Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Distorting the Israeli Election Results

February 6, 2013 1:44 am 0 comments

Prime Minister Netanayhu at his weekly cabinet meeting. Photo: Screenshot.

Immediately after the results of the recent Israeli elections were announced, many commentators were quick to point out that there was a near 60-60 tie between the two main blocs. Although it’s true that the additional seat given to Habayit Hayehudi after the final votes were counted changed the apparent deadlock, the perception of a near tie remained in the mindset of many Israelis.

The problem with such a claim, however, is that the reality in Israel is far more complex than two clear cut black and white blocs and, as a result, such an overly simplistic analysis is quite misleading.

Therefore, in order to attain a more accurate picture of the election results it would be more helpful to first define the different types of parties, or groups of parties, that exist in Israel and then afterwards analyze each group independently.

Looked at this way, the “right-wing” parties are for the most part those which prefer both a strong Jewish component in Israel and a firm attachment to the Land of Israel. Included in this group are the combined Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list, which dropped from 42 seats to 31, and the merged Habayit Hayehudi-National Union list, which increased from seven to 12. Overall this group witnessed a net loss of six Knesset seats (49 to 43).

Opposing this are the classic “left-wing” parties, which usually refers to those that are in favor of Israel being a nation of all of its citizens as opposed to a uniquely Jewish one, and are also diehard supporters of the two-state solution. In this category there is Labor, which increased from 13 to 15 and Meretz, which doubled from three to six. Thus, the left gained five seats from 16 to 21.

Between both of these groups are the “center” parties, those which in terms of their outlook bounce somewhere between the defining characteristics of the previously mentioned groups. While in 2009 the only party in this category was Kadima and its 28 seats, in the recent elections there were three parties in the center: Kadima (two), Hatnua (six) and Yesh Atid (19). Thus, the center dropped from 28 to 27.

Next in line are the haredi parties. Although it’s true that most of the people who vote for the haredi parties, as well as the haredi MKs themselves, are right-wing in the way explained above, they shouldn’t be lumped together with the other right-wing parties since historically they’ve had a different agenda and for this reason have occasionally been ready and willing to sit in a left-wing coalition. When analyzing this group we see that Shas remained the same with 11 seats while United Torah Judaism picked up two seats, climbing from five to seven. Hence, overall the haredi parties grew from 16 to 18.

Rounding out the picture are the two Arab parties, Balad and the United Arab List, as well as Hadash, a communist party that draws much of its support from Israeli Arabs. Together these three parties received 11 seats back in 2009 and 11 seats once again in the recent elections.

Analyzed this way we see that the right-wing parties are twice as large as the left-wing parties (43 to 21). Moreover, since it’s safe to assume that part of the six seats which were lost by the right signified a shift of some right-wing voters towards the center and concomitantly the five seats that were picked up by the left was most likely the result of previously center voters turning leftward, then the average center voter of 2013 is probably more right-wing in his outlook than his 2009 counterpart.

If this is the case, then perhaps the parties that comprise the two main blocs mentioned above should be right-center and left rather than left-center and right. Needless to say, if things were analyzed this way then the whole discussion of a 60-60 tie would be thrown in the trash. Moreover, this is even before the haredi parties and their mainly right-wing voters are factored into the picture.

Finally, outside of Meretz and perhaps Labor, there is no chance that any other party would form a coalition with the Arab-communist parties, which once again shows that the whole 60-60 discussion is meaningless.

Therefore, any way you slice it there is no fictitious 60-60 tie. Moreover, the majority of Israeli voters are far more right-wing in their outlook than certain figures in the media would like to admit.

This article was originally published by Ynet.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music US & Canada Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    After supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement failed to pressure rock superstar Carlos Santana into cancelling his upcoming concert in Tel Aivv, the guitarist said in a video message on Thursday that he is excited to return to Israel and promote a “musical message of peace, love and an end to conflict.” “The band and I will bring our open hearts and musical energy that will resonate with your soul long after the last song has been […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →