Israel election watch, 2015

I will be limited in my ability to post as the results of the Israeli election come in, but I offer this space for those who will be checking live results and would like to comment. I will check in as time permits…

13 thoughts on “Israel election watch, 2015

  1. TV SAMPLRES PROJECTED RESULTS: ZU 27, Likud 27-28, joint list 12-13, yesh atid 11-12, kulanu 9-10, meretz 5, israel beytenu 5, habayit hayehudi 8-9, shas 7, yahadut hatora 6-7, yahad 0

  2. Per a Likud strategist,”if Eli Yishai’s party (Yachad) makes it, Netanyahu can definitely form a coalition. If Yachad doesn’t cross threshold, Netanyahu will have to consider a unity government with Herzog – which he is loath to do.” I don’t know if this is true, but certainly food for thought.

    Sourced from Twitter: https://twitter.com/sheeraf/status/577972138704949248

  3. The offcial results (without the soldiers’ votes yet) tell quite a different story: ZU 24, likud 29 (!), joint list 14, yesh atid 11, kulanu 10, habayit hayehudi 8, shas 7, yahadut hatora 7, meretz 4, israel beytenu 6, yahad 0.

  4. Now, with almost 100% of votes counted (still not including the soldier’s votes) it seems Likud will get its 30th seat and Yahadut Hatora will lose its 7th. This does not change the big picture which is a huge, unexpected victory for Likud, which would surely form the next government under Netanyahu.
    It’s a big defeat to the polling companies which managed to miss the results not only in the polls ahead of the election, but also in the TV sample polls at the end of it.
    It also signals that the left of center has a huge structural problem that no single campaign can solve.
    Lastly, and on a personal and gloomy note, a question arises – what is the price that Israel would have to pay for this Netanyahu victory? Yesterday, in his last attempt at vote getting, he stooped as low as publishing a press release “warning” that Arab voters are turning at the polling stations in great numbers; a day before that he renounced any willingness to accept a Palestinian state; even before that he demonized his rivals as “anti-zionists”. It does not bode well for Israeli democracy, for peace or for its future in the enlightened part of the world.

  5. So, Netanyahu’s unexpected opposition to the two-state solution pulled in right-wing votes. But what did his five presumptive partners say in their campaigns? Did Shas oppose the two-state solution? UTJ? Kahlon? Liberman? Bennett? If so, Netanyahu’s death-bed conversion should have been no surprise. But if not, are they all expected to fall in line? Will no one say “just a moment?”.

      • Support shifted from other right wing parties, but not so much from elsewhere in the political spectrum. It is hard to say how much of it was due to campaign effects. I figure some such intra-right movement was certain to happen anyway. More of it happened than I expected.

        The statements he made the last few days are basic Likud “red meat”, or we might call it pandering. Nothing new to see there.

        I have to say, from what I have seen, the media have been pretty bad on this. No surprise there.

  6. Pardon my ignorance, but I still want to know Did Shas oppose the two-state solution? I know Bennett does. But UTJ is “committed to true peace in the Middle East and putting an end to the bloodshed.” Kahlon has in more recent times suggested support for territorial compromise for a two-state solution, says Wikipedia. Liberman has his own two-state plan, such as it is. So are Kahlon, UTJ and Liberman happy with a veto on the two-state solution? A grand coalition of everyone but Likud and Bennett would have 68 seats,not counting the Joint List. But no one is talking about it. There is currently no negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, so the whole discussion is moot? Really?

    • My guess is that even if we assume the 68 seat figure for a pro-two state solution is correct, it seems unlikely that such a coalition, with massive disagreements on virtually every other issue, would ever be formed unless there was a significant likelihood that a Palestinian state could be formed relatively quickly. Given that there is no palatable and powerful negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, that seems unlikely.

      • Henry is right that the “grand coalition of all but Likud and Bennet” (which, therefore, is not very grand, but I digress…) would diverge on so many other issues that is it totally non-viable. The territorial issue looms much larger in media commentary than in the reality of Israeli elections and coalition-making.

        I honestly do not know the answer to Wilf’s questions, other than to say that the two-state question does not loom large in the thinking of the Haredi parties (Shas and UTJ), because they exist to articulate other issues of importance to them. Basically, they were the big losers in the post-election bargaining in 2013, which resulted in a government committed at least in principle to reducing the protections the Haredi communities enjoy (mainly draft exemptions, and generous welfare and religious-education subsidies). It is true that very few Haredim live beyond the Green Line (or very far beyond it), so this community would not be among the immediate material losers in a two-state agreement. That makes them quite different from Bennet’s Jewish Home and Likud. (Yisrael Beiteinu’s leader, Liberman, lives in a settlement, but not very many of his core voters do, and Liberman is a proponent of separation and major border adjustments, not annexation.)

        At the end of the day, Shas and UTJ would simply ask, “what does our Council of Torah sages say”, and if they said the Torah allowed the trading of land, they’d say OK. But how about some more money for our yeshivot?

        Not to be too cynical (too late!), but Kahlon will agree to anything as long as he has the Finance Ministry.

        “There is currently no negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, so the whole discussion is moot?”
        –A common view on the Israeli right, and not completely wrong. I mean, yes, there is a partner who has been a pretty good proxy for Israeli security control and a good rent-seeker, but not one with a whole lot of credibility to make and commit to a “final status” deal.

      • In a humorous ‘how should you vote’ flow-chart from last election the first question was ‘Is there an occupation?’. The arrow with ‘yes’ led towards the left and Arab parties, an arrow with ‘no’ led to the right-wing block. The arrow pointing towards the Haredim said ‘who cares? It’s God’s will’.

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