Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I have been posting on the Israel elections because unlike the USA which is a “republic”, Israel is a true Democracy, and (1) The format is not one we are used to with our 2 Party system and our direct picking the individual representing us; (2) their Knesset (Parliament) is  represented  proportionally by the number of votes for each of the parties. thus  any party that received over 3.5% of the total vote will  have representation see addendum (3) the character of the  new government will have a direct  impact on the Near East including  the “Palestinian State issue, the Iran nuclear bomb issue, as well as the conflict in Syria.

The process of forming a new government  there is like  “Bracketology”.  Since 61 seats are needed for a majority any government must be a coalition among groups that have their own agendas and do not often completely agree with each other. As long as there is no major conflict among the coalition the government can function by passing legislation, but if any member of the coalition disagrees with the majority on a vote that can lead to a defeat for the government with the prospect that it could no longer pass legislation and a situation that would call for possible new elections if a new coalition could not be formed.

This is an analysis  by  Ben Sales of the JTA  what the new government could be;:
 On Tuesday, Israeli voters gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a clear mandate to form the next government. To do that, he’ll need the support of at least 61 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers. Here are a few of his options, and for background, here’s an overview of the parties and what they stand for.
The right-religious “natural partners” coalition (67 members)
Parties: Likud (30), Kulanu (10), Jewish Home (8), Shas (7), United Torah Judaism (6), Yisrael Beiteinu (6)
The most likely scenario based on the results, this coalition is the one analysts are expecting to take shape. It’s basically a reversion to Netanyahu’s relatively stable 2009-2013 coalition of right-wing and religious parties, called Likud’s “natural partners.” The center-right Kulanu, headed by former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, would also join this coalition in return for a prominent post like finance minister.
This coalition would likely take a hard line on security and diplomacy, and a more progressive stance on economics, in accordance with Kulanu’s and Shas’ platforms, which focus on alleviating poverty and lowering the cost of living. This coalition, with haredi Orthodox participation, could also roll back the 2014 law including haredim in the military draft.
The center-right coalition (65 members)
Parties: Likud (30), Yesh Atid (11), Kulanu (10), Jewish Home (8), Yisrael Beiteinu (6)
The haredi Orthodox UTJ has not endorsed Netanyahu for prime minister. What happens if they refuse to? Another scenario for Netanyahu is again excluding the haredi parties from the government, choosing right-wing and centrist allies instead. This coalition would look a lot like the outgoing one. It would have a free-market oriented economic policy and would probably not roll back the haredi-focused reforms of the last government.
The obstacle to this coalition is Yesh Atid. That party’s fighting with Likud caused the last coalition’s collapse, and its full-throated endorsement of West Bank withdrawal doesn’t accord with Likud’s or Jewish Home’s policy.
The unity government (81 or 77 members)
Parties: Likud (30), Zionist Union (24), Yesh Atid (11), Kulanu (10), Yisrael Beiteinu (6), or
Likud (30), Zionist Union (24), Kulanu (10), Shas (7), UTJ (6)
Netanyahu has said several times that he does not want to partner with the Zionist Union in a coalition, so this is unlikely. But if UTJ, Kulanu or Yesh Atid force his hand, this may become a possibility. And a wider coalition usually means more stability, which Netanyahu values.
The first of these coalitions would be centrist diplomatically and economically, at most enacting some economic reform based on Kulanu’s platform. The latter would likely roll back the haredi reforms of the last government and enact more progressive economic policy. But, again, neither of these coalitions is probable.

Addendum from "Foreign Policy site"
Here’s how Israeli elections work: Israelis vote for parties, not individuals, in one national district. Each party puts forward a list of candidates, in rank order, and each voter chooses one list at the polls. The 120 seats of the Knesset are then divided among the lists in proportion to the national vote share each party receives, provided the party passes a minimum threshold (now equal to four seats).

The result is a highly representative, but highly fractured political system. At least 10 factions will serve in the incoming 20th Knesset, representing a wide range of ideological positions and demographic constituencies. In this system, minorities of all kinds — including Israel’s large Arab minority — are represented in Parliament, but no single party has ever succeeded in garnering more than half the seats. Consequently, coalitions must be formed, and meticulously maintained, in order to govern; early elections, usually the outcome of a failed coalition, are the norm rather than the exception.

1 comment:

  1. A "true Democracy" doesn't feverishly scheme to undermine its native population. "But a political ideal which does not rest on the national culture is apt to seduce us from our loyalty to spiritual greatness, and to beget in us a tendency to find the path of glory in the attainment of material power and political dominion, thus breaking the thread that unites us with the past, and undermining our historical basis." Ahad Ha'am, Jewish philosopher, 1897.