Israel has once again made Benjamin Netanyahu its prime minister. The results were not as positive for him as they might have been but are good enough to reelect him.

While some might find this paradoxical, the results show that Israelis have a basic consensus and yet have very different ways of expressing their political positions. This isn’t surprising given the fact that 32 parties were on the ballot.

First, though, a myth that has at times become a propaganda campaign should be exposed. There were numerous reports in the Western media that the Israeli electorate was going far to the right, didn’t want peace, and that Israeli democracy was in jeopardy. None of this had any real basis in fact and the election results show these claims to be false.

The main story of the election was supposed to be the rise of the far right Ha-Bayit ha-Yahudi Party. In fact, though, it received only about 10 percent of the vote which is usual for that sector. In comparison, about one-third went to liberal or moderate left parties, and about one-quarter to centrist parties.

According to reports which are not final but are close to the ultimate result, Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu list received 31 of 120 seats. The Labor Party made some comeback with 15 but came in third. Labor’s hope that its showing would make Israel a mainly two-party system clearly failed.

The big winner was Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 19 that became the second largest party, while Tzipi Livni’s party, the Movement, obtained 6. The appeal of Lapid and Livni are precisely that nobody really knows what they stand for but it is certainly nothing to either extreme. Kadima received two and former army chief of staff Shaul Mufaz will be highly motivated to go into a coalition.

In other words, 26 seats went to vaguely reformist somewhat centrist or mildly liberal parties that don’t have any clear or strong stands except to promise better government.

On the right, Ha-Bayit ha-Yehudi, led by Naftali Bennett, got 12.

On the far left, Meretz obtained 6, better than it expected, while the Communists got 4, the Islamists 3, and the Arab nationalists 4. The last three parties depend mostly on Arab votes and it was a poor showing for that deeply divided sector.

Finally, in the Jewish religious sector, Shas, representing Mizrahi (Middle East-origin and especially Moroccan-origin) Jews received 12 and the Askenazic (European-origin Jews) Yahadut ha-Torah party received 7. While socially conservative, these parties do not have strong stances on issues other than gaining government support for their communities.

The bottom line is, then, that those mainstream forces that aren’t supporting Netanyahu hold 42 seats, more than he does alone. But their inability to unite and different orientations prevent these four parties from emerging as a bloc, that and the fact that they are competing over the same voter base.

Israeli politics cannot be understood by analogy with those of other countries. Neither class and economic nor even peace process issues are fundamental in Israeli politics. At present, the critical issue is who will or won’t form a coalition with Netanyahu’s party. Many voted for Lapid with the idea that he would go into a government with Netanyahu and be a moderate influence pushing for more attention to improving domestic infrastructure.

The idea of Netanyahu as a rightist is outdated. It is precisely because he moved Likud to the center–albeit with a significant right-wing faction remaining–is the secret of his success in gaining two consecutive election victories. The failure of the peace process, the second intifada, the rise of Islamism, and the Palestinian abandonment of negotiations with Israel all have made his broad analysis of the situation acceptable to most Israelis. His opponents focus mainly on stressing dovish credentials rather than offering specific alternatives.

Attention now turns to the question of how Netanyahu can put together a coalition that will hold 61 seats, a majority needed to form a government.

There are several possibilities. Netanyahu never wanted a right-wing government with Bennett. Even if he did, a combination with that party would only get him up to 43 and he would be hard-put to find partners who would join such a combination. Pulling in the two religious parties would only get him to 60 and he knows that this would both cause big international problems and create a situation in which he could be daily blackmailed by threats of his partners to walk out of the coalition.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel’s Election: A Preliminary Analysis”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Newly completed control tower at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. June 2, 2014
US and European Flights to Israel Cancelled Due to Rockets
Latest Indepth Stories
The Israel Test

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.


It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.

.

Supporting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has become dangerous in Malmo.

Gaza

Proportionality Doctrine:The greater the military gain the greater the justifiable collateral damage

Regional pro-US Arab countries rely on Israel as a deterrence to rogue Islamic regimes.

He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

Netanyahu has decided that the lives of Israeli are more important than looking good for Obama, U.N. and the NY Times.

Many Jews join the Israel-haters with their progressive ideology and politically correct obsessions.

“The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.” Abba Kovner

How can you run away from Israel and all the things that have shaped your life?

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).

Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?

With a loud and strong voice we must say “no” to individuals who take the law into their own hands.

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/israels-election-a-preliminary-analysis/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: