Coffee House

Is Israel going green?

20 January 2013

Israel’s PR electoral system annoys mainstream politicians because it encourages a plethora of fringe parties, who waste their time and prevent them from doing what they want. The governing Likud-Beiteinu came together on a promise to overhaul the system. The proposals include raising the threshold for entering the Knesset from 2 to 6 per cent, thus removing some the smaller parties from the picture.

Diversity is often numbing. But the prospect of Israel’s leaders revising the rules for their benefit invites suspicion, especially now that Avigdor Liberman, who led the push for reform, has had to stand down following charges of corruption.

Moreover, reform would make things less funny. Take the success of the Ale Yarok (‘Green Leaf’) party, which looks set to scrape into the Knesset in next week’s elections. They enjoy support among students, hippies, and apparently a fair few others who think they are backing an environmental party – when actually the party’s big idea is the legalisation of cannabis.

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  • yuvy

    a bunch of nonsense from the writer and commentators.

    fringe parties in Israel don’t take votes away from the larger partiesת they exist for people who would otherwise wouldn’t vote at all

    as for the rest of you: as if פחחחחחחחחחח

  • Dave Lucito


  • Patriccia Shaw

    As you said a couple of posts back

    Religious nationalists are the dangerous parties in Israel. Their faith is Orthodox and their nationalism is grounded in the belief that the Old Testament passages referring to the Land of Israel amount to a deed. Like many Israelis they took the stunning victory of the Six-Day War as God’s indication they should have the West Bank forthwith, which Israelis call by the Biblical names Judea and Samaria. The difference is they are more inclined to act on that belief. Many speak openly about “taking over” Israel,  assuming the key positions in the military and government once held by kibbutzim—the children of the socialist, quite secular collectives that produced Israel’s founding generation. Already, the nationalist religious bloc wields influence far beyond its numbers, which is perhaps 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population.  Analysts say this is only partly because of their own efforts. The other part is the gradual retreat of Israel’s secular majority from engagement in public life

    • Dimoto

      Good column from Andrew Sullivan on this, in the Sunday Times today.
      The non-jewish component of the population of Israel and the occupied lands, is about to surpass the jewish component.

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