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2019 Israeli Election

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Who would you vote for in Israel's election?

Kachol Lavan (Blue and White)
11
22%
Likud
11
22%
Hadash-Ta'al / Ra'am-Balad
3
6%
Labor
8
16%
UTJ / Shas / Yachad
0
No votes
New Right
2
4%
United Right-Wing Parties
1
2%
Yisrael Beiteinu
0
No votes
Meretz
10
20%
Kulanu / Gesher / Zehut / Other
4
8%
 
Total votes : 50

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Angleter
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2019 Israeli Election

Postby Angleter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:57 pm

After an uncharacteristically long four years, Israel is going back to the polls on April 9th, 2019.

The elections had been due later this year anyway, but Binyamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition was left with a wafer-thin majority (61 seats out of 120 in the legislature, known as the Knesset) in November after the Yisrael Beiteinu party (more on which later) decided to leave the coalition over a ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza. The remaining coalition partners didn't exactly agree on various issues, including military service for Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, so Netanyahu called early elections in late December.

Or that's what he'd like you to think. Netanyahu is currently the subject of a massive corruption investigation, and in, er, late December it emerged that the Attorney General intended to decide on whether to indict Netanyahu by around February. Netanyahu just so happened to call an election within days of that news coming out, so that the decision would come right in the middle of an election campaign. This hasn't put the Attorney General off his timetable, though. Netanyahu, for his part, has said he won't resign even if he's indicted.




So who's running?

Everybody.

Pretty much the entire population of Israel is running in these elections.

Israel has a nationwide party-list proportional representation system which allows small parties to flourish, and this has allowed an extraordinary amount of political fragmentation over the last few decades. The threshold to get into the Knesset was raised to 3.25% in 2014 to try and combat this, but it hasn't worked so far. This year has the most ludicrously high number of parties running in Israeli history (47), many of which are themselves alliances of convenience between multiple parties. As many as 15 parties or alliances stand a reasonable chance of winning seats. They are (with the number of seats they won at the last election):

Ra'am-Balad (8) :: Led by Mansour Abbas, Ra'am-Balad is an alliance of convenience between Ra'am (mostly Islamists) and Balad (Arab nationalists). Last time they both ran as part of the Joint List, which brought all the Arab-interest parties into one group, but this has now split into two. They are focussed on fighting anti-Arab discrimination in Israel and supporting the Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza. Balad are also perceived by many Israelis as being particularly close to terrorists. They will not join any coalition, but may support a centre-left coalition from the outside.

Hadash-Ta'al (5) :: Led by Ayman Odeh, Hadash-Ta'al is another alliance of convenience between former Joint List parties, this time between Hadash (communists) and Ta'al (Arab nationalists). Ta'al, led by Ahmad Tibi, was the first party to leave the Joint List in early 2019, and ended up rivalling the entire rest of the Joint List in the polls by itself. This bloc is likely to have similar focusses to Ra'am-Balad, albeit possibly with a stronger focus on addressing the economic concerns of Arab Israelis. They will not join any coalition, but may support a centre-left coalition from the outside.


Meretz (5) :: Led by Tamar Zandberg, a former college teacher and parliamentary aide, Meretz is a left-wing, social democratic, and environmentalist party, probably similar in outlook to Bernie Sanders, the Canadian NDP, or Jeremy Corbyn (without all the Hamas and Hezbollah stuff). They are staunchly feminist, secularist, pro-Arab and Palestinian rights, and pro-LGBT. A two-state solution along pre-1967 borders is one of their main priorities. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

Labor (24) :: Led by Avi Gabbay, a former telecoms businessman who was elected for Kulanu (see below) in 2015, defected to Labor in 2016, and became its leader in 2017. Labor are social democrats of a broadly 'third way' type, generally secularist, relatively 'dovish' on security issues, and supportive of a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders but with major West Bank settlement blocs transferred to Israel. Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir, who rose to prominence as campaigners on the cost of living, performed very well in their primaries, suggesting a shift towards a focus on left-wing economics. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

Kachol Lavan (11) :: Led by Benny Gantz, previously head of the Israel Defence Force (IDF). Kachol Lavan, or 'Blue and White', is an alliance between the established Yesh Atid party, led by former newsreader Yair Lapid, Gantz's new Hosen Yisrael party, and former Likud defence minister Moshe Ya'alon's new Telem party. Another former IDF chief, Gabi Ashkenazi, has also joined. Yesh Atid are a liberal, secularist, centre-left party; while Ya'alon leans centre-right; and Gantz has been quite vague on what he believes, but claims to go beyond the concepts of 'left' and 'right'. They are probably broadly liberal and centrist, with support for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders but with major West Bank settlement blocs transferred to Israel (although Ya'alon disagrees). They plan to lead a centre-left coalition government, with Gantz and Lapid rotating the office of Prime Minister.


