Photo: Associated Press
בנימין נתניהו שרה נתניהו נאום ניצחון בחירות ליכוד הליכוד
Photo: Associated Press
Sever Plocker
Israeli election patterns defy popular theories
Opinion: A growing middle class, where once there was none, is behind Netanyahu winning a fifth term, despite his legal troubles

A theory circulating around, tries to explain why "the poor voted Likud." This is problematic because it is an attempt to explain something that is not true.



The poor in Israel did not vote Likud. The middle class that saw a rise in their standard of living and their social status over the past decade, voted Likud


Benjamin Netanyahu  (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


The poor voted for the ultra-Orthodox and Arab parties.


Why do poor people vote for ultra –Orthodox parties, when those try their best to keep them poor, is an interesting question in sociology - one I do not assume to know the answer to.


People ascribing to this theory use the southern town of Sderot and the northern town of Kiryat Shmona as validation. They must not have visited these places lately.


Sderot, despite the ongoing Gaza conflict on its doorstep, is a city on the rise. In Kiryat Shmona, Netanyahu recently opened a new medical center which is seen by the local community as progress.


Other theories tie poverty, a Mizrahi family origin (Arab countries and North Africa) and the Likud.


Likud's recently re-elected leadership is neither.


Likud voters see the party, as able to look out for their needs, as it had for the past 10 years. That is why they are Likud voters.



Likud celebrates election win  (Photo: Getty Images)
Likud celebrates election win (Photo: Getty Images)


These are considered and well thought decisions, reflective of their interests.


Emotional voting occurred on the other side, among the voters of the Blue and White party.


These voters did not demand to see a political platform before voting. They did not demand to see the economic platform either.


Nor did they receive a program to deal with infrastructure in, advance.


They heard just "Anyone but Bibi" and that was enough for them to cast their vote.


You could say voting for the Blue and White Party was an expression of concern over the future of Israel's democracy, especially in regards to its judicial system, which is under constant threat from Netanyahu and his cronies, but this would miss the point.


The 2019 election results can be seen as a vindication of Netanyahu by a majority of voters.


Israel's law and order establishment is under attack, so the early release of impending charges against Netanyahu should not have been made public before the elections, when millions voted to keep him in power despite them.


פרסום ראשון: 04.26.19, 23:32
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