Israeli Election results in a nutshell

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

The Israeli election results are in and there were plenty of surprises. Only non-surprise: that the polls were wrong. As everyone assuredly knows by now, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's Likud party received the most votes and was victorious by a much larger margin than predicted, even in exit polls (generally more reliable). This is of course a very impressive accomplishment, but what does it really mean? 

Here's what it means: Folks who would have voted for Bayit Yehudi, voted for Likud instead. That's pretty much it. 

What are the ramifications? 

-Personal ramifications: certain known/influential people from Bayit Yehudi will not be Knesset/Cabinet Members. Obscure individuals from Likud will be Knesset Members.

-National ramifications: It will now be slightly easier for Netanyahu to pivot left if he so desires. Of course he would always have had this option by calling in backup from Herzog anyway. So in essence, nothing happened. With Yachad (very regrettably) not passing the electoral threshold, the election results are basically the same as last election, with one major difference: this time it appears that Prime Minister Netanyahu will go with his more "natural" partners of the Hareidim and Bennett, without Lapid (Can anyone remember that he went with Lapid last time?!! Thought it was just a bad dream didn't you?!). Kahlon will be brought in to "fix" economic disparity and will act as the "left-wing" of the Government. 

So what it basically comes down to is the same question we've been asking Bibi for years: Where does Benyamin Netanyahu want to take us - left or right? To strengthening the country and growth or to surrender and capitulation? Herzog/Lapid are still ready to help with the surrender and capitulation part. The question is: does Netanyahu really want to strengthen and grow? (If the answer is yes, then the Levy Report would be a good place to start!!)

Also, weed is still illegal, there won't be any "Haredi" women in the Knesset and barak obama appears to be an even bigger loser than originally thought.

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem

http://www.heritagehouse.org.il

http://www.youngjewishconservatives.org