Thursday, February 21, 2019

Deadline day brings final Israeli realignment

The candidate deadline in Israel, technically still an hour away, has brought a major re-alignment to the parties competing in this election.

Lets start with the Arab parties.

The Joint List has broken. Joining with Ahmad Tibi and his Ta'al party is Hadash, the Communists. The two share an somewhat anti-zionist view. On the other side are Balad and Ra'am. While these parties are not exactly "zionist" they do not oppose zionism as stringently. Considering that a majority of Arab voters would like to see an Arab party in government, but that Tibi himself seems to be the most popular Israeli Arab politician at this time, it will be an interesting election to see which 'side' does better.

When it comes to nomenclature, I've decided the two names I will use are the "Arab Opposition" for Ta'al and Hadash, representing their unwillingness to join even a left-wing government, and the "Arab List", as Ra'am's official name is still the "United Arab List", and Ra'am and Balad are the rump of what's left of the Joint List.

Next, we go to perhaps the bigger change, the union of Benny Gantz's Hosen L'Yisrael and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid into the new "Blue & White" list. The alliance includes a deal to rotate the Premiership, meaning first Gantz, and then Lapid, would serve 2 years as PM.

I won't be updating the projection today as these changes are far too fresh to have been properly polled; but spot polls show Blue and White beating Likud by 36 to 30, 36 to 26, or 35 to 32, pending on the pollster.

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