Changing the Israeli Knesset

The Israeli government is heading for another change. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the firing of two cabinet members and lawmakers voted for the effective dissolution of the current legislature.

The last Israeli elections held in January 2013 brought several changes to Israeli politics:

  • Likud combined with the Yisrael Beitenu party to win a collective 31 seats (21 for Likud and 11 for Israel Bietenu)
  • A new party, Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid won 19 seats
  • Bayit Yehudi, headed by Naftali Bennett, continued to grow in strength, up to 12 seats
  • The Shas party was excluded from the government for the first time since 2006
  • The ruling coalition deliberately excluded the ultra-orthodox (Haredi) parties as they attempted to force changes in their participation in community service or military draft

The main factors that motivated the Israeli public was the economy, which was viewed as leaving too many people behind. As such, it was the first election in Israeli history that did not focus on security or a peace process. The Arab Spring enveloping the Middle East, and the inability of acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to reign in Hamas and manage Gaza, made the possibility of a resolution with Palestinian Arabs seem remote.

 

The new elections are called for March 17, 2015. Current polls suggest that Likud would win 22 seats (up from 20), Yesh Atid winning 9 seats (down from 19), Jewish Home would win 17 seats (up from 12), making for a more-right leaning coalition.

Enjoy the FirstOneThrough music video with music by David Bowie: The Changed Israeli Knesset.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMPQqkR_D04


Sources:

Netanyahu poll: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-02/netanyahu-to-call-early-israel-vote-fire-ministers.html

 

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