Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Israel Elections (Updated)


Preliminary Results

The preliminary results are as follows:

Likud -Yisrael Beiteinu: 31 

Yesh Atid: 18-19 

Labor: 17 

Habayit Hayehudi: 12 

Shas: 11-13 

Hatnua: 6-7 

Meretz: 6-7 

United Torah Judaism: 6 

Hadash: 3-5 

United Arab List-Taal: 3-4 

Balad: 2 

Otzma Leyisrael: 0-2 

Kadima: 0

via Israel Thrives
  1. Arutz Sheva discussing election results live and in English.
  2. Here's the prelim poll results:

    Likkud dives down to 31 mandates or less; Yesh Atid, a new centrist middle-class party, is the big surprise with 18–20 mandates; Labor gets 16–18 mandates; 12–14 for Jewish Home (Bennett's party); 12 or less for Shas, the Sephardi Ultra-Orthodox party.

    This is a social issues win. Israeli Jews have overwhelmingly voted for welfare state policies. The hawkish stance on geopolitics has not diminished, however, as Bennett's gains show. Just as I said, it's not an either-or but a question of which is considered more important.


    A preliminary analysis from Barry Rubin

    TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013

    Israel's Election: A Preliminary Analysis

    By Barry Rubin

    As expected, Israel has once again made Benjamin Netanyahu its prime minister. The results were not as positive for him as they might have been but are good enough to reelect him.

    While some might find this paradoxical, the results show that Israelis have a basic consensus and yet have very different ways of  expressing their political positions. This isn’t surprising given the fact that 32 parties were on the ballot.

    First, though, a myth that has at times become a propaganda campaign should be exposed. There were numerous reports in the Western media that the Israeli electorate was going far to the right, didn’t want peace, and that Israeli democracy was in jeopardy. None of this had any real basis in fact and the election results show these claims to be false.

    The main story of the election was supposed to be the rise of the far right Ha-Bayit ha-Yahudi Party. In fact, though, it received only about 10 percent of the vote which is usual for that sector. In comparison, about one-third went to liberal or moderate left parties, and about one-quarter to centrist parties.

    According to reports which are not final but are close to the ultimate result, Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitaynu list received 31 of 120 seats. The Labor Party made some comeback with 17 but came in third. Labor’s hope that its showing would make Israel a mainly two-party system clearly failed.

    The big winner was Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 19 that became the second largest party, while Tsipi Livni’s party obtained 7.  The appeal of Lapid and Livni are precisely that nobody really knows what they stand for but it is certainly nothing to either extreme.

    In other words, 26 seats went to vaguely reformist somewhat centrist or mildly liberal parties that don’t have any clear or strong stands except to promise better government.

    On the far right, Ha-Bayit ha-Yehudi, led by Naftali Bennett, got 12.

    On the far left, Meretz obtained 7, better than it expected, while the Communists got 3, the Islamists 3, and the Arab nationalists 2. The last three parties depend mostly on Arab votes and it was a poor showing for that deeply divided sector.

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