The current political situation in Israel is “uncharted territory” and may lead to an election that could reorient the Israeli electorate as various parties across the political spectrum debate mergers, explained Breitbart Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.
Speaking in an interview on Israel’s i24NEWS (video above), Klein was asked to comment on reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering a proposal to cancel the September 17 election via a Knesset vote. It is not clear whether such a plan is legally valid.
“It’s uncharted territory and so would a new election be uncharted territory,” stated Klein. “In fact, a new election I think could really be interesting right now because the question becomes, will there be a realignment or some sort of slight realignment of the Israeli electorate?”
Klein posited that the ultra-Orthodox parties would be highly motivated to vote in an upcoming election, while rightwing parties that didn’t cross the electoral threshold in last April’s election are likely to unite, thus ensuring a stronger rightwing bloc by passing the minimum tally to enter the Knesset. The parties that failed to cross the threshold last time were led by Naftali Bennet and Moshe Feiglin respectively.
After Avigdor Lieberman turned the religious issue with the IDF into a crisis I think they (ultra-Orthodox voters) are going to come out in droves. So I think you are going to see the religious parties highly motivated. Also on the right you have also a reorientation of some of the parties that didn’t cross the electoral threshold last time. Bennett this time is not going to be as brazen as he was to have his own party. He is clearly going to unite. You’ve got Moshe Feiglin also and (Ayelet) Shaked.
Addressing the ramifications of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak announcing a new leftwing party to contend in the next election, Klein stated:
The question more to me is whether he is going to divide the Blue and White vote. And then whether at the end of the day voters on Blue and White are going to be a little less motivated to come out at all. … A lot of Israelis might just be angry at the overall situation and stay home. But the rightwing might not. The leftwing might not. It’s unpredictable.
Klein contended that there is a strong likelihood of a merger between the leftist Labor and Meretz parties, both of which fared poorly last April. And he said Meretz may attempt to shift its tactics to focus more on social issues instead of the unpopular two-state solution.
When you look at the April election it was a referendum in some ways on the rightwing vote right now. At least in 2019 the way the Israeli electorate believes let’s say a little bit less or a lot less in the so-called two state solution, which was a lot of the main driving force behind Meretz’s latest campaign. So are they going to now switch the conversation from a two state solution, joining with Labor, to more social issues? And is that even enough to cobble together something?
Meanwhile, unpredictable events in the Middle East could impact the vote in unforeseeable ways, Klein explained. “So much can happen between now and the election on so many levels. With Iran. Is there going to be a confrontation in the Middle East? If there is, that within itself could change things probably more in the favor of Bibi (Netanyahu).”