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Here We Go Again: An Israeli Election Thread(Episode 1)

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

Who do you support(poll subject to change)?

Yesh Atid
6
15%
Likud
5
12%
National Unity
1
2%
Labor
5
12%
Meretz
7
17%
Joint List
13
32%
Religious Zionists
1
2%
Ra'am
2
5%
Yisrael Beitenu
0
No votes
Other(Any others from Haredis to Zionist Spirit and beyond, let us know!)
1
2%
 
Total votes : 41

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Shrillland
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Here We Go Again: An Israeli Election Thread(Episode 1)

Postby Shrillland » Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:52 pm

Angleter is no longer with us, so it falls to me to make the most chaotic election thread of them all.

Yes, NSG, after fifteen months, Israel is going to the polls November 1.

The Knesset will officially vote on the dissolution on Sunday night, June 26, and Israel will vote again. The main reason, as I'm sure you're all aware, is the surprise vote against a bill that would continue to give settlers in the West Bank the same legal protections and rights as Israelis have in Israel Proper(Pre-1967 Israel). This is the first time in Israeli history that the bill was rejected, and it was primarily done by Bibi and his friends in Likud and the Tkuma, Shas, and United Torah Judaism parties, which caused many hitherto dovish parties within the current Coalition led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid's Yamina and Yesh Atid parties, respectively, to vote to keep the rights in tact. Even Meretz MKs voted for it, though there are fewer of them in the coalition than before as many have walked out in protest over recent attacks into Gaza. Likewise, a couple of Arab Interest MKs have walked out of the coalition while staying within their parties.

While the Knesset is out of session in preparation for the November 1 vote, the law remains on the books and Israeli Settlers still have rights that the Palestinians in the same territory(which is supposed to belong to them) don't have. But, enough Anti-Zionism for one day, this is about Israel's elections, which are always a hoot.

Polls currently show a lot of dissatisfaction with how fragile the current coalition is, and many Israelis want a return to the...comparative stability of the Right Wing Coalition that Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud had. The Likud Coalition(Likud, Shas, UTJ, Religious Zionists), is averaging just around the 60-seat mark, which could give them a majority. The same polls show that Netanyahu also has 42% of the public wanting him back as PM. The Centrist Coalition in charge has a polling average of 55 seats with the Pro-Palestinian Joint List making up the remainder.

At this point, you might be thinking, "Wasn't Bibi indicted last year?" He was, and the corruption trial is proceeding apace and has been for about a year now, but if he wins, as is quite likely at the moment, the trial will be suspended indefinitely as Prime Ministers are immune from prosecution.

Now for how the election will go. It's a PR vote with a single nationwide constituency and a 3.25% threshold to get into the 120-seat Knesset. Israel's politics are quite fractious, and there's usually at least a dozen parties that manage to get in with as many as 50 parties running in any given election. There will be leadership primaries beforehand, but none are really expected to change yet.

Now to meet the parties themselves in the same way Angleter would, a brief description and their current seat numbers. As you know, Israeli party politics can be quite fluid, so we'll see quite a few changes in alliances and splintering before the definite party list is published sometime in August or September.

Government:
Ra'am, or the United Arab List(4 seats): This is the most conservative of the Arab Parties led by Mansour Abbas. It used to be part of the Pan-Arab Joint List, but it differs from the other parties in that it's more of a Conservative Islamic Party compared to the Secular Left ideologies of the others. They want a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital. Their main support comes from Bedouin Arabs and Islamic Nationalists, and they've been able to help both groups whilst in the coalition, making sure that previously-illegal villages were put on the electrical grid and giving formal recognition to many Bedouin communities. Ra'am's historically known to court all sides when not in the Joint List, and could work with any coalition that will work with them.

Opposition:
Joint List(6): The Joint List is a Left Wing coalition made of four Pro-Arab and Pro-Palestinian Parties: Balad(Secular Anti-Zionist and Arab Nationalist), Hadash(Communist), Ta'al(also Arab Nationalist), and Mada(Centre-left Arab Interests). The leader is Hadash's Ayman Odeh. They won't join any coalition, but they are often courted as kingmakers and sometimes work with coalitions on improving Palestinian and Israeli Arab interests.


Government: Yesh Atid(18): This is the largest party in the current governing coalition and is run by the impending acting PM, Yair Lapid. They see themselves as the Centrist standard bearer for the secular middle class, though Likud also sees themselves in a similar light. They prefer to focus on economic and civic issues, of which they're quite Centrist, but they're been so far favourable to continued Israeli settlement in the West Bank. They do want peace along the 1967 line, but they also want to transfer settlements into full Israeli sovereignty. Lapid is hoping to reofrge his coalition after the election, though with the continued fighting in Gaza, it'll be a harder sell to keep Ra'am and Meretz inside.

Labor(7): Once one of Israel's largest parties, it has seen its fortunes slump as the Israeli Left as a whole has collapsed. Led by Merav Michaeli, they're primarily dovish, Social Democratic in nature, prefer a 1967 peace with transfer of settlement blocs, and are more Left Wing on economic issues. They seem prepared at the moment to stay within the coalition.

Meretz(6): Meretz is the most Left Wing of the explicitly Zionist political parties(i.e., without going into the Non or Anti-Zionist parties of the Joint List) and is currently led by Nitzan Horowitz. Meretz supports environmentalism, secularism, LGBT rights(including the right to civil marriage, which does not currently exist in Israel or Palestine), feminism and a two-state peace along 1967 lines with the settlements removed. They'll work with centrist coalitions, but they've soured on the current one given its aggressions in Gaza of late. In May, one of their MKs even left the coalition in protest for about two weeks before returning.

New Economic Party(0): Yaron Zelekha is trying to get the purely economy-based NEP running again, but he's currently only polling around 1%.


Government:
National Unity Party(0): Ostensibly, this party led by former IDF Commander Benny Gantz is a centrist alliance. It consists of gantz's own Blue and White Party and Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope, which consists of ex-Likudniks tired of Bibi's continuous leadership. In July, the two parties had already agreed to merge electoral lists, and in August, former IDF Chief Gadi Eisenkotz and former Yamina MK and Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana joined the slate, and the parties merged altogether into the new centre-right National Unity Party. With Gantz still at the helm and his history of opportunism, there's no telling if the new party will stay part of the Yesh Atid Bloc after the election.

Yisrael Beiteinu(7): Officially Right Wing, the party has become more of a vehicle in recent years for its founder and leader Avigdor Lieberman. It primarily focuses on the interests of Russian-speaking Jews in Israel, although Lieberman has tried to expand the party's appeal to the general population in recent years. Formerly a stalwart supporter of the Likud Coalition, he left in 2019 over the Ultra-Orthodox draft exemption, which triggered the ongoing chaos in the country today. Yisrael Beiteinu is still an ultra-secular ultra-nationalist party, opposed to the influence of the Haredi Parties in the Likud Coalition and willing to stay in the current coalition as a result. His peace plan is...somewhat eccentric, wanting to trade large amounts of Israeli Arab land for the Settlements, which isn't a popular option outside his party.

Opposition:
Ale Yarok(0): The name translates to "Green Leaf", and indeed, marijuana legalisation is a major plank of this party led by Oren Lebovitch. In other matters, they consider the right-left dichotomy anachronistic, support the legalisation of sex work and gambling, stand for a more centrist take on free markets, and takes a fairly left-wing stance on Palestine, believing any peace plan should be approved by a referendum on both sides.


Government:
Zionist Spirit (8): Pre-election, the conservative Yamina was led by Israel's effective Co-PM, Naftali Bennett, but Bennett decided to retire from the Knessett on June 29, so Ayelet Shaked now leads. They're as economically and socially conservative as Likud, and if anything, they're more hawkish and Ultra-Zionist supporting partial annexation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Their main difference to Likud is more or less opposition to Bibi's consolidation of power in the 2010s, which has given them some support in conservative circles, both religious and secular. On July 27, Shaked announced that she would merge her electoral list with that of Communications Minister and former New Hope MK Yoaz Hendel's Derekh Eretz Party into the new Zionist Spirit list. Hendel's list is closer to the centre than Yamina's though Shaked is in overall charge of the new alliance.

