Why elections now?
for the 21st Knesset were actually scheduled for November 2019. In
the spring of 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had formed a coalition of
61 out of 120 Members of Knesset. During summer 2016, Avigdor Lieberman joined
the coalition with another five members of his party “Israel, Our Homeland” and
became Minister of Defense.
2018 Lieberman resigned from the coalition because Netanyahu had not allowed
him to crack down on Hamas in the Gaza Strip more harshly. As at the beginning
of the legislature, the government then still had a 61-to-59 majority in
parliament. Nevertheless, it opted for new elections scheduled for April 9,
website of the Central Electoral Committee of the Knesset 43 political parties stand
for election. About six million Israelis are eligible to vote.
the generally known established parties Israelis may vote for a “New Horizon
with Dignity,” “Responsibility for Founders,” “Social Security,” “Social
Justice,” “Real Democracy,” “Hope for Change,” the “Unity of the Sons of the
Covenant,” an “Eternal Covenant,” “the Pirates,” a “Bridge,” “Identity,”
“Education,” “Reform,” “Human Dignity,” a “Protective Shield,” or even for
“Simply Love” or “You and I” – or they are being told that they stand at a
“Crossroads”, should start “From the Beginning” and proceed “Straight Forward”,
because “the Whole of Israel are Brothers” and “the Land of Israel is Ours.”
All terms of
this snake phrase which are in quotation marks are names of official Israeli
parties. In addition, the “Equals,” the “Pensioners” and a number of Arab and
Orthodox Jewish groups yearn for seats in Israel’s parliament.
Orientation guide for foreigners
www.israelvotes2019.com strives to pave the way in English
for Israel-interested foreigners through the political jungle of the Jewish
state. The website explains the Knesset, key players, political parties and why
there are new elections at this point of time.
suggests “religion & state,” “economy,” “settlements,” “the future of
Jerusalem,” “Israel & the Middle East,” and a “Palestinian state” as “Key
Issues” for these elections. Comparing them to the real existing discussion in
Israel’s society, the idea might arise that the website intends to remind
Israeli voters what should be the key issues from a Western perspective, rather
than mirroring reality in Israel to the West.
Election topics in Israel
For months the
big media platforms in Israel have been occupied primarily with one question: Who
is able to lever Netanyahu? – Undoubtedly, Benjamin Netanyahu is the
longest-serving prime minister in the history of the modern state of Israel.
Furthermore, it is unquestionable that Israel is a democracy. Consequently, Netanyahu
is the most popular head of government Israel has ever had.
self-critical left-leaning Israeli newspaper notes that if it is against “Bibi,”
as Netanyahu is popularly called, one even accepts the risk of being guilty of
a democratically disguised military coup. In a martial atmosphere, partly dressed
in leather jackets and with consistently grim look that forbids any fun, former
Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya’alon pose on the Golan
Heights for a group photo, civil war torn Syria in the background. Part of the
leadership of their new party “Blue-White” is former show master Ya’ir Lapid.
Israel’s leftists, liberals, peace activists, and human rights advocates seem
to have no fear of being under suspicion of militarism and authoritarianism in
hoping for a liberation strike against King Bibi from this Rambo trio with a
against Netanyahu because of corruption or breach of trust are barely an issue
any more. The decision on whether he be charged is finally postponed until
after the elections. To the chagrin of all Netanyahu-doom-prophets, all
coalition partners of the Likud had previously announced that they would be
ready to continue the coalition even if Netanyahu were charged.
the Jewish bazaar Mahaneh Yehuda make fun of how long and above all how quickly
(given the lack of humidity in the Holy Land) Netanyahu would have to smoke in
order to obliterate all the cigars in a dignified manner that he supposedly has
received for a positive coverage on the YNet news site (which he never received
according the these traders). They agree, the media are trying hard to finish
off their popular Prime Minister.
Arabs, Orthodox, women, homosexuals and
serious points of discussion among Israeli voters, the old question arises as
to whether Israel, as a nation-state of the Jewish people, can at the same time
be a state for all its citizens. “Arabs are not second-class voters,” President
Re’uven Rivlin reminds his acting Prime Minister, who is only too happy to be
carried away by statements that may easily be interpreted as racist.
predominance of the Orthodox as a representative of Judaism in Israel is called
into question. And journalists in search for topics are speculating about
whether the number of homosexual MKs could double from two to four in the next
election, or that the proportion of women among Members of Knesset might be
question of whether marijuana should be legalized reveals quite unfamiliar new
frontlines in the Israeli parliament. All of a sudden the far-right Zehut party
finds itself in the same camp with the communists of Meretz and Hadash, in
favor of legalizing marijuana, against the Arab parties, the Union of Right-Wing
Parties and United Torah Judaism.
