Israeli election swings to the right

2013-01-22 09:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israelis vote on Tuesday in a general election expected to return Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power at the head of a government of hardline right-wing and religious parties.

The ballot to choose Israel's 19th parliament is likely to usher in a government that will swing further to the right, undermining the chances of a peace deal with the Palestinians and raising the prospect of greater diplomatic isolation for the Jewish state.

Those elected will face key diplomatic and foreign policy questions, including Iran's nuclear programme, which much of the world believes is a cover for a weapons drive, and pressure to revive peace talks with the Palestinians.

No less pressing are the domestic challenges, including a major budget crisis and looming austerity cuts, which are likely to exacerbate already widespread discontent over spiralling prices.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party, running on a joint list with the hardline secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu, is well ahead of its rivals.

But as the day of reckoning neared, the numbers showed falling support for Likud-Beitenu, which is now seen taking 32 seats -10 fewer than it currently holds- although the centre-left Labour party, its closest contender, is following a distant second with 17.

Final polls last week showed the right-wing-religious bloc taking between 61 and 67 seats, compared with 53 to 57 for the centre-left and Arab parties.

In a largely uneventful campaign, the surprise element has been Naftali Bennett, the young, charismatic new leader of the far-right nationalist religious Jewish Home who took over the party in November and is a rising star for the settler lobby.

The party, which firmly opposes a Palestinian state and won just three seats in 2009, is on course to win 15, making it the second faction in parliament and a likely partner in any future coalition government.

Bennett's explosion onto the political scene has spooked Netanyahu, pundits say, with the premier pushing hard to stem the flow of right-wing votes to Jewish Home by touting his own credentials as a defender of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories.

Elections

Around 5.65 million Israelis are eligible to vote in Tuesday's parliamentary elections.

Voters will be able to cast ballots at 10 132 polling stations which will open at 08:00 and close 15 hours later, with television exit polls due to be broadcast immediately afterwards.

Security has been tightened across the country and more than 20 000 police officers have been deployed to secure the vote.

With Netanyahu almost certain to return to the premier's office, the big question is the makeup of the coalition he will piece together and how it will steer Israel on key issues such as settlement activity, talks with the Palestinians and Iran.

But pundits were unanimous he would pick his natural allies to form the next government, which was widely expected to be dominated by right-wing and religious parties.

"In the next coalition, which will include Likud-Beitenu, Jewish Home, Shas, United Torah Judaism and perhaps Yesh Atid as well, there will be a majority, for the first time in history, for the ultra-Orthodox and religious MPs," wrote Shalom Yerushalmi in Maariv newspaper.

"This is mainly a great victory for the settlers, who have become the leading ideological force in the country."

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
35 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 17:58 PM
    Road name: M3 Outbound
    DELAYS between Woolsack Drive and the Rhodes Avenue exit
  • Thursday Table View - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Broad Road and Blaauwberg Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.