A Divided Knesset Will Mean Difficulties for Netanyahu

4 views

Last week, Israeli citizens voted in the elections of the 19th Knesset, with current Prime Minister Netanyahu narrowly winning a majority. While the election was a victory for Netanyahu on paper, he was severely weakened by the result. Although most analysts had predicted a sharp shift to the right in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Netanyahu’s victory was the narrowest in history[1]. Netanyahu’s Likud party secured 31 seats, losing 11 from the 42 it held previously. The left and right parliamentary blocs are nearly level, with each having won 59 and 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, respectively[2].

The recent election campaigns in Israel placed less emphasis on foreign policy than in previous years. According to Peter Beinart, “Many Israelis have turned inward and begun acting politically as if the Palestinians don’t exist” [3]. Although attitude toward Palestine was not a major issue in the campaigns themselves, it is a major issue in international politics, and Netanyahu’s coming actions will affect international opinion on his government and on Israel.

In order to pass legislation in the Knesset, Netanyahu may be forced to scale back his extreme right-wing ideas and form coalitions. Although it is possible for him to achieve a shaky majority by aligning with the other extreme right wing parties in the Knesset, such a coalition would be so unstable that it would be difficult to keep intact. Additionally, Beinart believes that, “If he goes this route, his government will be dominated by people who want to murder the two-state solution and hold a party to stomp on its grave” [3]. Although the Palestinian question is a contentious issue, such attitudes would be unpopular around the world, and Israel would surely lose support in international negotiations in organizations such as the United Nations. While it is no secret that United States President Barack Obama and Netanyahu do not have the best relationship, Obama would most likely be against an Israeli administration with strong anti-peace sentiments, which would place more strain on Israeli-U.S. relations.

Given all the negative outcomes that would stem from an extreme right wing coalition, it is more probable that Netanyahu will attempt a broader coalition with more centrist parties. Some options include Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which gained 19 seats, or the Labor party, which gained 15. Although Netanyahu has no choice but to attempt a coalition, a coalition may be difficult to achieve given the contrasting views of the two blocks in the Knesset. According to Al Jazeera, an alliance joining “parties with dramatically divergent views on peacemaking, the economy and the military draft, could…easily be headed for gridlock”[4].

Ultimately, only time will tell how Netanyahu will handle his narrow re-election. If he attempts a coalition with his extreme right-wing counterparts, he will face international scorn and will lose support, particularly from the U.S. A broader coalition, while it is the most likely outcome, will be difficult to achieve and would possibly alienate more orthodox members of his own party. Netanyahu’s decisions in the near future will be extremely important to the future of Israel and to the Palestinian question, particularly if he is able to form a broader coalition.

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israeli-election-ends-in-dramatic-deadlock-8462084.html
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/world/middleeast/with-all-votes-counted-in-israel-netanyahu-is-still-weakened.html?ref=israel
[3] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/23/obama-s-silver-lining-in-israel-elections-weaken-netanyahu.html
[4] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/01/2013122214950510525.html
[Image Credit]

About author

Kate Harsh

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Kate Harsh is a sophomore in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering. She is an Engineering Science major, an Engineering Management minor, and is Pre-Med. Despite the fact that much of her coursework focuses on science and engineering, she has been interested in politics since her freshman year of high school and is particularly interested in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. In addition to VPR, Kate is involved in starting up a Vanderbilt chapter of Advocates for World Health, is a mentor in The Afterschool Program (TAP), and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and of Pi Beta Phi sorority. This is Kate's second year on the Editorial Board and Layout Team of Vanderbilt Political Review.

Comments
  • Gladis#1

    April 26, 2019

    It appears there are websites and also blog sites dedicated to several tasks, such television, songs, lives of stars, etc. However I truly can not locate internet sites and blog sites dedicated to reading, regrettably a second thought when it comes to activities … Anyone recognize some actually preferred and also great ones? Traditional and existing literature are both cool with me, given that I read both … Thanks a lot! =o-RRB-.

    Reply
  • Boris#2

    April 24, 2019

    I’m searching for clothes and design suggestions at a practical rates for a woman over 25 … Anybody recognize any type of excellent sites or blogs?. Seems like every little thing I find is either geared towards teenagers or is remarkably expensive couture … Thanks!.

    Reply
  • Nikita#3

    April 20, 2019

    I’m trying to find some really great company blogs to add to my google visitor that are beneficial following on an ongoing basis. Can you make as well as recommendations? I have Seth Godin’s currently. Many thanks!. It would additionally be practical if you informed me why you suched as these blogs.

    Reply
  • John Deere Diagnostic and Test Manuals#4

    April 18, 2019

    My wife and i got quite relieved that Louis could finish up his investigation with the precious recommendations he gained using your weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself giving for free instructions some people might have been selling. And we all already know we need the writer to be grateful to for this. The entire illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships you aid to instill – it is everything incredible, and it’s making our son and our family reason why this theme is excellent, which is exceedingly mandatory. Many thanks for all!

    Reply
  • John Deere Technical Manuals#5

    April 16, 2019

    You could certainly see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

    Reply
  • Rosalie#6

    April 12, 2019

    How do you remove your blog site comment that you left on someone else blog site?

    Reply
  • Mardell#7

    April 11, 2019

    Hi! I really need some help and ideas for my creative writing assignment. We have to mimic the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. We have to have 5 diverse characters (so far I have a brunette young woman who is a musician from NJ) and they are going on a pilgrimage to NYC. They have to be diverse based on gender, class, race, and occupation and where they are coming from. Then they have to each tell a story. I am having a lot of problems being creative with them. I really have no idea where to start. I would really appreciate any ideas. Thanks!.

    Reply
  • Nadine#8

    April 11, 2019

    I’m looking for clothing and style ideas at a reasonable prices for a woman over 25.. . Anyone know any good sites or blogs?. . Seems like everything I find is either geared toward teens or is insanely expensive couture.. . Thanks!.

    Reply
  • John Deere Diagnostic and Test Manuals#9

    April 10, 2019

    eye doctors are specially helpful whenever you have some eye problems**

    Reply
  • learn this here now#10

    April 8, 2019

    Should I submit a writing portfolio to Columbia University if I plan on being a creative writing major?

    Reply
  • John Deere Repair Manuals#11

    April 6, 2019

    Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

    Reply
  • a knockout post#12

    April 3, 2019

    I just want to mention I am just new to blogging and site-building and really enjoyed your blog. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your website . You certainly come with really good writings. Thanks a bunch for sharing your website page.

    Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *