On November 1, Israelis elected the 25th Knesset. Many journalists wrote as soon as the official results were announced that Israel was becoming a far-right country.
A careful reading of the results of this election shows that while the far right has made great strides in Israel, it remains a minority.
The turnout for this election (71.3%) shows that Israeli citizens, like other democracies in the world, have confidence in their policians.
Rising tide for Benyamin Netanyahu?
The future Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will only be able to govern by making alliances with other political parties. His party obtained only 23.41% of the vote, i.e., 1,115,156 voters, which is far from a triumphant victory.
Only a small minority of Israelis are far right
The extreme right-wing parties “Hatzionut hadatit and Otzma Yehudith represent only 10.84% of the vote, i.e., 516,330 voters.
Religious parties in Israel
There are two major religious parties in Israel: “Shass” and “Unified Judaism for the Torah” Together these two parties obtained 673,035 ballots (392,866 for “Shass” and 280,169 for Unified Judaism for the Torah). They represent 8.25% of the voters for Shass and 5.88% for United Judaism for the Torah
In addition to these two parties, “Hatzionut hadatit” and “Otzma Yéhudith” pose a problem because, by analyzing the polls, we observe that non-religious people voted for these two parties.
The new opposition
The three major parties that until the last elections were in power are:
Yesh Atid, the National Unity Party and Israel Baitenu. To these three parties we can add the Labor Party and Meretz.
Yesh Atid obtained 17.79% of the votes, i.e., 847,314 voters.
The National Unity party obtained 9.08% of the votes, i.e., 432,382 voters
Israel Baitenou obtained 4.48% of the votes, i.e., 213,539 voters
The Avoda party obtained 3.69% of the votes, i.e., 175,922 voters
The Meretz party obtained 3.16% of the votes, i.e., 150,740 voters
A total of 1,819,897 voter
Israeli Arabs represent 20% of the Israeli population.
For this election two lists were presented:
The Unified Arab list obtained 4.07% of the votes i.e., 193,995 voters
The Hadash party obtained 3.75% of the votes, i.e., 178,670 voters
By analyzing these results, we can deduce that even if Israel votes more and more to the right, the extreme right is still a very small minority and that in another political system these extremists could not have accessed to responsibilities.
There are two reasons for the rise of “Hatzionut hadatit” and “Otzma Yéhudith.
If we look at the history of elections in Israel since the 1990s, we notice a high number of anti-Israeli attacks in the weeks before the elections.
The Israeli press has highlighted the two leaders of “Hatzionut hadatit” and “Otzma Yéhudith”
Can Tsionut hadatit and Outzma Yehudith be compatible with the fundamentals of Israel?
Israel does not have a constitution, but fundamental law and a declaration of independence that are the cement of the country’s democracy.
It is written in the Declaration of Independence that:
“The State of Israel will be open to Jewish immigration and to Jews from all countries of their dispersion; it will see to the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be founded on freedoḿ, justice and peace according to the ideal of the prophets of Israel ; it will ensure the fullest Social and political Equality to all its inhabitants, without distinction of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedoḿ of worship, conscience, language, education and culture; it will ensure the protection of the Holy Places of all religions, and will be faithful to the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
“Victims of outright aggression, we nevertheless call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and to play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenshiṕ and fair representation in all bodies and institutions – provisional and permanent of the State.
When reading the program “Hatzionout hadatit and Otzma Yéhudith” we realize that the Jewish state is taking precedence over democratic Israel. For example, Bezalel Smotrich, head of the HaTzionut HaDatit alliance, intends to get rid of the independence of the Israeli judiciary.
Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit party, makes no secret of his desire to annex the entire West Bank without giving Arab residents the right to vote. Until 2020, he displayed in his living room a photo of Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the Hebron massacre. He said he removed it in January 2020 after realizing that it could hurt him politically, but he still claims admiration for the terrorist.
The ultra-Orthodox parties have the distinction of having 100% male deputies.
Israel has not become a country of the extreme right, as many journalists write. The system of proportional representation gives power to a minority of extremists and therein lies the danger.