Israeli Elections

Elections in Israel

Israelis are going to the polls on April 9, 2019 to elect the 21st Knesset

After having survived several coalition crises, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fourth government, which was in office since May 2015, disbanded in December 2018 and new elections were announced to take place on April 9th, 2019. 

The upcoming elections for the 21st Knesset mark the ninth time in a row in which early elections are held in Israel, i.e. prior to completing a full four-year legislative period. The official reason stated for disbanding the parliament and calling for new elections was the government's inability to obtain a majority to bring forward legislation that would tackle the issue of military service of the ultra orthodox community in Israel.

The current elections are being held in the shadow of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption allegations. Prime Minister Netanyahu has led three consecutive governments since coming to power in 2009 (in addition to a serving as Prime Minister between 1996-1999).

On April 9th, an all time record of 42 lists will be competing for the Israeli voters' hearts and minds. However, the current elevated electoral threshold introduces uncertainty about the chances of a number of parties joining the Knesset this time around.

Israeli Elections 2019 | Interview with Dr. Steffen Hagemann, Liat Schlesinger and Peter Lintl | Böll.Fokus (German)


Right-wing Parties in the 2019 Israeli Elections

The 2019 Israeli elections will be determined on the issue of how many right-wing parties pass the 3.25% threshold and what their relative strength will be vis-à-vis the left bloc. Who are the rightwing parties, how did the religious and ultra-religious parties become “the natural partners” of Netanyahu's ruling Likud party, and what is the subtle interplay between them in view of the 2019 elections?

By Gayil Talshir

Poll: Most Israelis have a positive view of Jewish-Arab relations

A ‘Local Call’ poll shows a broad range of areas where Jews and Arabs see the benefits of cooperation. But that doesn’t mean Jewish Israelis are ready to let Arabs hold positions of power, namely joining the government. The surprising bit: most Arabs would support their parties joining an Israeli government.

By Dahlia Scheindlin

Corruption Eruption and the Future of Democracy in Israel

"You have hurt the image of public service and public faith in it. You acted in a conflict of interests, you abused your authority while taking into account other considerations that relate to your personal interests and the interests of your family. You corrupted public servants working under you." These statements encapsulate the allegations in the severe draft of charge – or charge pending hearing – the Israeli attorney general sent Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on February 27, 2019.

By Doron Navot

Center Parties and Power Change in Israeli Politics

A prerequisite for democratic rule is a realistic chance of power change. The path to power change in Israeli politics, the widely held belief suggests, is passing through the centrist parties. Is being a ‘centrist’ party merely a strategic position on the Left-Right axis? What does this position mean ideologically? Why is power change that comes from the center short-lived? And what does all this entail for Israeli democracy, in the context of the 2019 election?

By Gayil Talshir

National Elections 2019 – Status Report from the Perspective of the Arab Minority within the Israeli Citizenry

April 9, 2019, is the date set for elections to State of Israel’s 21st Knesset. These elections are important and challenging from many aspects, but this article will focus mainly on the perspective of the Arab minority within the Israeli citizenry. This group constitutes approximately one fifth of the state’s citizens and approximately 16.5% of eligible voters.

By Ameer Fakhoury

Women, Security and Israeli Politics – Going Backwards

Based on international comparisons, Israel is in a 'good' spot in the middle. The number of women in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, reached a record high last year, but even then they accounted for only 30% of all Knesset Members (34 out of the 120 Knesset members). The first quarter of 2019 catches Israel at the height of an election campaign. However, it is already projected that following the elections the number of women Members of Knesset will be even lower. And, as everyone knows, the head count tells only part of the story.

By Anat Saragusti

A “Green New Deal“ for Israel?

Creating Political Will for Green and Progressive Policies in the Next Government of Israel - Interview with outgoing Knesset Member Dov Khenin, March 2019

By Elisheva Gilad