web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


What Would Happen If…

Gilor-Dov

In my last article, I mentioned how divided Orthodox Jewry in Israel is and I would like to expand on that theme.

The Israeli Parliament is usually controlled by a coalition of different political parties because no one party receives enough votes to have a majority. Unlike in the U.S., where there are two major political parties and one of the two political parties commands a majority of the seats in the Senate and/or in the House, in Israel the government is composed of many, many small political parties, each pushing its own agenda. In the recent elections, there were 34 of the 96 registered parties vying for seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Twelve of these parties won seats and the result was that the Likud (Nationalists) and the Russian Coalition won 31 seats. They were the largest party and as such were asked to form a government and find enough partners to control a majority (of at least 61 seats).

The Likud formed a coalition with the Yesh Atid Party of Yair Lapid, which had won 19 seats. They also joined with Habayit Hayehudi (Religious Zionists), which had won 12 seats, and with Tzipi Livni, who had won six seats, etc. thereby achieving a majority. As you may imagine, each of the parties has a different political agenda and governing the country is very difficult when the prime minister has to take the needs and promises of each of the coalition partners to its constituents, into consideration.

As I mentioned in my previous article, one of the amazing aspects of Israeli politics is the animosity between the religious parties. The ultra-religious, Sephardic Shas Party often pushes to exclude the Zionistic Bayit Yehudi Party and does not encourage coalitions with the haredi Ashkenazi Degel Hatorah/Aguda Party. There are also several Orthodox politicians who refuse to join Orthodox Parties and insist on supporting non-religious (Labor and Likud) or even anti-religious (Yesh Atid) parties.

It must also be noted that many, many Orthodox Israelis do not vote because of philosophical considerations or because they cannot be bothered to take the time to vote. In many religious communities 30-40 percent do not vote, and in some almost 90 percent do not vote.

In Israel, after the elections, the president of Israel invites and gives a mandate to the leader of the largest political party to form a government. There is a scenario that, while politically impossible, is numerically very interesting. Imagine what would happen if all of the religious parties (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Zionist, Non-Zionist, etc.) would join together and form a United Religious Party (URP)! Imagine what would happen if all of those religious Jews who do not bother to vote would decide to vote for the United Religious Party! Imagine what would happen if all of those religious Jews who today vote for the Likud, the Labor party or Yair Lapid would decide to vote for a United Religious party!

Today, with only about 60% of the population voting and with many Orthodox Jews religiously opposed to voting, the religious parties have thirty seats in the Knesset (almost as many as the Likud/Russian Party, currently the largest party in the Knesset). There are six religious Knesset members in the Likud Party, three in Yesh Atid and one in Tzipi Livni’s party. If just these Knesset members would have joined a United Religious Party, the Likud, the largest party, which was asked to form the government, would have had only 25 members and the URP which would have had forty members would have been asked to form the government. They would have needed only 21 additional coalition members and could join with Labor or Likud, etc. to form a government.

How different Israel would look. There are, of course, those who say that the religious cannot or should not run the Israeli government because they have little experience and there would be many halachic problems. These are not really viable arguments because already today some 53 Knesset members are newcomers with little experience and because people adhering to halacha would have to be capable of running a government. The rabbis would have to find a way to allow a religious prime minister to manage the country.

Will this scenario ever really happen?

About the Author:


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 “What Would Happen If…”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab attackers smashed these windows on an Egged bus in Jerusalem's Old City.
Egged Bus Attacked Traveling to Western Wall in Jerusalem
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Dov Gilor
Gilor-Dov

We created an organization of former Bnei Akiva of North America members who have fulfilled the dream of living in Eretz Yisrael.

Untitled-1

An example of our own self-imposed weakness is the Israeli attitude towards the Holy Temple Mount.

Spies who caused American deaths and worked for enemy states received lighter sentences than Pollard.

The cleansing of Europe of its non-Muslim population will be accomplished in another two or three generations.

The Drama Mamas are not an ordinary theater troupe. “When we audition actresses,” says Elisheva, who also serves as the show’s director, “we like to explain to them that the main qualification is that you can honestly say, I have never been on a stage before, but I have always wanted to be an actress!”

It really is time for painful sacrifices for peace. No one wants his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to suffer the pangs of war and strife. It is time to end the strife and make peace in the Middle East.

Israel is a country that understands security concerns. Many civil rights have been sacrificed in the name of security and Israelis are used to being checked every time they enter a shopping center, a large store or any public building. Americans recently learned that they, too, are subject to many checks on their most private activities.

The Israeli Parliament is usually controlled by a coalition of different political parties because no one party receives enough votes to have a majority. Unlike in the U.S., where there are two major political parties and one of the two political parties commands a majority of the seats in the Senate and/or in the House, in Israel the government is composed of many, many small political parties, each pushing its own agenda.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/focus-israel/what-would-happen-if/2013/05/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: