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Down to the Wire: Less Than a Week till Israeli Elections

Down to the Wire: Less Than a Week till Israeli Elections

Israeli citizens will elect a new government in just five days, in what many have called Israel’s most important election ever. Israelis find themselves at a crossroads, with real debates about whether the Jewish state should expand settlements, engage in peace negotiations, ensure protections for women and members of the LGBT community and treat all religions equally.

As mentioned in my first post on the elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found himself fighting to keep his job as prime minister, with his Likud Party struggling to maintain its status as the largest party in the Knesset.

Whatever the outcome of the elections, we won’t know who will be Israel’s next Prime Minister for a few more weeks, as the parties have to negotiate with each other to determine whom to support as a prime minister.

Yet, that hasn’t stopped many from speculating about who will end up as the prime minister, and which parties will form the new government. Eleven parties are expected to win seats in the next Knesset, which makes forming a coalition extremely difficult to predict. There are simple ways, however, to make sense of all these parties—many election analysts divide the parties into those who have not ruled out endorsing Netanyahu for Prime Minister (generally, these are the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties) and those who have ruled out endorsing Netanyahu (generally, these are the centrist and left-wing parties).

The right-wing parties started out as favorites, but the race between these two blocs has tightened recently, with polls showing the right-wing ahead by just a few seats. Polls aren’t always accurate, though, and it’s impossible to predict for sure what will happen on Election Day.

As non-citizens of Israel, we cannot control what happens in Israel’s elections. Yet, there are other elections going on right now where we can still make an impact on Israel: the World Zionist Congress elections. Voting in these elections allows Jews from around the world to promote the causes of religious pluralism, women’s rights, and two-state solution efforts, so that we can help to fashion an Israel we can all be proud of. Voting is live until April 30, so go vote!

Published: 3/12/2015

Categories: Social Justice