Israel’s election results clarify two basic facts:
Fact number one: It has once again become clear that the Jewish public in Israel is divided between a large majority whose Jewish identity is the dominant factor in its life (the “Jews”) and a minority for whom its Israeli identity is the dominant factor (the “Israelis”). Netanyahu’s personality is more akin to the “Israelis”, but he is the leader of the “Jews”. That is why he succeeds in leading the country, despite the fact that he is not particularly well-liked by either camp.
Fact number two: At the moment of truth – when there is danger of losing the ruling position – it became clear that the new National Religious Party (Jewish Home) is not essentially different than the old version. The Jewish Home never really thought of itself as a leadership alternative. And so, the Religious Zionist public has once again served as nothing more than the emergency vote stockpile for the Likud. With the votes for the Likud and those who voted nonetheless for the Jewish Home, Netanyahu will be able to implement whatever policies he chooses, as per whatever pressure is brought to bear upon him. We all know what direction that pressure is going to take.
Just prior to the 2013 Israeli elections, I wrote a long article in which I analyzed all the parties that were running at that time. The article said that political parties are like stocks: they have their absolute value and the momentary value at which they are ‘traded’ in the political market. It is interesting to re-read that article in light of the current election results. Here are some quotes from the article in which I related to the Jewish Home party:
“For about twenty years, the NRP stock has been traded way below its true value, which I estimate to be about 8 to 10 mandates.”
“The Jewish Home is now being traded for 13 mandates and counting. It can certainly get more in the elections. But in the future, it will shrink back to its real value.”
“If the Likud continues to lose height in the polls until its continued rule is in danger, the Jewish Home voters will rush to vote Likud because the Jewish Home really does not supply the merchandise.” Read the entire article at http://www.jewishisrael.org/?p=4136