Lesser Peace in Israel ? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Friday, 12 April 2019

Lesser Peace in Israel ?

Elections in Israel


Early legislative elections were held in Israel on 9 April 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 21st Knesset.
Image Source- Wikipedia 
Benjamin Netanyahu
The winner of 2019 Israel Elections

 Elections had been due in November 2019, but were brought forward following a dispute between members of the current government over a bill on national service for the ultra-Orthodox population, as well as impending corruption charges against incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had faced serious challenges during the campaign. He faces corruption allegations that could lead to his indictment. The Blue and White party, formed a few weeks ahead of the election, had quickly risen to become the principal opposition force. He had lost some allies even before the elections.

However, Netanyahu's Likud remained the largest party by winning 36 seats, defeating the Blue and White and their candidate Benny Gantz. The defeat was narrow as Blue and white party won 35 seats.
Benny Gantz 
Image Source- The Guardian
The candidate of Blue and White Party

The balance of power is held by smaller parties, with right-wing and religious parties that have previously sat in coalition with Likud, potentially allowed Netanyahu to form the next government.

How did elections happen?
Israel has a parliamentary system, which means voters choose from party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset. No party has won a majority since Israel’s first election, in 1949.
In the 2019 election, about 6 million Israelis are eligible to vote. To enter parliament, a party must pass a threshold of at least 3.25 percent of the national vote, equivalent to 4 Knesset seats.
With 40 parties running, of which at least 12 have a real chance of passing the threshold, the calculations take time.
Post elections, Israel’s president consults with the leaders of every party that won seats about their preference for prime minister, and then chooses the legislator who he believes has the best chance of putting together a coalition.
https://www.seekersthoughts.com/2018/11/the-israel-palestine-conflict-role-of.html
Israel- Palestine Conflict 

The nominee, who does not necessarily have to be the head of the largest party, has up to 42 days to form a government. If he or she fails, the president asks another politician to try. The leading candidates usually have a good idea whether they have majority support before they meet with the president, but things can often change in the process of deal-making

What will happen post Netanyahu’s win?
Mr. Netanyahu ran a contentious, ultra-nationalist campaign to gain support for Likud and its allies. He had publicly aligned with Jewish Power, a fringe party known for its racist, anti-Arab views. 
During 2015's elections  Mr. Netanyahu had said there wouldn’t be any Palestinian state under his watch and during 2019, a few days ahead of the poll, he said he would annex parts of the West Bank to bring Jewish settlements under Israeli sovereignty.
He also exploited the security concerns of Israeli voters by presenting himself as the only leader capable of keeping them safe from “Palestinian terrorists” as well as Iran.
Mr. Netanyahu is credited with stabilising the Israeli economy and, more controversially, clinching major diplomatic coups such as the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the occupied Syrian Golanas Israeli territory. Mr. Netanyahu is now set to become the longest-serving Prime Minister, overtaking David Ben-Gurion, the country’s founder. 

But the Israel he leads today is totally different from what even Ben-Gurion and the early socialist Zionists had imagined. With Mr. Netanyahu showing no interest in the peace process and the occupation of Palestine being deepened both militarily and through Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israel, which is described by a Basic Law passed last year as “the nation state of the Jewish people”.
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Another factor to watch is that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to release his long-awaited Middle East peace plan sometime after the election.
So far, he has been a close ally of Netanyahu, but if he asks Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, especially anything involving ceding land, some of Netanyahu's far-right allies will be furious.




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