Gesher (New) :: Led by Orly Levy, a former model and TV presenter who was an MK for Yisrael Beiteinu (see below) between 2009 and 2017. She founded Gesher in December 2018. Levy's father was also an MK for a right-wing party (Likud, see below) before he left to found his own party, also called Gesher, and join a centre-left coalition. Levy Jr. is believed to lean right on security and left on socioeconomic issues, and nobody knows which coalition she'd join. She was in talks about forming an alliance with Kachol Lavan, but it didn't work out.

Kulanu (10) :: Led by Moshe Kahlon, who was a Likud (see below) MK between 2003 and 2013. Kulanu lean right on security issues, are socially liberal, and have a strong focus on consumer rights and the cost of living. They support a two-state solution, but their priorities are firmly domestic. They are essentially centrist, but they joined Netanyahu's government in 2015, and they would probably join a centre-right coalition. However, Kahlon has said he would be open to joining a Gantz-led coalition 'if it isn't leftist'.


Likud (30) :: Led by Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been Prime Minister since 2009. Likud are the leading centre-right party in Israel. They are pro-business, 'hawkish' on security issues, appeal to both secular and religious voters, and are moderately conservative on social issues (although they tend to go into coalition with socially conservative religious parties). They blame what they call Israel's left-wing establishment for Netanyahu's corruption investigation. Their position on a two-state solution is changeable, but Netanyahu currently supports a demilitarised Palestinian state under Israeli security control. They are technically running with a small party called Ahi as part of a deal with the United Right-Wing Parties (see below).

Yisrael Beiteinu (6) :: Led by Avigdor Lieberman, Yisrael Beiteinu are essentially a vehicle for his idiosyncratic views. Lieberman is staunchly secularist and socially liberal, strongly nationalist and 'hawkish' on security issues, but supportive of a unique two-state solution where, in exchange for major West Bank settlement blocs, Israel would give Arab-majority areas in Israel 'proper' to a Palestinian state, whether the Arabs there like it or not (they don't). They are popular with Russian-speaking Israelis, and would most likely join a right-wing coalition, although Lieberman is often unpredictable. Their current slogan roughly translates as 'Lieberman Doesn't Give A Fuck'.

New Right (New) :: Co-led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, who were leader and deputy leader of Bayit Yehudi (see below) until they left to found the New Right in December 2018. Their position is still relatively vague, but they advocate 'personal freedom', want to reform the relationship between religion and state, and are hawkish on security issues. Bennett also has his own idiosyncratic 'peace' plan, which entails annexing 'Area C' of the West Bank (which includes all the settlements), leaving the remaining enclaves (where all the Palestinians live) to have 'self-rule' and be linked by new roads. They would join a centre-right coalition.


United Right-Wing Parties (8) :: Led by Rafi Peretz, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF. This is an alliance of convenience between Bayit Yehudi, a 'religious Zionist' party led by Peretz; Tkuma (or National Union), a more extreme religious-right party led by Bezalel Smotrich; and Otzma Yehudit, an extreme-right, theocratic, anti-Arab party led by Michael Ben-Ari. They are all very hawkish, very socially conservative, and very pro-settler, but Otzma are considered very much beyond the pale, and will split from the rest when the elections are over, while the others would probably join a right-wing coalition. Netanyahu was eager to get these parties to unite so Bayit Yehudi and Tkuma could get into the Knesset, and to this end gave up a place on Likud's list to a Bayit Yehudi candidate (who is technically running as 'Ahi' for legal reasons). At any rate, the deal with Otzma has caused some controversy, with one Bayit Yehudi candidate resigning in protest.

Zehut (New) :: Led by Moshe Feiglin, a Likud activist who challenged Netanyahu for the leadership, and then left when he lost. Feiglin appears to have the weird cult-like status among a small number of extremely online Israelis that Ron Paul did about ten years ago. Zehut is another vehicle for one person's idiosyncratic views, this time combining libertarianism with ultra-nationalism. Feiglin wants to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and bribe the Palestinians to leave. They are also probably too extreme for any coalition. They are currently running adverts with 'left-wing' slogans and Feiglin dressed as Steve Jobs.


United Torah Judaism (6) :: Co-led by Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni, UTJ is the party of Ashkenazi (European-origin) Haredi Jews. Technically, they're an alliance between a Hasidic party (Agudat Yisrael) and a non-Hasidic party (Degel HaTorah) who occasionally fall out, but are together for now. Their main focus is on preserving Haredi dominance in religious institutions, preventing reform to the relationship between religion and state, and ensuring that Haredi Jews do not get drafted into the IDF. They don't identify as Zionists, and have no position on the Palestinians. They do not let women run as candidates. They tend to join centre-right coalitions.