Peace process and two-state solution
issues from a European perspective – the peace process, the relationship with
the Palestinians, the two-state solution – are not really an issue in Israeli
election campaigns 2019. The positions of those politicians, who have a real
chance of being elected, are virtually indistinguishable in this regard.
No Israeli enjoys
being an occupier. Nobody considers it to be okay, being shot at and being
terrorized from the Gaza Strip. No one is happy about the plight of the Arab population
there. However, no one really knows how to reduce the military pressure on the
Palestinians, as long as their attitude towards “the Jews” does not change.
Orientation guide for Israeli voters
the startup www.israelvotes2019.com
is concerned about explaining Israel’s situation to the world. However, the
website may also be just a desperate call for help from Israeli voters to the
international community for guidance in its national political chaos. After
all, a key feature of the site is that non-Israeli visitors to the site can
of the party list of www.israelvotes2019.com
with the official list of political parties on the site of the Knesset Central
Electoral Committee reveals a number of differences that are difficult to
explain without propagandistic ulterior motives.
example, Yoav Gal Tamir’s party is presented as a “Da’am – Workers Party,” “a
strongly left-wing Jewish-Arab political party which calls for political and
social revolution in favor of workers’ rights, the nationalization of key
industries, Jewish-Arab coexistence, and gender equality.” The Central Election
Committee, in contrast, lists the same party under the name “Green Economy –
One State,” a party which obviously rejects the two-state solution in the
second part of its name.
with the official name “The Land of Israel is ours” appears on IsraelVotes24
under the name “For Second-Class Citizens.” From the presentation it is not
clear at all whether the party’s concern are second-class citizens, such as the
elderly, terror victims or inhabitants of remote areas, or whether it wishes to
make those second-class citizens to whom (from their point of view) the Land of
Israel does not belong.
The Bible Bloc
of the Biblical Bloc” (as stated on the website of the Knesset Central
Electoral Committee) is listed as “Ketz = End” with IsraelVotes24. Whether this
party is about the end of the world, the end of the United States or the end of
American Jewry is not clear. Anyway, the orientation guide for those foreigners
interested in Israel explains: “The Israel Bible Bloc Party aims to prepare
Israel for mass immigration of American Jews to Israel that will take place
after Islamic Jihadists take power in the United States.”
At the head
of the Bible Bloc Party stand an Orthodox Jew, an Arab Christian, an Israeli
Christian with Dutch roots and a messianic Jew.
Jihad in the West
leader Dennis Avi Lipkin has written books under the pseudonym Victor Mordecai
in the 1990s, titling “Is Fanatical Islam a Global Threat?” or “Christian
Revival for Israel’s Survival.” He calls the fact that IsraelVotes24 lists his
party as “Ketz = End” a “stupid mistake” without any deeper meaning. Further, he
affirms, his party never prophesied an Islamic fundamentalist takeover of the
United States of America.
is true that he foresees an Islamic holy war (“jihad”) in the Western world that
will cause mainly American Jews to immigrate to Israel. And, he affirms: “We
have to be prepared for such a scenario.”
party colleague Dr David Friedman is the first Messianic Jew in the history of
the modern state of Israel to run for a mandate in the Knesset. He laments a “rapid
growth of anti-Semitism worldwide.” This phenomenon is particularly noticeable
in “Belgium, England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France,
Denmark, the USA and Canada”.
Desolate health system
full rights for the Christian community, Messianic Jews and Druze in Israel and
propagates a “no land give-away” policy. The Bible Bloc Party is committed to “stand
up against corruption in our political system” and “for reform in our hospital
describes “abortion on demand” as “simply immoral” and complains: “Our leading
hospitals have up to 15 percent of their patients hospitalized in the hallways.
The ratio of nurses to patients is appalling. The nurses are overworked and
understaffed. The meals are not nutritious. The bathrooms are often not
precise, Friedman, who has no chance of being elected to the Knesset, describes
one of the burning issues of the modern Israeli society. The world famous
Israeli health care system may only be so extraordinarily effective because it
scares away every Israeli citizen that is still able to run and avoid being
treated by it. Unfortunately, that too seems to be not a campaign issue for
those who could make a real change.
 https://bechirot21.bechirot.gov.il/election/Candidates/Pages/default.aspx (14.03.2019).