Israel, Politics

Updated election results

With the soldiers’ votes counted, Kadima, Likud, and Meretz have each picked up another Knesset seat.  The almost-final results:

  1. Kadima 29
  2. Labor 20
  3. Likud 12
  4. Shas 12
  5. Yisrael Beiteinu 11
  6. Ichud Leumi-NRP 9
  7. Gil 7
  8. UTJ 6
  9. Meretz 5
  10. United Arab List 3
  11. Hadash 3
  12. Balad 3

This means that Kadima + Labor + Gil + Meretz = 61!
The final results should be announced later tonight.
UPDATE: It’s final.

8 thoughts on “Updated election results

  1. Sorry for the premature post. My apologies.
    I think that its unrealistic to fantasize about a Gil, Meretz, Labor, Kadima alliance. Kadima is a centrist party, and the right-of-center elements will not be happy with such a left-leaning coalition. Remember that Meretz opposes unilateral withdrawal; they want negotiations with the Palestinians at any cost. Shas is much more likely than Meretz.

  2. Yeah but it would be so sweet if the religious parties are kept out of the coalition. That way, the government can cut off some funding for the haredi yeshivot that thrive off of Israel’s back without serving in the army. I’m sorry, but I believe that it has to be done. This situation can’t continue. Israel needs an appropriate tax base and can’t just pour money into welfare for people who are against the state. The haredim are like the vanguard of orthodoxy, but at such a cost?
    Any reforms would cause a huge backlash though, and the delicate coalition would probably fall apart in the next election. It has a majority by just one vote.

  3. Matt, while I do oppose much of the welfare for the Haredim for not working, why is it OK to punish the Haredim for not working (btw, that’s not the case for Shas’s constituents, although they want welfare for their own constituents) but it’s OK for Labor (particularly those who switched over to Peretz and not Labor’s traditional voters) and their constitutents who don’t work and also want welfare, punishing policies of economic growth which would better education and provide jobs over the course of time?
    I really don’t understand it? Is it really just because the Haredim don’t serve in teh IDF but so if one serves in the IDF they can leech off the state for the rest of their life?

  4. I don’t want the haredim to be punished. The problem is that a culture of poverty and neglect has been allowed to flourish in much of the haredi community. This can’t continue. Israel is the Jewish state, so I think it would be even better if they contributed more than torah study.
    As you know, as long as a haredi man doesn’t serve, he must be in yeshiva and cannot work. By the time he leaves yeshiva, he is often too old to learn a vocation. Not only that, but this situation has become so accepted that young haredi women are being taught that poverty is a noble price to pay for supporting a great torah scholar and taking care of a family of, say, six children. These women soon learn that this lifestyle is not worth the suffering and they cannot handle it.
    So welfare comes in to these families. Nice, they need to survive, but doing that is in a way rewarding not being able to work because of skipping the army. The same goes for CO’s, but I’m really not quite sure about their situation. And as haredi communities continue to receive government funding, a severe anti-Zionist sentiment often continues to pervade. In many cases, haredim skip the army because it has an “unkosher” environment, with smoking and sexual promiscuity.
    This situation greatly stymies Israeli economic growth. Taxpayers are pouring money into communities that have become like leeches to the country, and they are having enough of a problem with high taxes and the everyday threat of terrorism, which requires defense that also eats up much of state funds. By cutting off funding to haredi communities, you force them into the army, after which they will be allowed to work and pay taxes, thus expanding Israel’s tax base. (Haredim who are supposed to be in yeshiva but work do gain an income, but it is all under the table and they can’t pay taxes, even if they wanted to.) Taxes would then drop, allowing Israelis to have a little more money for spending, which would spur higher revenues for retailers and manufacturers. The workforce would also grow due to the influx of haredi workers, who have proven to be very smart and diligent workers especially in areas of computer programming thanks to their cooperative working skills a la hevruta learning.
    Of course, I have left out numbers, so I don’t know how much tax money would be saved. Plus, this is way easier said than done, and is all theoretical. I also lack knowledge of economics. But do you see where I’m getting at?

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