Israel has an electoral system based on nation-wide proportional representation. What that means is lots of fringe parties and never a majority government. Every government is a coalition. The number of seats which every list receives in the Knesset is proportional to the number of voters who voted for it with the only limitation being the 2% threshold…
At best it reflects all the insecurities and potentials of an unstable country piling into an essentially third world style. But then, it is also an amazing democracy, with the latest election set to deliver sixty new members of the Knesset which means almost half of the existing gang are being turfed out. Of the sixty new, twenty-seven are women. So, change is in the air: the demagogic religious parties, despite some virtues, are being marginalized, and for some good reasons, though to assert they control the country is ludicrous. They remain the colonized who retain the path of least resistance by exhibiting parasitic behavior and are not above blackmail to reinforce their status. Yair Lapid looks like Israel’s next Foreign Minister, speaks English well and is ladies man looker. All in all, sixty-one seats for the right and fifty-nine for the left, which reflects where Israel is, as the high turnout mixed with proportional representation will produce clusters around the mean. …
(see link at end)…Netanyahu, 63, said on his Facebook page he expects to remain Israel’s leader for a third term by creating the “widest possible coalition.” Likud-Beitenu probably won 31 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset, compared with 42 now, according to the polls by all three of Israel’s main television stations. Yesh Atid, Hebrew for “There is a Future,” came second with about 19.
Lapid, 49, attracted support by stressing the need to trim housing costs and draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the army. Pre- election polls had projected Netanyahu’s ticket, a joint slate between the Likud party and the Yisrael Beitenu party founded by Soviet immigrants, would get between 32 and 37 seats.
“Netanyahu ran a poor campaign,” said Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv. “His weaker position may force him to form a more centrist and broader government with the Yesh Atid party as his main partner.”
Israel’s Labor Party came in third place with 17 seats, followed by the Jewish Home party, which opposes Palestinian statehood, and the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, with 12 seats, according to Channel 2. A new party headed by Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the only major candidate to stress renewing peace talks with the Palestinians, gained seven seats, according to the exit poll.
“We are assuming that peace-making won’t be high up on the agenda,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team since 1992.Read More:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-22/netanyahu-weakened-as-lapid-surprises-israeli-exit-polls-show.html
(see link at end)…Michael Ben Ari is the meanest, scariest dude you’ll ever meet. Or at the very least, he seems to want you to feel that way. His political career ever since becoming a member of Knesset in 2009 has been based on provoking the left and feeding into some of the deepest fears of mankind, including fear of the stranger – anti-migrant sentiment.
Ironically he’s also very much like MK Hanin Zuabi. Though they’re at the polar ends of the political spectrum, both the right-wing Jewish MK and the Arab member of Balad seem to have decided their raison d’etre for being on this planet is to piss people off. While Zuabi sailed off in the ill-fated Marmara flotilla that sought to break the Gaza blockade, Ben Ari perfected an agent provocateur image, complete winflammatory statements and stunts so outre that one had to wonder if he’s serious.
For instance, take the stunt dating from June 2011: Ben Ari and right-wing extremist and convicted felon Itamar Ben Gvir (who serves as Ben Ari’s media adviser) brought dozens of Sudanese refugees to the Gordon Pool in Tel Aviv, frequented by high society elites. His goal: to prove the liberal elites of Tel Aviv – who accuse him of racism for his inhumane views about immigrants and asylum seekers – were hypocrites.
A month later he started a campaign to relocate some of the Sudanese asylum seekers residing in South Tel Aviv to northern, wealthy neighborhoods of the city, such as Ramat Aviv. The campaign was called “Adopt a Sudanese”. Some months later, in May 2012, Ben Ari helped provoke a race riot in Hatikva, a neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv, over the issue of African immigration. Together with MK Miri Regev and Dani Danon, both Likud members, Ben Ari spoke at a protest rally held before the riot and galvanized the crowd with incendiary remarks. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/news/israeli-elections-2013/whos-who/michael-ben-ari-bugbear-of-the-left.premium-1.493375