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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Beitenu’

Poll: Many Who Stayed Home in 2009 Will Vote Left

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

A new poll examining the anticipated voter turnouts among different segments of the population, predicts significant changes in the modes of voting this year, Ha’aretz reported Wednesday. This could mean the transfer of 3 to 4 votes from the right to the left, as compared with the regular polls which do not take into account the “unlikely voters” and their political leanings.

Now, before we dig into these claims, we have to consider both sources: Ha’aretz, which is directly involved in promoting left-wing politicians, and Proyect HaMidgam (the Sample Project), operated by Dr. Ariel Ayalon, which conducted the poll, and which is an Internet pollster. Those two factors weigh heavily on the numbers being provided, but they may still be correct about the trend.

Incidentally, Ha’aretz fails to mention the part about this being an online survey, as opposed to being conducted by the pesty and the jobless.

Based on the responses of a sample of 1200 Israelis who participated online, it turns out that right wing voters who took part in the last elections are showing “a lack of enthusiasm” about voting for the right wing block this time around. On the other hand, leftist voters are more charged and eager to vote for their parties’ lists.

The reluctance is most prevalent among those who voted Likud, Israel Beitenu, and Shas.

According to the survey, 62% of voters who skipped the polls in 2009 say they will vote this year (30% for sure, 32% positively considering it). Many of those have tied their decision to the 2011 summer of protests, saying that’s what shaped their decision to vote again. And 70% of those intend to vote left, only 30% right.

On the other hand, the same survey discovered that 5% of those who did vote in 2009 said explicitly that they intend not to vote this year. This represents some 160 thousand voters. Another 24%—about 750 thousand voters, said they’re undecided about voting this year.

And, according to the pollsters, the vast majority of those come from the right.

A few senior pollsters have commented on these results saying they show things are much more liquid than we’ve been anticipating. One result of this, they say, might be increased voting for the small, niche parties, which could either end up helping those parties cross the blocking percentage threshold (a party must win two full seats to enter the Knesset)—or it could cause the waste of a large percentage of the votes.

Israel’s election rules permit parties to sign agreements on sharing excess votes between them, meaning a party with more than, say, the number of votes needed for 5 seats, can contract to receive a second party’s extras, which might award the first party a sixth seat. But in order for that deal to be sanctioned, both parties must first cross the blocking percentage.

The poll was conducted on January 13 and 14, among 1200 participants, and was ordered by the Institute for Israel’s Future leadership, a think tank located in the souther town of Sderot.

As a right-wing voter who speaks to other right-wing voters in shul, in the supermarket, in public transportation—I must sadly state that anecdotally I can confirm this survey’s findings. Right wing voters in Israel have been swindled so many times by the elected representatives, that they’ve moved beyond cynicism, to a kind of apathy. We list our parties not according to what we expect them to do for us, but rather according to how fast they’ll betray us once we gave them our vote.

Shas must be the least trusted of all the right-wing parties (based on my personal, strictly anecdotal observation). Likud-Beitenu is next, with the average right-wing, National religious voter expecting it to form a left wing coalition. Jewish Home might score a little higher in our eyes, but watching its chairman, Naftali Bennett, flip-flopping, and refusing to answer some very important questions, especially on how he intends to deal with a Knesset list that combines culturally modern liberals such as himself and Uri Orbach, with others who advocate not renting to Arabs. And each new day brings new flips and flops, it appears.

And so, at least among people I talk to in shul, there’s a growing tendency to pick MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad, about whom there’s a broad consensus that they will not vote for the 2-state solution, come hell or high water. And just like the nice pollster warned, this could end up with thousands of our votes ending up on the election committee’s floor.

Meet Yair Shamir, the Man who Could Replace Avigdor Liberman

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Yair Shamir says he doesn’t discuss hypotheticals.

For the Israeli Air Force commander turned technocrat turned politician, these topics include how to respond to settlement evacuations or achieve Palestinian statehood, a fracture in the U.S.-Israel relationship or Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman’s departure from politics.

Shamir, the 67-year-old scion of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, is Yisrael Beiteinu’s No. 2. With Liberman, the former foreign minister, under indictment for fraud and breach of trust, he is the de facto heir apparent to one of Israel’s largest political parties.

Assuming that mantle would be quite a shift for Shamir, who entered politics only last year. He served 25 years as a pilot and officer in the IAF before moving on to private business. Until 2011 he served as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries, the country’s leading aircraft manufacturer. Before that he was an executive at El Al Israel Airlines, a large telecommunications firm, a venture capital fund and a computer equipment company.

Entering politics was a “nationalist decision,” Shamir told JTA, a choice “to give my coming years to strengthen Israel on the national level and not on the private level.”

Last year he was appointed deputy to Liberman in Yisrael Beiteinu, a party that originally focused on Russian immigrant concerns but since has attracted Israelis with nationalist views from other backgrounds. Shamir tries to avoid talking about the party without Liberman.

“The press is trying to create a rivalry between us,” Shamir said. “I’m almost convinced that he’ll come out innocent. A public figure who is found guilty in court shouldn’t be a public figure, but everyone needs to follow his own conscience.”

That attitude fits into Shamir’s overall political philosophy. He professes deep respect for pluralism and democracy while also opposing a Palestinian state – a position that puts him at odds with Liberman. Liberman has called for redrawing the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state in the West Bank to include more Jews and exclude as many Arabs as possible.

Shamir follows in the ideological footsteps of his father, who served as prime minister from 1986 to 1992 and died last July. As leader of the Likud party, the elder Shamir opposed any compromise with the Palestinians – even after the outbreak of the first Intifada – and strongly supported West Bank settlement expansion.

“I see him as my lighthouse,” Shamir said of his father. “A lighthouse isn’t the nicest building. It’s a simple building but it stands on a cliff and always shines its light, in bad and good weather. It’s not shaken by a storm or a calm sea.”

Like his father, Shamir wants Israel to hang tough in the constantly unstable Middle East. His top priority as a politician, he says, will be to contribute his business experience to government by strengthening the country’s infrastructure and economy.

“The only way to maintain the land and the people is to be strong economically and militarily,” he said. “When you look at who Israeli politicians are, there isn’t enough representation of industry and agriculture, the people that are really doing anything.”

When it comes to opposing a Palestinian state or settlement evacuations, Shamir says the State of Israel deserves the entire Land of Israel and sees no reason to be conciliatory as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains intractable. That’s why he treats a scenario of settlement evacuations and Palestinian statehood as a hypothetical.

“Right now there’s no hocus-pocus solution,” Shamir said. “The Arabs there who call themselves Palestinian, they’ll stay or go, but we’ll definitely stay. We need to keep building in the land.”

Shamir seems like a throwback to the Likud of his father’s time – a party committed to Greater Israel. And while he isn’t traditionally observant, Shamir calls himself a “believing Jew.” He supports the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and keeps a copy of the Tanya, its principal philosophical tract, on his desk, along with a Bible.

Yisrael Beiteinu has merged lists with Likud for the upcoming elections, but Shamir says the present-day Likud has lost sight of what’s important to Israel’s growth: immigration and settlement. As a party founded by Russian immigrants, Yisrael Beiteinu was attractive to Shamir, he said. He runs an organization called G’vahim that specializes in helping academics immigrate to Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/meet-yair-shamir-the-man-who-could-replace-avigdor-liberman/2013/01/15/

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