The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Election Day Observations
The polls close in a little more than five hours, at 3 P.M. EST, but in the meantime, here are some observations about the Israeli elections:
- Turnout is light, which will likely hurt Kadima the most, and also Labor, Likud and Yisroel Beiteinu. In contrast, Shas, United Torah Judaism, National Union-NRP and Meretz should benefit from a light turnout, since its supporters tend to be more ideological and therefore more likely to vote. Also, small parties like Tafnit, the Pensioner's Party, and Green Leaf will have a better chance of meeting the minimal threshold for Knesset representation.
- Charedi extremists in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh who are boycotting the elections interfered with those trying to exercise their right to vote. This, combined with the tendency of some in the religious right to waste their votes on far-right fringe parties, will likely cost the right-wing/religious bloc one or two crucial Knesset seats.
-Binyamin Netanyahu stated today that Likud's goal is to ensure that Uzi Landau has a place in the Knesset. Considering that Landau is number 14 on the Likud list, that does not bode well for Likud's prospects. Netanyahu presumably has access to exit polls which show that Likud is not faring well today.
-If indeed Likud does not gain at least 20 Knesset seats, then even if Kadima falters and the right-wing and religious parties do significantly better than expected, it will be impossible for the government to be led by a right-wing leader. Likely, the best that the right can hope for is that a Kadima-Labor government is too weak to fully implement its political plans.
UPDATE: 11:50 A.M. - Reportedly, turnout is particularly low in areas that previously were Likud strongholds. Netanyahu and Ruby Rivlin have pleaded with voters to vote for Likud to save the party. It appears increasingly likely that Likud will have its worse result in more than 50 years, and will become a small marginal party. We'll know in a little more than three hours.