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Will Bibi Netanyahu be re-elected? Will Bibi Netanyahu be re-elected?
by Joseph Gatt
2019-03-15 10:28:29
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Israel is a democratic state, where the one person-one vote rule applies. Israelis tend to vote based on different factors and parameters, but there are mainly five factors that influence their vote: who their family tends to vote for, what party their industry tends to favor, what party they will choose based on changes they hope to see in their industry, the general gossip about politicians, and finally, their individual policy convictions.

Family tradition

You mainly have six religious movements in Israel: the Ultra-Orthodox, Conservative Orthodox, Conservative, Secular, Atheist and Reform movements. Those movements along with the Muslims, Christians, Druze, Baha'i and other minority religious movements.

netan001_400Family tradition has it that the Ultra-Orthodox tend to vote for the religious parties, the Conservative Orthodox for the Conservative Orthodox parties, the Conservative for the Likud, the Secular are the swing vote but tend to go to the left or center, the Atheists and Reform movements tend to go to the left or center movements.

Secular, Atheist and reform movements want a secular state, civilian marriage, availability of transportation on the Sabbath, freedom to do business on the Sabbath and feel like the Conservatives, including the Likud, are harassing them and forcing them to submit to religious laws. Some even want Judaism to be erased from Israeli history and from the Israeli legal system, and want a civilian rather than religious or semi-religious government.

Note that the Eastern and Central European waves of immigration tended to be secular and passed on the secularism, while the North African and Middle Eastern waves tended to be conservative when they came and passed on the Conservative values. Religious minorities are another swing vote. While some of the vote for Arab parties, others will vote for Netanyahu or Gantz, based on factors that I will describe above.

Industry tradition and industry trend

Family is not the only variable, and industries can favor one party over the other. Government employees such as teachers, administrators, hospital workers or civil servants tend to favor Center and leftist parties massively because they believe their ability to keep will depend on preventing Netanyahu from being reelected, as the government is no longer hiring as much as it used to under Likud leadership. Pay has not gone up for government employees under Likud leadership, nor has social status gone up.

The business world tends to favor the right, especially the Likud, massively. Few business industries vote for the Center or the Left, and business is flourishing in Israel. The Likud has offered favorable tax policies, growth incentives, and even an Israeli government under Netanyahu actively promoting Israeli products and encouraging foreign countries to buy Israel inc. products.

Agriculture and blue collar workers are the swing vote. While some farms and industries have benefited from Netanyahu's policies, others, especially those who had trouble being productive and were relying on constant government bailouts, will tend to vote for the Center or the Left.


Then there are the gossip boys and the gossip girls. I'm not going to get into all the details, but there's the family gossip, and there's the political gossip. The big picture is Netanyahu and the left tend to have very masculine personalities while the Center and the Left tend to have a very feminine approach to dealing with politics.

Netanyahu, many Likud members, and many parties on the Left are famous for their fire-like tempers, family members with fire-like tempers, and a little bit of internal drama, a history of fighting hard to move forward, divorces and reconciliations which satisfies the gossip boys but disgusts the gossip girls. Gantz, Lapid and the left are known for, how to say, an American Mid-Western type of family values, with the community house wife, the well-behaved children, and the let's get together for a barbecue after Church on Sunday and let the kids play in the backyard kind of attitude, and the occasional “I cheated on you but let me explain” moment. Satisfies the gossip girls. 

Policy-conviction based

Some Israelis like to catch up with politics and vote based on their political convictions. The LGBTQ crowd tends to vote Center or Left, single moms tend to favor the Center or Left, those who work with Palestinians tend to vote Center or Left, the unemployed and the under-employed tend to vote Center or Left, the gun-owning folk tend to vote on the Right, the educated crowd tends to vote on the Right (used to vote left but now that the left ran out of ideas) and those who tend not to trust the Palestinians or the Iranians tend to vote on the right. Those who believe that there will be peace if Israel retreats to the 1967 borders tend to vote on the Left, those who believe there will be no peace in any borders tend to vote on the right.

Conclusion: the Center and the Left holds the Secular, Atheist and Reform Jewish crowd, the government employees, and the gossip girls, along with the 1967 border crowd. One step in the wrong direction and they could lose votes, which is why they tend to remain silent.

Netanyahu has so far been preaching to the choir and needs to start converting the masses. But Netanyahu has had one advantage in every election: the undecided vote. The undecided tend to opt for the familiar in the end, and rarely opt for change. If it isn’t broken, don't try to fix it as they say, which means that on Election Day, the undecided crowd tends to vote Likud.

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