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In Search of the Center

What is the Israeli center, and does it stand a chance?
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Since the Second Intifada and during the Netanyahu era, Israel appeared to be hurtling towards rightwing politics with no end in sight. As public sentiment veered to the right, parties competed for extreme nationalist and expansionist policies, and nothing seemed to be stopping the trend. However, in the 2019 election the main competitor to Netanyahu’s party – Blue and White - came from the Israeli center.

This essay elaborates upon the Israeli centrist parties and outlines why they rarely survived or maintained their prior electoral success. What does Centrist Politics in Israel mean? Can a centrist party be a leading force in the country in the long term? To answer these questions, the notion of political “centrism” in Israel is examined: Who are the people who consider themselves centrist, and what do the parties they support stand for?

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Heinrich Böll Stiftung Tel Aviv
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