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Israeli Elections

Early elections in Israel have been set for January 22. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman will stand at the head of a joint list formed by Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, and a fragmented opposition will have a hard time preventing the formation of a right-wing coalition. These are the first elections since the 2011 social protests, and they take place against the backdrop of settlement expansion, deepening occupation, and an Israeli threat to attack Iran. +972 bloggers bring you the latest elections news and analysis. Check out our Knesset Poll Tracker, which you can access from the top right of this page, for the latest projections.

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  • The ethnic vote and the 'white coalition': 7 takeaways from Israel's elections

    Netanyahu is most likely to form his next government around the religious and the secular middle class, represented by election victors Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. The coalition will concentrate on domestic reform and will only strengthen the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Also: Did Israelis really move left? Seven takeaways from the elections. 1. The future government At the time of writing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s base of Orthodox and right-wing parties has 60 Knesset seats – the same as the potential opposition. Estimates are that the Jewish Home party will finish with another seat at the expense…

  • A personal account: (Not) voting in an age of cynicism

    One simple answer to the question of why elections matter is that I feel part of something when I vote in Israel. Being away for four months, living deep inside the world of other peoples’ conflicts, provided a few more answers. For the first time since moving to Israel 15 years ago, I was not in the county on election day yesterday. Since Israel has no absentee voting for regular citizens, I was not able to participate. Given the wild demonization of the Left over the last few years, some people probably wonder why I even care. My colleagues at…

  • A double whammy for American advisers to Israeli campaigns

    Stan Greenberg and Arthur Finkelstein are both architects of two of the biggest election flops Israeli politics has ever seen. First of all, let’s get things straight: these elections results show that the two evils - corporate capitalism and the occupation - will continue to reign supreme. Yet, there are a few bright sides: mainly, Israel seems to be a bit less fascist. Just a tad. For example, Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari will not be in the Knesset (as of 99% of vote counted). Good riddance. Also, there will be many more women in parliament than before, and…

  • Yair Lapid: The rise of the tofu man

    Despite an astonishing surge to second place in the polls, chances of Yair Lapid making  an actual premiership bid are slim. He is risk-averse, lacks a political program, and his projected coalition is too fanciful to work. Lapid is much more likely to join Netanyahu's next government, and the only question is: Will Lapid be Bibi's pretty face in Washington as Foreign Minister, or will he be the Finance Minister, and therefore fall guy, for Israel's upcoming austerity drive?  LIKUD VICTORY RALLY, TEL AVIV – After months of predictions for a comfortable right-wing win, Israel reeled tonight at a surprising…

  • Will surprising results stop a status-quo Netanyahu-led government?

    Despite the surprising weakness of the Right-ultra-Orthodox bloc, the final result of the elections, according to exit polls, is still likely to be a status-quo Netanyahu-led government. Why? Because the big winner in this election, media personality Yair Lapid, is a vapid centrist who is likely to join Netanyahu’s coalition and make little noise on policy -- either on Israel-Palestine, or any other topic The exit-poll results are in, and Noam has an excellent summary of the headline figures. A lot of the attention, as actual results pour in through the night, will be focused on the balance between the…

  • Israeli elections: Netanyahu scrapes by despite major blow in polls

    With almost all the votes counted, it is clear that support for the prime minister's party has collapsed, journalist Yair Lapid has led his new centrist party to second place and Meretz has doubled its strength. With roughly 98 percent of the votes cast in the Israel's elections counted, Netanyahu’s Right-Orthodox bloc appears to have captured 61 seats out of the Knesset’s 120 (as opposed to 65 in the current Knesset). The prime minister's joint ticket with Avigdor Lieberman’s faction – called Likud-Beitenu – has 31 seats, as opposed to the 42 the two parties together hold in the current…

  • Those who say there's no honor among thieves haven't heard of Naftali Bennett

    Many Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line — see the rise of the openly fascist right wing as a positive development, because eventually it will work to sever the umbilical cord of support to Israel from the world. As Israelis go to the polls to cast their ballots for the Knesset, many Palestinian citizens will not be voting in this round of elections. In a recent New York Times article, correspondent Jodi Rudoren expounds as to the many reasons why this is the case, save one. On a recent trip to the country I spoke with many…