Does Israeli Right Have a Permanent Majority?

Does Israeli Right Have a Permanent Majority?

For decades Israeli elections were often cliffhangers, a reflection of the balance between those who wanted to cede land to the Palestinians and those who wanted to seize more territory. So close in size were the two camps that balloting often resulted in wafer-thin majorities—or awkward power-sharing arrangements between them. But the trend seems to have receded in recent years. So much so that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called for a snap election last week, is expected to win by a large margin. Polls conducted since the announcement put his approval rating at above 50 percent–more than twice that of his closest opponent. They also showed the right-wing and religious parties in his coalition gaining ground, a more important index given Israel’s parliamentary-based electoral system. “The math is very clear,” wrote the political analyst Noam Sheizaf on the left-wing Web magazine +972. He predicted that the Jan. 22 ballot would herald the “total collapse of the center-left, both as a political power and as an ideologically coherent idea.”

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