Israeli Elections 2019 Special Update May 30th:
On May 29th, the Israeli Parliament voted to disperse the Knesset after the winning candidate and the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was unable to form a government. The new elections will be held on September 17, 2019. It’s the first time since the establishment of Israel that following the elections, neither of the parties succeeded to form a government. Please check our follow up article covering the Israeli election in September:
Israeli Elections 2019 Status April Update:
10.04.2019 – A day after the elections in Israel, here the results of the Israeli elections 2019:
- Kahol Lavan – 35
- Likud – 35
- Israeli Labor Party – 6
- Ta’al – 6
- Shas – 8
- United Torah Judaism – 8
- Meretz – 4
- Kulanu – 4
- Yisrael Beitenu – 5
- United Right – 5
- Raam Balad – 4
- Zehut – 0
- New Right – 0
As it seems now, Benjamin Netanyahu has a better chance to build a right coalition.
The elections in Israel for the twenty-first Knesset(Israeli parliament) will be held on April 9th, 2019, seven months earlier than the original date which was set on November 5th, 2019. The main focus of the Israeli elections is whether Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister for the last nine years will succeed to continue his domination of the Israeli politics with another victory.
The 2019 Israeli elections will be an important and dramatic event for Israel and the global geopolitics, although the latest polls show a certain victory of the current Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.
- Israeli elections – How does it work?
- Israel elections 2019 polls
- Who will win and why does it matter?
- What are the main issues for Israel ahead of the upcoming elections?
The decision to conduct the 2019 Israeli elections before the original date was made by the coalition on December 24th after the minister of Defence Avigdor Liberman resigned following the escalation in Gaza Strip and his disagreement with the Israeli parliament’s reaction. Liberman’s resignation and the drop out of his party changed the status of the coalition to 61 seats and unstabilized the coalition, led by Likud and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu is facing several charges that ironically, might send him behind the bars. For Netanyahu, these elections are the last chance to stay in power and he realized that his best option is to pre-scheduled the elections before charges against him prevent his fifth term as Prime Minister. There are rumors that following his victory, Netanyahu will implement the French law that would prohibit the prosecution of an elected government official. Even those who support Netanyahu agree that his leadership is corrupted but prefer Netanyahu over any other candidate.
Israeli elections – How does it work?
The Israeli parliament contains 120 members with a coalition of at least 60 members. The members are selected based on the party total votes called ‘mandate’ with every party ranks their members before the elections. In 2019, a party must get more than 4 mandates to enter the next government. Therefore, the party that succeeds in combining a coalition of 60 mandates will be the ruling party.
There are thirteen parties in the next elections – Halikud (Bibi Netanyahu) and Blue and White (Gantz and Lapid) are the largest two parties with an estimated 64-66 mandates. Each one of the big parties will attempt to form a coalition based on their principals. Israeli politics dynamics usually set the orthodox parties on the right-wing and Arab parties on the left-wing.
On February 21st, Benny Gantz (Hahosen Leisrael) and Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) united their two parties to the ‘Blue and White’ party with the purpose to end Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud control over the Israeli government.
Israel elections 2019 polls
As it seems now, the right party Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu has the highest chance to form a coalition of 60 members and above. All the polls and predictions exclude any other possible coalition. However, the campaign just started and Bibi Netanyahu is under enormous pressure inside the government as well as from the public which can lead to a surprising outcome.
Benjamin (Benny) Gantz can be the black swan of Israel’s 2019 elections. Gants, a former IDF(Israel Defence Force) chief, is currently the best alternative to Netanyahu since his victory in 2011.
As of the 3rd of September, here are the Israeli elections polls:
- Halikud – 32
- Blue and White – 31
- Joint List – 10
- Yamina – 9
- Yisrael Beiteinu – 9
- United Torah Judaism – 8
- Shas – 7
- Democratic Union – 7
- Israeli Labor Party – 7
Who will win and why does it matter?
Well, some reporters say that the 2019 elections are the most crucial since the establishment of Israel. A loud reaction of the losing side is expected on any scenario – Should Netanyahu prevail these elections, the left-wing and those who oppose his domination and corruption will not be silent. Ironically, Israel does not have a limit for Prime Minster total service and Benjamin Netanyahu is already served twelve years as Israel’s Prime Minister, the longest in Israel’s history. On the other hand, Netanyahu implemented his neo-liberal ideology on the Israeli economy, improved Israel strength and security and set the tone on local municipalities and state institutions. A surprising outcome can be a painful event for the right community and add uncertainty to Israel’s politics and economy.
As for other global leaders – Donald Trump is defiantly supporting Netanyahu. The strong diplomatic and strategic connection between the US and Israel is another factor for the public and gives some extra points to Bibi. As global politics is mostly led by right parties these days, Netanyahu has full support abroad.
What are the main issues for Israel ahead of the upcoming elections?
There are three main issues ahead of the upcoming elections: the Palestinians, Iran, and the economy/cost of living.
Palestine – Palestine remains the main concern for Israel. Although the conflict continues with constant turmoil, Netanyahu was able to maintain a relatively calm border with the Palestinians and a safe status for Israel’s citizens. Yet, the truth must be said – leftists know that a peace agreement or any progress towards sustainable shared living with the Palestinians will not happen as long as Netanyahu is in power. The Likud and Netanyahu stick with the ideology to maintain a status quo with the neighboring countries. The Palestinians and the Israel-Arabic community, on their side, will be happy to have another Isreali PM.
Iran – Oh Iran. If you are Israeli or non-Israeli and have concerns over the Iranian regime and their nuclear program, you will elect Benjamin Netanyahu. The man opposes the Iranian threat from any angle. If you haven’t seen Netanyahu’s famous speech at the UN, do so. You can love or hate him, the man is a show!
The Israelis are concerned with the constant threat of Arab nations, in particular Iran. Therefore, it is a hard decision for the Israeli public to select a non-military leader. That is why Benny Gantz can be a successor to Netanyahu. The former IDF chief has all the tools to manage a defense force and respond to any threats.
Israel economy/cost of living – Well, the economy is booming in Israel, perhaps one of the best eras as it comes to production, innovation, and capital. Netanyahu is an economist, and a good one. His approach to liberating the Israeli market was paid off. On the negative side – economists know that the price of neo-liberalism is a wider gap in inequality and higher cost of living. Israel cost of living is one of the highest in the world. Left-wing parties point a blaming finger towards Netanyahu, claiming that a return to a more socialist economic system will benefit the Israelis. Gantz, as well as Lapid, don’t have the required background to carry the Israeli economy, at least not in the eyes of the public and parliaments’ members.
Benjamin Netanyahu – Behind the bars or another victory?
Although Israel had faced a former Prime Minister(Ehud Olmert) that was charged with bribery, the current scenario is an unpreceded for the Israeli state. Netanyahu, the man who is also called King Bibi might end up being charged with at least two briberies or, more likely, continue his leadership. The discussion of Netanyahu’s morality present two-sides – While some ignore and accept his so-called corrupted behavior as he so far benefited Israel’s condition, others argue that enough is enough. One thing is for sure – politics love a good story and as it seems now, there is a pretty good story in Israel’s politics.
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