web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Likud Leads, But Rise Of Yesh Atid, Jewish Home Bode Bumpy Road Ahead For Netanyahu

An elephant in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo casts a vote on Election Day in Israel.

An elephant in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo casts a vote on Election Day in Israel.

TEL AVIV – His party shrunk, his opponents grew and his challengers multiplied. But with the results in, it seems Benjamin Netanyahu survived the Knesset elections Tuesday to serve another term as prime minister. But Netanyahu faces a bumpy road ahead. His Likud Party, together with the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, fell to 31 seats in the voting from its current representation of 42.

The biggest surprise of the election, which featured the heaviest turnout of voters since 1999, was the ascendance of former TV personality Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid Party. Founded just a year ago, Yesh Atid won either 18 or 19 seats (according to exit polls) on a platform of national service and pro-middle class economic reform. Likud’s traditional rival, the center-left Labor, grew to 17 from eight seats promoting a progressive economic policy.

And another political newcomer, Naftali Bennett, is likely to push Netanyahu to the right on security issues. His Jewish Home Party won 12 seats.

Together with the Sephardic Orthodox Shas Party and the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism, the right-wing Knesset bloc will hold 62 of the Knesset’s 120 seats – a slim majority.

That’s anything but a mandate for Netanyahu, who campaigned on the slogan “A strong prime minister, a strong Israel.” Instead of being able to lead a new coalition with a large party behind him, Netanyahu will have to negotiate with rivals and forge compromises with opposing camps.

Judging from the successes of Yesh Atid, Labor and Jewish Home, Israelis cast a resounding vote for progressive economic reform and new leaders in their parliament.

The biggest thorn in the prime minister’s side looks to be Lapid. Unlike the fiscally conservative Netanyahu, Lapid won support by calling for housing reform, opposing tax increases for the middle class and including haredi yeshiva students in Israel’s mandatory military conscription.

But Netanyahu’s biggest concern may be a rival in his own right-wing camp, Bennett, who appears to have picked up most of the seats lost by Likud-Beiteinu.

While Netanyahu remains ambiguous on the question of a Palestinian state – he formally endorsed the idea in a 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University but has hardly mentioned it since or done much to promote it – Bennett passionately opposes the idea. Instead, Bennett, a former high-tech entrepreneur, calls for annexing much of the West Bank.

Even within Netanyahu’s party, nationalists on the Likud list who never before made it into the Knesset will now occupy seats. Among them is Moshe Feiglin, leader of the Jewish Leadership faction of Likud, who favors West Bank annexation and encouraging Arabs to leave Israel.

The rise of Yesh Atid and Jewish Home do offer Netanyahu some new opportunities, too. Rather than rely on the haredi Orthodox parties such as Shas and United Torah Judaism for the coalition, Netanyahu could make common cause with Yesh Atid and Jewish Home, both of which want to draft haredi Israelis into the army or some form of national service – even though they may significantly disagree on security matters. Lapid talked during the campaign of his willingness to join a Netanyahu coalition, influencing the government from within rather than from the opposition.

So even though the haredi parties grew by three seats – Shas went to 13 from 11 and United Torah Judaism to six from five, according to exit polls – Lapid’s willingness to provide Netanyahu with an equally large chunk of seats to build his coalition means the haredi parties may have lost their political leverage to keep yeshiva students out of Israel’s military draft.

The Arab-Israeli Balad Party and the controversial Otzma LeYisrael (Strong Israel) Party each were projected by Channel 1 to receive two seats, though other polls had them failing to reach the required threshold.

For its part, Labor looks destined to lead the Knesset’s opposition; its chairwoman, Shelly Yachimovich, has vowed not to join a Netanyahu coalition. Tzipi Livni’s new Hatnua Party, which won just six seats, is likely to stay in the opposition, too.

The election represented a major defeat for Livni, who in the last election led the Kadima Party to 28 seats, more than any other party. This time, the eviscerated Kadima failed to win even a single seat.

Hatnua’s poor showing also suggested how little of the election was about negotiations with the Palestinians. Livni made much of the issue during the campaign, but it clearly failed to resonate with voters. Hatnua’s six seats equaled the showing of Meretz, the solidly left-wing party. By contrast, Labor, traditionally a promoter of peace talks, barely raised the issue in the campaign. Instead it focused on socioeconomic issues and made significant Knesset gains.

