Israeli Elections - Unkept Promises and the Lesser Evil

Israeli Election Race - Biderman

The Israeli elections, scheduled for tomorrow, are quite split, though not two ways, but rather five ways. A lot of the voters will only decide at the ballots, choosing the lesser evil. In very general negative lines, the reasons people give for not voting for the different parties are: Had enough of Bibi, Herzog is too soft, Tzipi is untrustworthy, Bennett is extreme, Kachlon is a bluf, Lapid is disappointing, Arabs are for the Palestinians, Hareidi's are only for themselves, Gal-on is irrelevant, and Lieberman is corrupt.

A lot of the right wing people don't want to vote for Bibi and the Likud, as they feel they had enough of him, personally. Some feel it's the time to go farther right, to Bennett and the Habait Hayehudi, on defense issues. Some feel that Kakhlon and Kulanu party could be the answer, so to push more social issues, but still vote right on defense. Lieberman's Israel Beitenu party has fallen apart due to corruption investigations, and subsequently lost most of it's voters, so much so that some suspect it will not make it over the necessary minimum.

As for the center, it is still Yair Lapid with Yesh Atid, but some of his disappointed right wing voters who felt he could make a difference on social issues, which was the ticket he ran on, found a place with Kakhlon. Some left wing voters were also disappointed and veered back to the left to Herzog and Tzipi at the Zionist camp.

Thus, a small Labor party, headed by Itzhak Herzog, became the number one contender for the prime-ministership as it joined the Tnua party, headed by Tzipy Livny, forming the Zionist Camp. The deal between the too was a rotation of two years each for the Prime Minister's office, respectively. Farther to the left, the Meretz party headed by Zehava Gal-On, is loosing traction too. Some of the people who voted for them, hoping for more compromise with the Palestinians and no settlement building, see that Herzog's party has Stav Shafir who is considered very left on those issues, and others like her, at a very hi place in the party. These voters are choosing to go with the bigger party, hoping to make a bigger difference.

What's left are the Arab and the Hareidi parties, which went through an opposite process to each other. The Arabs united, which gave them more power and more votes, and the Hareidi split, which weakened both sides, and split their public. Interestingly enough it seems that the Arab party will not seek to join the government coalition, to not confirm the Zionist rule over Israel. However, again on the opposite approach, the Hareidy need to join the government desperately, Zionist or not, to allow a better access to the budget plate.

Into this campaign pore a lot of foreign money, in the form of V15 who seek to replace Bibi, and Sheldon Adelson who wants to keep him in place. Also bring in two big newspapers that are butting heads without even attempting to wear a guise of objectivity: Yediot Ahronot, with it's Ynet website, for the Zionist camp, and Israel Today for the Likud.

And there you have it. The biggest party is the Zionist Camp, as the voters flocked to them, but the larger block is on the right, as the voters spread out from the Likud to other right wing parties. In Israel, it's the larger block, not the larger party, which would go on to compile the government.

There are two things to remember for this election. Quite like the last election, and possibly even more so, more Israelis are going to vote according to social issues: cheaper housing, lower cost of living and getting the big monopolies to give the middle class a break, like the gas and banks. The other thing is that Israelis are going to vote according to a party if they like who's heading it, and not vote for it if they distrust or even don't like the sound of their voice. In any case, It's not going to be as much on Iran, nor will it be as much about the Palestinians.