Opposition:
Likud(29):Ah, Likud, a name that's more or less become synonymous with Israel over the last 25 years thanks to the efforts of their longtime leader, Binyamin Netanyahu AKA Bibi. It's centre-right politically and prefers free market solutions to economic issues. Likud also straddles the religious-secular divide in Israeli politics by providing plenty to both sides. Although Bibi is on trial for corruption, the trial has been slow to proceed, and can be halted if he retakes the premiership, which polls show is a significant possibility with Likud alone averaging 35 seats in recent showings. They're also increasingly populist as they placate their working-class base of Mizrahis. Although officially in favour of a two-state solution, they're also quite open to expanded settlement and even harder measures on Gaza. Likud itself is socially moderate, though their coalition leads them, in reality, to being overwhelmingly socially conservative.

Free Israel(0): Led by Yisrael Beitenu defector Eli Avidar, this Libertarian party actually shares a name with a nonprofit who has threatned to take legal action if Avidar insists on keeping the name. It's not polling well at the moment.


Opposition:
Religious Zionists(6): Led by Bezalel Smotrich, the RZP, which is actually a group of three parties, is the farthest-right party in Israel today. They want to annex large chunks of Palestine(some members support total annexation), are incredibly racist towards Arabs even by Israeli standards, wanting to pay all Arabs in the territory to emigrate and deny them the right to citizenship, and basically support making Israel a Jewish Theocracy. And they're growing in the polls, with some putting them at 10 seats. They make useful coalition allies for Likud and are expected to stay with them.

Otzma Yehudit(1): Led by Itamar Ben-Gvir, Otzma Yehudit was in a bloc with the Religious Zionists until early July, when they split off in a technical move that actually gave both parties additional funding and seats on the Knesset Election Committee. This Orthodox Far-Right party is seen as a successor to the banned Kach movement led by Meir Kahane until it was banned for inciting racism. It is still extremely anti-Arab, calling for the expulsion of all "disloyal" Israeli Arabs and calls for total annexation of Palestine as well as a Jewish Theocratic state. They will likely remain part of the Likud Bloc.

Shas(9): Shas is one of two dominant Haredi Parties in Israel led by Aryeh Deri. Their base consists of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish populations, and they have some support among mainstream Conservative Mizrahis outside of their normal Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox circles. They are stalwart members of the Likud Coalition, and will sometimes pull it closer to the centre on economic issues. They also support increased settlement expansion as do UTJ below.

United Torah Judaism(UTJ) (7): UTJ basically serves Shas's place for Ashkenazi Haredis. It's actually an alliance of two Ashkenazi Haredi parties, the Hasidic Agudat Yisrael and the Non-Hasidic Degel HaTorah. Right Wing and Orthodox, they're also supportive of the Likud Coalition. In regards to most relgious issues, they want to maintain the status quo with a few protections for Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews.


And that's all the parties. Here's a good place to find the latest poll numbers, and we'll all update with the news periodically.

So, NSG, who do you support, and who do you think will win?

Over the years I've become something of a Non-bordering-on-Anti-Zionist myself, so I'm going for Balad in the Joint List. Israel needs an internal shakeup and a return to something resembling the Left at least if it has to continue existing in its current form. Barring that, Meretz is all right too.
Last edited by Shrillland on Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:20 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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The Jamesian Republic
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Postby The Jamesian Republic » Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:54 pm

So does Israel just keep electing Prime Ministers?

I mean wasn’t like a year ago Bennett got in?

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Postby Shrillland » Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:00 pm

The Jamesian Republic wrote:So does Israel just keep electing Prime Ministers?

I mean wasn’t like a year ago Bennett got in?


Their politics are unstable, what can I say? Bennett and Lapid don't have enough votes to keep the coalition going...Likud is just barely at the threshold themselves.
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Philjia
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Postby Philjia » Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:29 pm

Yes! Here we go again!
The Jamesian Republic wrote:So does Israel just keep electing Prime Ministers?

I mean wasn’t like a year ago Bennett got in?

Israel has the brilliant combination of a society that is sharply divided along cultural and ethnic lines as well as political, and an electoral system based around party list proportional representation. This means you get a lot of different parties which don't like each other much. The most recent coalition was created entirely to stop Benjamin Netenyahu and his orthodox allies getting in and had no real uniting goal beyond that.
Last edited by Philjia on Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:30 pm

Again again!

Poor Lapid never got to be PM
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Postby Shrillland » Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:35 pm

Thermodolia wrote:Again again!

