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Israel goes to the polls on Tuesday and it would be great to know what you think.

Israelis, who are you voting for and who do you expect to be the winners and losers?

Those outside Israel, what are your feelings as the story unfolds in the hours and days ahead?

To get the ball rolling, I’ll say this: those who believe a right-wing administration equals the death of the peace process should recall how it has often been right-wing Israeli PMs who have made concessions. Menachem Begin made peace with Egypt, Benjamin Netanyahu handed most of Hebron to the Palestinians in the 1990s, and Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza.

That said, as I look at the likely outcomes of Tuesday’s vote, I am hardly bursting with Rabin-era enthusiasm. I wonder what proportion of the Arab electorate will show up to the polls, and what effect that could have on the outcome.

Two quick ‘election broadcasts’:

This lad thinks Israel should definitely vote for Bibi.

Whereas I’d love you to read about the newly-formed NaNach party, which is headed by Sharon Knafo, who miraculously survived a terror attack in Jerusalem in 2001.

Over to you. What is your take on it all?

15 Responses to “Israeli elections 2013: an open thread”

  1. Sam says:

    I will read others views with great interest. I know very little about the ins and outs of Israeli politics but Netanyahu seems like a very strong leader and that’s what Israel needs. I think the polls are showing he’ll get re-elected…which means the tough relations with the US will continue. And all the while Iran builds a bomb…I know which leader I trust to put a stop to that. I’ll give you a clue, it’s not the American one!

  2. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Likud-Beiteinu list will get 30+ seats, and Bibi will be asked to form a coalition government.

    So – the important thing is who will get the next largest bloc? Right now, that seems to be (according to published polls), HaBayit Yehudi at about 17 seats.

    Why is that important? Because it’s the second largest bloc which will be able to put the pressure on Bibi either from within the government as a member of the coalition or from the outside as the leader of the opposition…

    Israeli elections and the aftermath tend to make what appears to be strange “bedfellows”!

    • Ajit says:

      Peter,I don’t even know how to respond.One point of many: calinlg Barack Obama “B. Hussein” is just plain ignorant and offensive. How would you like if people called Rahm Emanuel “R. Israel” and used it as an insult. Nobody chooses their name. Using this as an insult, or worse, as evidence against him, is extremely immature. Name calinlg is for preschoolers.My middle name is “Foisie” which is French-Canadian, but I do not identify at all with being French-Canadian. Would you like to mock me for having a not traditionally American name?Bowing to a king is respectful. It is a sign of his sensitivity to other cultures.Really, I am ashamed of this sort of discourse.Dovidgo, glad I am not the only open-minded, non-conspiratorial person here.

  3. Steve Wenick says:

    As many American Jews sit comfortably in their dens, rather than in Israeli bomb shelters, they can well afford to criticize Israel’s electorate for not knowing what is in their best interest. The kind of hubris they demonstrate can only be borne by their sense of moral and intellectual superiority over those who would presume to disagree with their opinions. Of course they will tell you that, since America assists Israel both financially and militarily, as tax payers they have a right to express their opinions about Israel. They would be correct even if the US didn’t contribute a dime to Israel or send it one F-15 Fighter jet, after all they still do have the right of freedom of speech, at least for now. But that is not the point.
    This election is not about opinions of what is right and what is wrong for Israel; this election is about survival. And for those safely ensconced in their ivory towers or their mother’s basements from the very real threat of genocidal heads of state crouching at their doorstep it would be better if they just press the mute button and sit this one out.

    As an American Jew that’s precisely what I intend to do.

  4. Chas Newkey-Burden says:

    The wonderful Michael Dickson writes:

    Dear World,

    This week an amazing thing will happen in the Middle East. Keep that in mind, because your local media may not represent it that way.

    Millions of citizens, men and women, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race or religion, will head to the polls. Totally free, democratic elections, will take place in a democratic society, with a free and open media. Free choices will be made, citizens’ voices will be heard and the government will change as a result.

    The surprising thing is that this won’t be amazing at all, because these elections will take place here in Israel just as they have since the Jewish state’s re-establishment, almost sixty-five years ago.

    Read it all here: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/respect-our-vote/

  5. AllanL5 says:

    I think Bibi should be re-elected. That the best way to continue a path to peace requires strong walls and fences, and defensible borders for Israel against all those who’ve declared she should be destroyed. That trying to negotiate a two-state solution with Palestinians who really want a one-state solution without Israel, is not a realistic goal to pursue. And making unilateral concessions toward a two-state solution without an honest, trustworthy partner in that process is not a path to peace.

    These are the apparent realities of the Israel-Palestinian conflict at this time, and the policies of Bibi serves the purposes of peace the best at this time.

  6. yuval says:

    Bibi is going to cave if he’s reelected (by the way, he is not a strong right-wing leader – even Yitzhak Shamir couldn’t stand him), Benett is just vile, Lapid is annoying, I’m tired of wasting my vote on Meretz, world leaders want Livni and they have suggested that they can’t work with Netanyahu (which for a second and half got me to consider voting for him)
    I think it’s going to be Shelly for me.
    oh yea and we’re suppose to vote for a party list, not a leader of a party but non of them (not the about 13 that actually stand a chance of getting into the Knesset nor the 20 something other ones) has a plan for all the issues Israel has to face.
    each of them addresses one major issue and several of them added their concerns about two other issues… good thing election day is a sabbatical and the weather tomorrow would be hot enough for the beach, otherwise it’s a waist of my day.

  7. deegee says:

    Your views are closest to what Israeli political party? Check the Compass points

    It’s mainly about the BBC using a known left wing critic of Israel without announcing it but also links to lots of sites about elections in Israel. Democracy tomorrow

  8. Sharona says:

    Im a Bibi Girl! I wish I could say Im a Bond Girl, but my legs are not long enough…

  9. Tal H says:

    I voted at the army today. Democracy is an amazing concept!

  10. alice says:

    As you say, only right wing governments give up land, so whilst voting right, I would be quite happy to see a ragtag left-wing government. The only way it could happen really is with Shas, but I think that bibi has his act together, he only need lapid and bennett and he has 61 seats. And there is really not any difference between the two, both want to keep area C and the golan, army service for all, into free markets, a Jewish state sans religious coercion, bennett has token hilonim on his list and lapid token dosim. They could merge actually “yesh atid bebayit hayehudi” (there is a future in the jewish home”).

  11. Chas Newkey-Burden says:

    Great post on Harry’s Place, poking fun at the election predictions of Peter Oborne (he of the anti-Israel obsession)

    http://hurryupharry.org/2013/01/23/oracle-oborne-and-the-israeli-electorate/

  12. testdomain says:

    I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be using? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?

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