Israel Not Right Wing
By Micah Halpern
Thursday January 24, 2013
For months now commentators and analysts have been talking about the radicalization of Israeli politics and bemoaning the fact that mainstream Israel was leaning more and more to the right.
They were wrong.
These trained observers of Israeli politics swallowed hook, line and sinker the Palestinian line. That line is simply anti-Israel.
Anything that is not decisively pro-Palestinian is seen by commentators as rabidly right wing and as an extremist point of view.
The Atid party, a centrist party, gained 19 of the 120 Knesset seats and is now the 2nd largest party in the Knesset only after Netanyahu's Likud. Both these parties seem to want to join forces.
Most important is the universal draft - a requirement that every Israeli serve in the army.
Interestingly, the other new and newly huge party in the Knesset, Habayit HaYehudi or The Jewish Home, believes in the same principle. They all also believe in similar social issues with Atid, like the breakdown of the power of the ultra orthodox rabbinate.
These two new parties, both led by young new political leaders, compose 30 Knesset seats. That is exactly 25% of the Israeli parliament. They are not extremist, they are a real reflection of the new Israel. On social issues they are more similar than one might be led to believe.
With Netanyahu and his 31 seats, Lapid with his 19 seats and Bennett with his 11 seats these parties combined have 61 seats, a perfect number. Just over half of the 120 seats needed to form a government.
My bet is that these three parties will form the coalition Netanyahu needs to govern.
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