Poor Lapid never got to be PM


He'll be caretaker PM after next week....
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Postby Neoliberal Consensus » Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:38 pm

I think diversity is a great strength and America should be more multicultural, but I support Likkud because Israel is the only democracy in the middle east and the Palestinians are antisemitic and we can't tolerate that.
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Postby Emotional Support Crocodile » Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:33 am

The problem of splitters has dogged the region's politics since Roman times.

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455 Lands
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Postby 455 Lands » Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:39 am

Thermodolia wrote:Again again!

Poor Lapid never got to be PM


Something tells me that Bennett planned that very outcome from day 1 of the coalition...

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Postby -Astoria- » Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:47 am

Thermodolia wrote:Again again!

Poor Lapid never got to be PM

He is expected to come into office on 27 August 2023.

Just one more year (give or take a few months)! :oof:
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Postby Ethel mermania » Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:55 am

Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:The problem of splitters has dogged the region's politics since Roman times.

Like the people's front of Judea.
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Postby Continental Free States » Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:07 am

-Astoria- wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:Again again!

Poor Lapid never got to be PM

He is expected to come into office on 27 August 2023.

Just one more year (give or take a few months)! :oof:

That was the original agreement, if there's going to be an election Lapid's not likely to be holding the office after the temporary caretaker period ends. I'm not actually sure if I can make a guess who is going to win. Have a feeling it'll be Likud, but I don't know.
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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:55 pm

Gantz and Sa'ar in talks to have New Hope and Blue and White run together

The election is now likely to be held on Tuesday, October 25.
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Postby Bienenhalde » Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:15 pm

I would prefer to support a party that is Zionist, but not as corrupt as Likud, and not discriminatory towards religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims, nor sexist or homophobic. (Hence ruling out the Orthodox Jewish religious parties). I confess that I don't know that much in detail about the different parties' platforms, but Benny Gantz sounds alright from what I have heard.
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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:04 pm

Bienenhalde wrote:I would prefer to support a party that is Zionist, but not as corrupt as Likud, and not discriminatory towards religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims, nor sexist or homophobic. (Hence ruling out the Orthodox Jewish religious parties). I confess that I don't know that much in detail about the different parties' platforms, but Benny Gantz sounds alright from what I have heard.


He's closer to the centre, yes. His only problem is that he's seen as a bald opportunist, which is why his original coalition died on its arse when he made a deal with Likud after the '20 vote.
Last edited by Shrillland on Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shrillland » Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:58 pm

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Postby Northern Seleucia » Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:03 pm


Yair Lapid was supposed to take office today anyway, if I'm not mistaken. So, he'd be here anyway, just Interim PM and not real PM.
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Postby Shrillland » Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:40 pm

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Postby Makko Oko » Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:49 pm

Shrillland wrote:
The Jamesian Republic wrote:So does Israel just keep electing Prime Ministers?

I mean wasn’t like a year ago Bennett got in?


Their politics are unstable, what can I say? Bennett and Lapid don't have enough votes to keep the coalition going...Likud is just barely at the threshold themselves.


And I thought America's politics were unstable, damn. I know nothing about Israeli politics but this is insane, like flat out.

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Postby Catholic America » Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:51 pm

Again? Seriously?
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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:35 pm

Catholic America wrote:Again? Seriously?


Yep. Seriously.

We also have the latest polls out,,,and it looks like there'll be another vote in May.

Likud Bloc: 59
Yesh Atid-Yamina bloc: 55
Joint List: 6
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The Jamesian Republic
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Postby The Jamesian Republic » Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:38 pm

Shrillland wrote:
Catholic America wrote:Again? Seriously?


Yep. Seriously.

We also have the latest polls out,,,and it looks like there'll be another vote in May.

Likud Bloc: 59
Yesh Atid-Yamina bloc: 55
Joint List: 6


What about Labor?

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Postby Vistulange » Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:40 pm

The Jamesian Republic wrote:
Shrillland wrote:
Yep. Seriously.

We also have the latest polls out,,,and it looks like there'll be another vote in May.

Likud Bloc: 59
Yesh Atid-Yamina bloc: 55
Joint List: 6


What about Labor?

"Meanwhile, Labor and Yisrael Beytenu would earn five seats each..."

Labour is included in the Yesh Atid-Yamina bloc.
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Postby El Lazaro » Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:12 pm

As dumb and dysfunctional as the US political system is, I’m grateful that we don’t have 1 month terms sandwiched in between 10 year political crises.

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