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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Sports US & Canada Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    JNS.org – An organization whose work focuses on the estimated population of 500,000-800,000 Israeli Americans congratulated David Blatt, the Jewish head coach of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers and a longtime Israel-based coach, for clinching an appearance in the NBA Finals. The Israeli-American Council (IAC), whose stated mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community throughout the United States in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to [...]

    Read more →
  • Food US & Canada Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Famed ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s will not be introducing a Bacon flavored product to its offerings because the company intends to keep its entire line kosher, Marketing Director Alison Gilbert told AOL’s morning show Rise recently. “It’s kind of funny, a lot of people look for bacon in our ice cream, which is probably not gonna happen because all of our ice cream is kosher,” she said, referring to Jewish dietary restrictions that proscribe the consumption of pig [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli athletes at a world Judo championship in Morocco reportedly faced antisemitic slurs during the competition, news site WorldNetDaily reported on Monday. “We will murder you,” and “you’re not wanted here, go home,” were among the vituperative attacks directed at the Israeli Judo Association team, which was in Morocco last week for the World Masters Judo Tournament. According to Haaretz, each Israeli teammate was met with boos and jeers upon entering a fight. Additionally, no Israeli flags were present at [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Middle East Sports Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) said on Tuesday it was “appalled” by a Palestinian Football Association initiative to suspend Israel from FIFA, calling it another “front waged in the context of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” “We are appalled at the temerity of the Palestinan Football Association (PFA) demand that FIFA suspend Israel at your forthcoming Congress in Zurich,” wrote the group’s international relations director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in a letter to FIFA President Joseph [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    The lead actor in Son of Saul, an Auschwitz thriller featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, told the UK’s The Guardian that he believes God was “holding the hand” of each Jew who died in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. “I do not for one nanosecond like to pretend that God is off the hook. He could and should have stopped it at a much earlier stage,” Géza Röhrig, 48, said. ”But I would not be able to get [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.