Analysis | Elections in Israel to 2019: second ‘round’

After the elections of April of 2019, the prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu failed in his attempts to establish a Government. However, it has managed

Analysis | Elections in Israel to 2019: second ‘round’

After the elections of April of 2019, the prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu failed in his attempts to establish a Government. However, it has managed to convince the majority of the members of the Knesset (the israeli Parliament) to support the convening of new elections instead of allowing any other candidate to try to recruit support to form a Government. Thus, the September 17, Israel went again to the polls.

The participation in these elections has increased a little in comparison with the April, going from 67.9 percent to 69.4%. This would respond to a significant increase in the participation of the arab citizens of Israel, which represent about 17% of the electorate. The participation of jewish, it would have remained stable, perhaps as a result of the close competition between the Likud and Blue and White. With this, it has been discredited the prophecy about the fatigue of the voters, expressed time and time again before the election.

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although the final results are not yet available, it seems certain that there is not a clear winner in these elections. No candidate can claim victory and establish a Government that gets the endowment. Netanyahu (Likud) you can enjoy the support of almost automatic for the largest number of members of the Knesset, both from his own party and all the religious parties. However, it does not have the required majority (61). Gantz (Blue and White) only enjoys the support of his own party and the zionist left (Labor, Gesher, and Meretz, the Democratic Union). Even if you get the support of the Joint List are not zionist (also called “Arabic” because more than 90% of their supporters and representatives are arabs), does not reach the majority.

The key to provide the required majority to Netanyahu has Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the party personalist Israel Our Home. In 1999, Lieberman left the Likud party and created the radical party of the left, whose base of support was the community of immigrants from the area before the soviet union. He has participated in many Governments of the Likud party and has been perceived as an integral part of the block the religious right. The immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and especially their children, who grew up in Israel, they found their place in israeli society, and chose by vote to other parties. However, Lieberman has demonstrated its ability to reinvent itself in the face of this increasingly more guests and to attract new voters, mostly right-wing and secular. After the elections of April of 2019, refused to join the Likud and the religious parties, because they have not accepted their demands on matters of religion and State, as the order that the young ultra-orthodox to do the compulsory military service. Lieberman has adopted this line for the September elections. Is positioned in the middle of the political spectrum, combining positions of the right-hawkish [hard-line] in foreign affairs and security, with positions that are secular, identified with the center-left israeli.

What Government will have Israel? There is not a clear answer. Maybe Lieberman, the new creator of kings, establishing a unity Government of the secular Likud party and Blue and White. However, why accept it, if they have a majority without him? Will the Blue and White of his promise not to link with Netanyahu due to the accusations of corruption against you? What will the magician Netanyahu to recruit the few hands you need to have a majority, making offerings to the politicians on the other field (ministers of high rank)? Do you or throw someone on the right a coup successful? Or maybe Netanyahu will leave office in exchange for the promise that his judgment will not end in a jail sentence? What will face Israel another choice? There are many other alternatives, especially in these days of personalization of politics. We will have to wait.

Gideon Rahat is senior researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute and professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This article has been produced by the Agenda Published for THE COUNTRY.

Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 14:00

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