The Shadow Of A Fifth Election In The Israeli Elections, The Islamist Party Emerged As The ‘King Maker’
The Islamist United Arab List (Raam) party has won a landslide victory in Israeli elections and entered parliament as a kingmaker.
According to the AFP news agency, Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Raam party, had not ruled out joining the Israeli government in the past, contrary to the position of other Arab parties.
“We are ready to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s camp or his rival, and I am not in anyone’s pocket,” Abbas told Israeli radio.
His party did worse than expected from opinion polls, which saw them at gaining about 90 seats.
According to the report, the results so far show that neither Netanyahu nor his rival party has a clear lead in government formation and that talks will be needed for a coalition.
It should be noted that in the last Israeli election, the Raam Party was included in the Central Arab Joint List, but earlier this year, ideological differences arose between Mansour Abbas and his former allies, and this alliance was also torn apart.
Conservative Mansour Abbas and other Arab Israelis, including communist-based parties, have long had differences.
Before the polls yesterday, he said he was ready to negotiate with Netanyahu, while Netanyahu has been sharply critical of Arab-Israeli parties throughout his political career.
However, Mansour Abbas said that it was the responsibility of the Arab leadership to work with anyone in the government to stop the oppression of the Arab community.
According to state broadcasters, Netanyahu’s coalition won 52 seats and the parties seeking to end his long rule won 56 seats.
Netanyahu will need the support of Mansour Abbas as well as religious nationalist Naftali Bennett, who has seven seats, to win a 61-seat majority.
Such an alliance is not guaranteed to last for governance.
Netanyahu’s allies include members of the far-right religious Zionist bloc, which is strongly opposed to Arab parties.
According to reports, the chances of an alliance between the Raam Party and the Zionist religious party are slim.
Netanyahu’s camp is ideologically divided, making it difficult for Mansour Abbas to join the coalition individually.
Netanyahu’s group includes the secularist party led by Yair Lipid, the right-wing religious party Likud, which split from Netanyahu, and Mansour Abbas’s rival party.
Tel Aviv University analyst Ajmal Jamal said Abbas had not drawn a red line and could form an alliance with a group that understood his interests better.
He said he would hold talks with all parties to get their demands met.
Beyond rollovers and numerous dramatic interpretations, the fourth election in less than two years in Israel basically offer two scenarios: a government with a majority tight and unstable led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or new elections. The other option to break the blockade is a coalition more likely on the arithmetic but less viable on the political map.
The future of Israel goes through more than 400,000 ballots belonging to hospitals, asylums, jails, diplomatic legations, military bases and the Covid-19 space (sick and quarantined). The dissemination of his count this Friday will complete the configuration of the Knesset and mark the beginning of the bazaar for the formation of a Government but will not threaten the clear victory of Netanyahu . The massive and successful vaccination stopped his fall in the polls caused by the health and economic management of the pandemic and gave him wings before the appointment on Tuesday that came at the best time for his options when almost everything is open. The generalized de-escalation, however, excludes politics. The polarization around Netanyahu still has no vaccine.
With 30 seats (six less than in the 2020 elections but 12 more than the centrist leader Yair Lapid) and despite dragging the corruption trial , Bibi has the best cards in the complex game to obtain a parliamentary majority (61). According to the 90% scrutiny, the heterogeneous opposition bloc reaches 56 while Netanyahu’s reaches 59 including his great personal rival, the leader of the conservative Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, (7) in exchange for important positions.
The formation of Netanyahu’s sixth government could depend on an ultra-nationalist Jewish group and another Arab Islamist. It sounds surreal, but if anyone can join irreconcilable extremes to stay in power, it is the veteran politician who has demonstrated enormous pragmatism (in contrast to his rhetoric) in his 12 years in a row as prime minister.
If Netanyahu does not win 61 seats with his bloc made up of Yamina, two ultra-Orthodox parties and one ultra-conservative, he could seek the abstention of the Arab Islamist Raam party (5) led by Mansour Abbas with whom he has already entered into silent agreements in the Knesset in the past. In this case, Israel would witness an unprecedented scenario: the most conservative and religious government would be investigated thanks to the Islamic Movement faction. On the right, there is strong opposition to relying on an Arab party that a year ago was defined as a “branch of the Muslim Brotherhood” by his son, Yair Netanyahu.
Abbas may become the Arab hinge party. “We are not in anyone’s pocket. Whoever wants to be prime minister knows where we are. We want to avoid new elections but above all to provide solutions to the problems that concern us most in Arab society such as crime and organized crime”, A smiling Abbas declared that he has the ultra-religious Shas party as a model: small, sectoral and influential in the Government. “In Parliament there is a coalition and an opposition, but I want to start the model of being in the middle to promote what interests us,” concludes the man most in demand in the Israeli political arena.
One of the decisive differentiating factors is found not only in the role of Raam but in the entire Arab community. After achieving unprecedented success in the elections of March 2, 2020 (15 seats), the Arab bloc Joint List stood in these elections criticized by its own and divided after Raam decided to abandon the three remaining factions (Jadash, Balad , Taal) to be presented as a separate list.
Netanyahu’s new electoral tactic towards the sector that represents 21% of the population has been successful. After several campaigns encouraging fear of the Arab vote to gain more support in the Likud fiefdoms, Netanyahu became Abu Yair (Yair’s father) as he presented himself on his many visits to Arab towns in recent weeks. His business card before the Israeli Arabs was the great vaccination campaign and the signing of the normalization of relationswith four Arab countries in recent months. Netanyahu won an Arab seat — according to Likud polling officer Rafi Smith — and reduced Arab enthusiasm to go to the polls and end his government as he did in 2020 when the Joint List avoided its majority.
The new Knesset will have less space for the center and more for the ends. Lapid, who has also agreed to meet with Abbas, sacrificed his desire to have more strength in the face-to-face with Netanyahu to ensure that the left-wing Meretz party will not be left out with the consequent waste of votes from the anti-Bibi bloc. The Likud leader, for his part, electorally assisted a small ultra-rightist bloc to enter and support him in the Knesset.
A year ago, the leader of the centrist Blue and White party, Benny Gantz won 33 seats. Today only 8 but celebrates it. Rightly so because he seemed condemned to political retirement after failing to fulfill his great electoral promise in May by forming a government with Netanyahu and being ignored by him until the fall of the government. The Defense Minister receives a new opportunity. As Ariel Sharon said, the key in politics is to always stay in the wheel.
Originally published at https://zaviews.blogspot.com.