Israel Election on Tuesday – Forecasts Predict Another Stalemate

  • Polls forecasting the coming election on Channel 13 show that both Netanyahu and Gantz will again receive an equal number of votes: 32 mandates.
  • Polls show that again the outcome of the elections will depend of Avigdor Lieberman and his eight mandates
  • As in the previous election Avigdor Lieberman can make the difference either for Gantz, giving the left 63 mandates and a government, or he can give Netanyahu 64 mandates.

On Tuesday September 17 elections will be held for the second time this year in Israel. The first elections ended up in a stalemate and forecasts for the coming elections show similar results. Both sides, right and left, have campaigned and organized their parties in preparation for the coming elections. The right is led by Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud.  The left is led by Benny Gantz of the Blue-White Party.  Netanyahu in the previous elections received an equal amount of mandates as Gantz (35) but was unable to make a government combining mandates from other parties to reach the required majority of 61 mandates. Gantz also was unable to reach this number so new elections were called by President Reuven Riblin.

Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. Netanyahu took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder. Netanyahu fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory. Netanyahu achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. After graduating from MIT with a Bachelor of Science (SB) and a Master of Science (SM), Netanyahu became an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Polls forecasting the coming election on Channel 13 show that both Netanyahu and Gantz will again receive an equal number of votes: 32 mandates. Included with Neytanyahu will be the right Zionist party headed by Ayelet Shaked who will receive 9 mandates. Shas the religious Sephardic party will receive 8 mandates. United Torah Judaism will receive 7 mandates reaching a total of 56 mandates— not sufficient to make the government. There is a possibility of Otzma, the extreme religious Zionist party, winning one mandate.

On the side of Benny Gantz who poll forecasts claim will receive 32 mandates are: the Democratic Union far left Jewish Israelis who will get 6 mandates; Labor Gesher led by Emir Peretz will get 5 mandates; the united Arab parties will score 12 mandates for a total of 55 mandates.

Israel Beitainu led by Avigdor Lieberman will receive 8 mandates.  As in the previous election Avigdor Lieberman can make the difference either for Gantz, giving the left 63 mandates and a government, or he can give Netanyahu 64 mandates. It is very unlikely that Lieberman will choose to go into a government with the religious parties as he refused to do in the previous elections. It is also very unlikely for Lieberman, who is a right secular Zionist against the two state solution and has always supported Likud, to join in with the Arab parties without Likud.

Avigdor Lieberman (5 July 1958) is a Soviet-born Israeli politician who served as the Defense Minister of Israel; on 14 November 2018 Lieberman announced he was handing in his resignation due to a ceasefire versus Gaza which Lieberman said was “surrendering to terror.” He served as Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2012, and again from 2013 to 2015.

A poll on KAN predicted 59 seats for the Right Center Bloc without Lieberman. Another poll by Knesset Channel predicted 60 seats on the Right Center Bloc– the same as in the last elections without Lieberman and not sufficient to make a government.

  • 14% of the respondent said they were undecided.
  • Two thirds said they were sure who they would vote for.
  • The error margin of the poll is 3.9%.

An article today in the Israel News talks about how discontented the Russian Immigrants are with the laws of “who is a Jew” which are supervised by the Orthodox Rabbinate. Lieberman has requested in the past leniency in these laws for his constituents who have immigrated from Russia.  It light of this article it is very unlikely that Lieberman will change his mind in this election and join Netanyahu with the Orthodox religious parties. Lieberman is concerned about National Security.  He worked as the Minister of Defense.  He will not join in with the Arab party or the religious party. Gantz and Netanyahu will need to make a united government or there will have to be again new elections.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.www.progressivejewishspirituality.net
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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