I opened this thread because the outcome of that elections is interesting for USA and especially the Middle East policy in future, taking also in consideration the close friendship between President Trump and PM Netanyahu.
Latest poll of leftist paper Haaretz indicate a neck to neck race between Netanyahu’s party Likud and the coalition Kahol Lavan led by general Benny Gantz, a veteran who was involved in many conflicts resolved by military means in the past. I can remember that in spring the polls indicated Kahol Lavan to win by 1 or 2 points (being within the margin of error), and at end Likud won. Netanyahu’s party Likud is better now than in spring in the poll of a leftist publication, which is usually hostile to Netanyahu’s policy.
The Problem for Kahol Lavan is that if they would win, they would hardly find enough parties to get the majority of 61 seats and build a government. The two fundamental religious parties United Torah Judaism and Shas claimed already that they would agree to be part of a government under PM Netanyahu only.
The Jewish Russian party Yisrael Beiteinu led by former minister of Defense Avigor Lieberman is right-wing nationalist secular and actually the political group which may hold the balance of power, as the former government lost the majority last year as Lieberman had a difference of opinion with Netanyahu regarding Gaza (Lieberman intended to go harsher against Hamas, Netanyahu was more pragmatic) and the negotiations in spring broke down because Lieberman couldnt find an agreement with the fundamentalist parties UTJ and Shas, which reject that their men join the IDF (Israel’s Army), something which is unacceptable for Lieberman. He proposed to have a coalition of the moderates, excluding the fundamentalist religious groups, but the two big parties should agree for that, and Kahol Lavan would rather be part of a government if Netanyahu wouldnt be PM anymore …
An interesting coalition is the political group Yamina, which unite some religious groups, but is led by a secular woman, Ayelet Shaked, who is considered currently the most powerful woman in Israeli politics.
The leftists groups Dem Union and Labor are insignificant. They come together around 11%-12% according to the polls, but neither Gantz, nor Netanyahu would rely on them for a governmental coalition. A blessing, imagine the US Congress having only 11% Democrats, who wouldnt play any role in American politics…
The Arab Joint List (11%) play no role as well