Shas (7) :: Led by Aryeh Deri, a former yeshiva manager who served as Shas leader in the 1990s before going to prison for corruption. He returned to the leadership in 2013. Shas is the party of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern-origin) Haredi Jews, although it appeals more broadly to conservative Mizrahi Jews. It is also mostly focussed on preserving the position of Haredi Jews, although they also campaign on cost of living issues and oppose discrimination against Mizrahi Jews. They also do not let women run as candidates, and tend to join centre-right coalitions.

Yachad (0) :: Led by Eli Yishai, a former Shas leader who was dethroned to make way for Deri's return in 2013, and didn't appreciate it. Also mostly focussed on preserving the position of Haredi Jews in Israeli society, but with a more nationalist flavour – they are firmly opposed to a Palestinian state, and ran in an alliance with Otzma Yehudit in 2015. Netanyahu was eager to get them to join the United Right-Wing Parties, but they were unable to agree a deal.


Israelis get to decide between this over-long menu of choices on April 9th. In the meantime, the intense competition will inevitably lead to plenty of high drama, Machiavellian horse-trading, and bizarre publicity stunts – Israeli politics is probably the closest the world gets to a TV soap, so whatever happens, it'll certainly be fun.




So who's winning?

Obviously at this stage it's difficult to tell who'll win, not least since 'winning' is a matter of forming a coalition of 61 or more MKs after the election, but every week a polling average from Knesset Jeremy gives projected seats for each party. Here's the most recent average:

Kachol Lavan (Blue and White) :: 32
Likud :: 29
Labor :: 9
Hadash-Ta'al :: 7
United Right-Wing Parties :: 7
United Torah Judaism :: 7
Meretz :: 6
New Right :: 6
Shas :: 5
Zehut :: 4
Kulanu :: 4
Yisrael Beiteinu :: 4

Everyone else (Ra'am-Balad, Gesher, Yachad, &c.) is averaging below the threshold.

Possible blocs:

Netanyahu and allies (Likud, Kulanu, Yisrael Beiteinu, New Right, United Right-Wing Parties without Otzma, United Torah Judaism, Shas): 61
Centre-left (Kachol Lavan, Labor, Meretz): 47
Arab-interest parties (Hadash-Ta'al, Ra'am-Balad): 7
Wildcards (Zehut, Gesher): 4
Extreme-right (Otzma): 1




Some good, non-paywalled English-language news sources include The Times of Israel, i24 News, and Jerusalem Post.




So who should win, and what coalition should they form? Personally I'd favour some form of centre-right coalition without the Haredi parties, perhaps including Yesh Atid and some of the WHO KNOWS LOL parties, but we'll have to see. How about yourselves? Who do you want to win, who do you think will win, and do you think Israel should change electoral system to something that doesn't generate 10,000 new parties an hour?
Last edited by Angleter on Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:36 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Postby Sicaris » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:01 pm

Cool.

Here’s to hoping Likud wins again.
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Postby Sapientia Et Bellum » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:06 pm

Yeah, gonna support the continuation of Bibis government
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Len Hyet
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Postby Len Hyet » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:17 pm

I really hope this pans out and the Likudniks take a back seat for a while. I'd like to see a more center, center-left coalition take form, but I don't see that happening.
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Postby United States of Natan » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:25 pm

I'd probably support Labor. Certainly not Party List or Likud.
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Postby Woodfiredpizzas » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:42 pm

None of the above. It’s a collection of left wing failures.
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Thermodolia
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:07 pm

I support Hosen Yisrael. I hope the win enough to upset Likud.
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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:55 pm

Persoanlly, I'm standing with Meretz on this one. They're the ones with the best platform on Israel's domestic issues and the best solution to the conflict as a whole. Although I don't see much hope and another four years of Likud, Netanyahu, and continuing the wrong path seem the most likely outcome.
Last edited by Shrillland on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JituLand » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:58 pm

Likud leader Netanyahu is like Modi of India. He is right wing, but involved in scams. It is interesting to note that both Modi and Netanyahu will face stiff fight this 2019 8)

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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:04 pm

JituLand wrote:Likud leader Netanyahu is like Modi of India. He is right wing, but involved in scams. It is interesting to note that both Modi and Netanyahu will face stiff fight this 2019 8)

It's not really a stiff fight for him. The polls are showing LIkud gaining a seat or two, he can easily find a right-wing coalition among the old and new faces.
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Postby MERIZoC » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:25 am

