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Poll: Nationalist Camp Gains Strength

Israel’s nationalist parties could win 66 seats in the next election, new poll finds.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/21/2012, 5:43 AM

Elections
Elections
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel’s nationalist parties are gaining strength and could win 66 seats in the next election, according to a poll conducted by the Panels Institute for the Israeli Center for Political Training.

The poll, the results of which were released Monday, found that most of the seats for the nationalist camp come from the parties which are right of the Likud. The Jewish Home-National Union joint list receives 11 seats. The new faction “Power to Israel”, headed by Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, receives three seats.

The poll also found that the Likud Beytenu joint list would receive 40 seats.

On Sunday, the National Union party chose its list for the upcoming Knesset elections.

The candidates on the list are Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, former director-general of the rabbinical court system and Zevulun Calfa, former chairman of the Gush Katif Residents' Council, who were placed in the second and third spots, respectively.

Orit Strook, chairwoman of the Yesha Human Rights organization, was placed in the fourth spot, and Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, one of the leaders of the Hevron Jewish community, was placed in the fifth spot. Rounding out the top six is Nachi Eyal, Director-General of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, whose work is often featured by Arutz Sheva.

The list is headed by MK Uri Ariel, who was chosen to head the party in a separate vote earlier on Sunday. MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, who stood at the helm of the party in the 18th Knesset, was not placed in the top six. Three weeks ago Katz asked the party's central committee to place him in the seventh spot on the list, an unrealistic one and a signal that he wished to leave politics.

Meanwhile, there were growing speculations on Monday that if the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza continues, the elections may have to be postponed.

Environment Minister Gilad Erdan said in this context on Monday that "we may need to postpone the elections in order not to endanger the voters (who are facing daily Hamas rocket attacks –ed.) as they go to the polls.”

Erdan adding, “Right now we have to maintain unity of the people around our operation to achieve security. Then everyone will be able to choose who should lead the country.”