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Israeli Elections Held Tuesday

 

The Knesset

The Knesset

Israel has only one legislative body, the Knesset. It has 120 members and when elections are held every four years (or less), seats are allocated according to the ratio of votes received by each qualifying political party. No party has ever won a clear majority of 61 seats, so coalitions are the norm for the Israeli government. The Knesset elects the President, which is largely a ceremonial position. The President selects the Prime Minister from a list presented by the parties in the Knesset. The Prime Minister, as head of the Knesset, is the actual head of the Israeli government.

The exit polls show that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties has kept 31 seats in the Knesset, the largest number held by any party, but down from the 42 that Likud had in the last Knesset. The centrist Yesh Atid party came in with 18 or 19 seats, and the Labour Party appears to have won 17. Current estimates are that right wing parties will hold 61 to 62 seats and centrist and leftist parties will hold 58 to 59. The belief is that Netanyahu will retain his position as Prime Minister.

If the exit polls are correct, along with the analysis of where each of the parties stands, we can expect four more years of Israel refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, four more years of Israel refusing to even acknowledge it has nukes, four more years of Israel threatening Iran and four more years of Israel violating international law and bulldozing Palestinian homes, shops and farms to build illegal settlements in the West Bank. We can also expect four more years of Hamas in Gaza trading rockets with Israel and four more years of every half-ass jihadist terror group on the planet using the “plight of the Palestinians” as a recruitment poster.

However, if history is any measure, we can start expecting this Knesset to collapse with a vote of no confidence in about two years. The average Knesset has only lasted 25 months. The loss of seats by Likud, especially with its alliance with Yisrael Beitenu, and the surprising show of Yesh Atid may indicate that the tide is changing inside Israel against the hard line Netanyahu has taken for so many years.

 

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