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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Israeli Elections, What is The Most Important Issue? Part 1

Here we are, one short week from voting in Israeli Knesset Elections.  What seemed to be a very long campaign time when the elections were announced has shrunk, as all but our waistlines do, to a quickly disappearing snow...

Nu?  How do you choose which party is best to vote for?

Israel has such a large confusing choice of political parties, which change from elections to elections.  There are those who are loyal to their party, through thick and thin, no matter what their performance or what's happening in the country.  Some people will always vote Labor or Agudah or Likud or NRP, no matter what name is used.  There's their letter/s on the ballot,    א, ב, ג, מחל which hasn't changed much for decades.  Those single letter parties have been since the very first elections, Labor, NRP and Aguda.  The ח in מחל  remains from the חירות Herut Party of Menachem Begin and former Etzel fighters.  But most of the other political parties are either much newer or brand new and will end up being postscripts in the history books and academic articles of the January, 2013, elections.

Even though the minimal percentage required for a party to be represented in the Knesset has increased in recent decades, there have still been new parties that somehow pass it and serve, usually without too much distinction except as food for comedians and satires.

Dry Bones, Kadima
Some parties are one-issue ones and others try to be supermarkets. Nu, how do we, or should we choose the party to vote for?

Personally, I don't see the point of voting for a supermarket party, one which has Knesset candidates who support a variety of conflicting viewpoints.  Honestly, if that's your idea of a political party, you may as well stay home, since obviously you have no real opinion or desire to see specific policies.  Those parties are the more "Center" ones which this year include, Likud, Kadima, NRP-Bayit Yehudi and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid. 

Are you confused?

The Likud voters and some of the very popular MKs are strongly Right and in favor of Jewish Life and Jewish Civil Rights in all of the Land of Israel, but please remember that all of the greatest destructions of Jewish communities and withdrawals were due to Likud Governments, both Menachem Begin and Arik Sharon.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who although can give the most fantastic speeches about Jewish rights, history etc has made it very clear that he's Centrist and has allowed extreme Left Ehud Barak to rule us in the way of the British Mandate, seriously restricting the growth of Jewish building etc.  Bibi is a strong leader, and he keeps his MKs and ministers in line.

The Bayit Yehudi, which is the old veteran NRP, has expanded to make it a broader-based party.  It always had its Leftist element and the aim to protect its interests and find a way to be in the coalition.  Naftali Bennett, its new leader, has brought in non-Torah observant candidates who otherwise agree with his policies.  Yes, there are some strong Right and in favor of Jewish Life and Civil Rights in all of the Land of Israel people high on its list, but they will have to be reined in if Bennett gets his dream to be a cabinet minister.  Bibi won't allow opposition from his coalition.

Please think about this.  In part two, we'll get to the actual issues.  What really is the most important issue as far as you're concerned?


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The most important issue is the need to establish a strong middle class that doesn't have to work 8 days a week to financially survive.

Batya said...

MGI, not possible if the Left give the terrorists our heartland, which would drive up housing and defense costs while the Arabs destroy us militarily.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time following your analysis.

1. The "new NRP" ie. Bayit yehudi has hte letters of טב this year, not just ב

2. I don't see how Bayit Yehudi is a supermarket party. I also don't see how Labor is a supermarket party. The only party that seems to fit your description is Likud, since they have MKs that disagree with just about everything Bibi says. Yesh Atid, it's hard to say, because they are all appointed by Lapid, so we can assume they all hold the same opinion on his platform issues.

3. If Bibi won't allow any opposition from his coalition, then what is the point in voting for anyone other than Bibi? Might as well not vote if you are just trying to make a protest vote.

Batya said...

3 the smaller Likud is the more Bibi will need the coallition. Opposition on the Right is important.
2Bayit Yehudi will move Center to get into the coalition.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "move center"? They already are in the center.

That's why they have 14 seats and not 5. But my point was that they are a consistent group. They don't have half their proposed MKs pushing ideas that Bennet is not advocating.

Batya said...

a, not at all. Bennett is pushing Center while many of the list are far Right. He'll have to rein them in to get Bibi to accept NRP in the coalition. And very few of them have any real political experience, certainly none in the Knesset except possibly as lobbyists.