Meretz (5) :: Led by Tamar Zandberg, a former college teacher and parliamentary aide, Meretz is a left-wing, social democratic, and environmentalist party, probably similar in outlook to Bernie Sanders, the Canadian NDP, or Jeremy Corbyn (without all the Hamas and Hezbollah stuff). They are staunchly feminist, secularist, pro-Arab and Palestinian rights, and pro-LGBT. A two-state solution along pre-1967 borders is one of their main priorities. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.
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Postby Len Hyet » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:38 pm

MERIZoC wrote:
Meretz (5) :: Led by Tamar Zandberg, a former college teacher and parliamentary aide, Meretz is a left-wing, social democratic, and environmentalist party, probably similar in outlook to Bernie Sanders, the Canadian NDP, or Jeremy Corbyn (without all the Hamas and Hezbollah stuff). They are staunchly feminist, secularist, pro-Arab and Palestinian rights, and pro-LGBT. A two-state solution along pre-1967 borders is one of their main priorities. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:57 pm

Len Hyet wrote:
MERIZoC wrote:lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

Image

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Postby Diopolis » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:04 pm

So you can't vote for Hamas?
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Postby Liriena » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Labor (24) :: Led by Avi Gabbay (for now), a former telecoms businessman


I see that the Israeli center-left is just as garbage as the center-left in many Western countries :P
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Postby Liriena » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:09 pm

Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

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Postby Western Vale Confederacy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:13 pm

Len Hyet wrote:
MERIZoC wrote:lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

Image


literally shaking and spooked rn

Liriena wrote:
Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

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Postby Darussalam » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:17 pm

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Liriena wrote:
Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

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Postby Angleter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:45 pm

Liriena wrote:
Labor (24) :: Led by Avi Gabbay (for now), a former telecoms businessman


I see that the Israeli center-left is just as garbage as the center-left in many Western countries :P


If not more so (from that perspective), given that Gabbay was elected for a centre-right party and served in Netanyahu's coalition before defecting to Labor. But then, Israeli Labor have had a particularly acute case of the Western social democrat crisis of confidence over the last couple of decades, so that's not much of a surprise.
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Postby Angleter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:57 pm

In other news, BENNY GANTZ HAS A THEME TUNE

It includes a rap.

Probably because there are so many parties all in fierce competition for attention, Israeli parties have a habit of making theme tunes for their election campaigns. I'll post them as and when I find them. Some highlights from 2015: United Torah Judaism, Shas, Yachad (for some reason the Haredi parties love recording songs), Meretz, Bayit Yehudi
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Postby Taurgha » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:36 am

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Postby Page » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:56 am

There will never ever be peace for Israel and Palestine while Likud is in power. I hope this is Netenyahu's last election and that Israelies will choose a leader who isn't a psychopath.
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Novus America
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 19364
Founded: Jun 02, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Novus America » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:13 am

Page wrote:There will never ever be peace for Israel and Palestine while Likud is in power. I hope this is Netenyahu's last election and that Israelies will choose a leader who isn't a psychopath.


It is relatively peaceful enough for now. About as good as it will be.
Palestian Israeli peace simply is not going to happen. Ever.
It is a lost cause.

Netanyahu is bad because he is corrupt, but expecting some drastic change in Israel/Palestinian relations is not realistic.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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Angleter
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12281
Founded: Apr 27, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Angleter » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 am

Gantz and Ya'alon have agreed to run together. Telem will receive 2nd, 5th, and 8th places on the list; which is quite generous of Gantz, considering that Telem were polling at 0.

However, they don't exactly agree on everything. Which is quite impressive, given that what little Gantz has said has been deliberately tailored to be as vague and inoffensive as possible.
Last edited by Angleter on Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I gotta tell you, this is just crazy, huh! This is just nuts, OK! Jeezo man."

I am: British, English, Catholic, Unionist, Conservative, Pro-Market, Civil Libertarian, Cultural Nationalist, Constitutional Monarchist, Brexiteer, Localist/British Federalist, Anti-Technocracy, Pro-Democracy, Pro-Parliament, Pro-Zionism.

Defend Parliamentary Sovereignty - Elections Are Advisory - Luttrell for Middlesex 1769 - Bring Back Zac

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Trumptonium1
Senator
 
Posts: 4022
Founded: Apr 03, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Trumptonium1 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:15 am

Lieberman, but Netanyahu is ok.

Any socially liberal nationalist party is laudable, especially if led by a strongman. I'm jealous of Israel as they have a wide choice of those and have been governed by such for over two decades.
Last edited by Trumptonium1 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Preferred pronouns: His Majesty/Your Highness

https://www.bolsonaro.com.br/
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