Israel, Politics

Knesset March Madness 2021 results!

Thank you to everyone who participated in Knesset March Madness 2021!  Now that the election results are official, we’re also ready to announce the official March Madness results.

The Democratic Party (no relation to the American party of that name) dropped out, but here are the results for the other 38 parties:

  1. Likud 30
  2. Yesh Atid 17
  3. Shas 9
  4. Blue and White 8
  5. Yaminah 7
  6. Labor 7
  7. United Torah Judaism 7
  8. Yisrael Beiteinu 7
  9. Religious Zionism 6
  10. Joint List 6
  11. New Hope 6
  12. Meretz 6
  13. United Arab List (Ra’am) 4
  14. New Economic Party
  15. Rapei
  16. Pirates
  17. Ani v’Atah
  18. Hatikvah L’Shinui
  19. HaMapatz HaHevrati – Pensioners
  20. Mishpat Tzedek
  21. Tzomet
  22. Am Shalem
  23. Seder Hadash
  24. KaMaH
  25. The Impossible Is Possible
  26. HaLev HaYehudi
  27. Atzmeinu
  28. Bible Bloc Party
  29. Olam Hadash
  30. Brit HaShutafut
  31. The Israelis
  32. Shema
  33. Da’am Green Economy One State
  34. Manhigut Hevratit
  35. Ma’an
  36. Hetz
  37. Anachnu
  38. Kevod HaAdam

Let’s go first to the bonus tiebreaker questions (just for fun, because we didn’t have to use any tiebreakers this time to determine the winner).  On the second tiebreaker question (“Which party will get the FEWEST votes?”), honorable mention goes to April Madness 2019 champion Aaron Weinberg of Washington DC, who successfully picked out Kevod HaAdam from a very crowded field of very minor parties.  Kevod HaAdam finished with 196 votes, just barely behind Anachnu with 220 votes and Hetz with 226 votes.

The first tiebreaker question (“Of the parties that do NOT win seats in the Knesset, which will come closest?”) was tricky this time.  A lot of people predicted that one or more of the parties that in the end did make it over the threshold were not going to make it over the threshold.  So on this question, we had votes for Ra’am, Meretz, Blue and White, Religious Zionism, etc.  But in the end, everyone who was anywhere close to the threshold reached the threshold; no one just barely missed it.  So the correct answer to this question was the New Economic Party, with 0.79% of the vote (well under the threshold of 3.25%, but well above all the other parties that didn’t make it).  Honorable mention goes to March Madness 2020 champion Isaac Brooks Fishman of Washington, D.C., who (along with our winner and runner-up; see below) correctly picked the New Economic Party.

So that leads us into the overall results!  As we said above, a lot of competitors fell short because they predicted that some of these parties weren’t going to reach the threshold, even though all 13 of these party lists made it into the Knesset.  This is the largest number of party lists to be elected to the Knesset since the 2003 election (when the threshold was only 2%, so it was easier for smaller parties to get in). (That only counts party lists at the time of the election, and doesn’t account for Knesset factions splitting up after the election.)  Our top finishers correctly predicted that all 13 parties would be elected, and made their picks accordingly.

In second place, congratulations to Eliana Fishman of Washington DC, who correctly predicted 108 out of 120 Knesset seats!  We asked her for a statement, and she writes:

I urge everyone to register for Hishbati: A Non- and Anti- Zionist Beit Midrash, because Israeli election results are easier to digest once you’ve rejected Zionism!

And in first place, one point ahead with a score of 109, congratulations to our 2021 March Madness champion Jonathan Gruenhut of Jerusalem!!!  We also asked him for a statement, and he wrote (back on Friday, when he first found out that this was the way things were going):

I’m too overwhelmed with shabbat/Pesach prep to worry about partisan politics right now.  We’ll see if anyone can form a coalition.

In the meantime, as always, judge every person favorably (Avot 1:6).

Thanks again to everyone for playing!  If this election results in a stable government that lasts its full 4-year term (LOL), we’ll see you again on Tuesday, November 11, 2025!  Otherwise, keep watching this space to participate in the next Madness contest sometime sooner!

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