With Election Day over, the coalition building begins: To win another term as prime minister, Netanyahu now must cobble together an alliance of at least 61 Knesset members to form Israel’s next government. Who he chooses – and who agrees to join him – will determine a great deal about the course charted in the years to come by the Israeli government.
(JTA)

ELECTION RESULTS (according to exit polling):
Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu: 31
Yesh Atid: 18
Labor: 17
Shas: 13
Jewish Home: 12
Meretz: 6
United Torah Judaism: 6
Hatnua: 6
Hadash: 5
Raam: 4
Balad: 0-2
Otzma LeYisrael: 0-2
Kadima: 0

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.

One Response to “Likud Leads, But Rise Of Yesh Atid, Jewish Home Bode Bumpy Road Ahead For Netanyahu”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bibi is not in any weaker of a position than he was in 2009. People seem to be forgetting that even though the right-wing won 65 seats in 2009, the NU (which had 4 seats) patently refused to sit in any government with him so it was more accurate to say that he had 61 useable right wing votes in 2009. He had to add a non-right party. Otzma and Am Shallem cost the right 2-3 seats but Otzma wouldn't have joined anyway. The dream of a 70 seat right/religious bloc is just that; it would require relatively low turnout on the left/Arabs and no tiny parties not meeting the threshold but wasting votes. Putting Lapid into the coalition will probably be less of a nightmare than being extorted by Ehud's Barak breakaway Labor faction or Maofaz's Kadima. There are still 250,000 votes from the IDF, prisons or hospitals which might slightly change the seat composition; then again I have no idea if IDF soldiers vote left, right or mixed.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu Praises ‘Meticulous Intelligence, Precise IDF Operational Abilities’
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised joint IDF, Shin Bet efforts ending in terror deaths.

Three more terrorists killed in IAF air strike on Sheikh Radwan section of Gaza City Thursday.

Rocket remainder

12:56pm 08-21-2014 Ashkelon / Ashdod / Nitzanim, Nir Ganim 12:54pm 08-21-2014 Gaza Belt communities, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’Asara, Ohad, Ami Oz / Ashkelon / 12:48pm 08-21-2014 Ashkelon / Nitzan / Nitzanim 12:39pm 08-21-2014 Kfat Aza / Sa’ad 12:07pm 08-21-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Kfar Mordehai 12:07pm 08-21-2014 Ashdod, Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Kfar […]

A house sustained a direct hit Thursday, August 21, 2014 in a shelling barrage from Gaza. Miraculously, no one was home.

One Israeli man was wounded Thursday making sure children escaped rocket fire in time.

Raed al-Attar was an extremely dangerous, sophisticated Hamas terrorist. But he is dead.

Royal Jordanian Airlines has again canceled flights to Tel Aviv over fears of rocket fire from Hamas.

IAF fighter pilots eliminate 20 terror targets in Gaza since midnight, killing six in the region.

Three top Hamas military commanders were killed in overnight air strike by the Israel Air Force, the Shin Bet has confirmed.

Ramallah-based PFLP head Khalida Jarrar was “deported” to Jericho by IDF troops on Wednesday for incitement against Mahmoud Abbas.

Pro-Hamas activists hung a 200 foot PA flag from the Brooklyn Bridge.

A suspected car bomb caused police to evacuate the campus.

Pro-Israel Jewish student assaulted by ‘pro-Palestinian’ student at Temple University

There was a failed secret US mission earlier this summer to rescue American hostages in Syria.

The Islamic State is getting a lot of bad publicity lately, which actually proves how successful they are.

Islamic terror coming soon to your favorite neighborhood street theater.

More Articles from Ben Sales

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Smart bombs: Israeli war technology isn’t limited to the home front.

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values I hope Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists teach to their people.”

On Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process.

“He was like everyone else,” she said. “He was serious. He wouldn’t mess around. He would do what I said. He was quiet a lot and thought a lot. He did everything well.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Saddled with nearly $370 million in debt and an annual deficit exceeding $85 million, Hadassah Hospital struggles to chart a course back to solvency.

JERUSALEM – To be married in Israel, immigrants must prove their Jewish ancestry to the country’s Chief Rabbinate.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/likud-leads-but-rise-of-yesh-atid-jewish-home-bode-bumpy-road-ahead-for-netanyahu/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: