Coffee House

Israeli elections: the IDF goes to the polls

21 January 2013

Israel’s election is tomorrow, yet voting started here yesterday. At Kirya Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv, serving Israel Defence Force troops have cast their ballots, and today more polling stations will open for soldiers.

There is not much solid information as to suggest how the troops will vote. In recent elections, however, they appear to have backed the parties of the Right. So it is a fairly sure bet that a large number – especially among the rising proportion of Zionist-religious young men in the Force (NOT ultra-orthodox) – will be drawn to Naftali Bennett and his very right-wing Jewish Home party.

Bennett seems to be the liveliest story of the election, both abroad and here. The Israelis I have spoken to, after they tell me that the election is boring, only to want to talk about Bennett, Bennett, Bennett. He appeals particularly to soldiers, many of whom are so young they have not voted before, because his image is paradoxical: his projects and image that is religious in tone and secular in style. He quotes Seinfeld as comfortably as the Bible. He’s laid-back, but he’s a tough nut. He got rich from IT. This speaks directly to many of the young serving soldiers who have grown up with all the technological comforts of modern western life, only to find themselves serving in the frightening military.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Dan Labina

    Israeli Politics for Dummies is a comic guide to the elections I just read. it’s a funny piece about the Israeli elections on the Huff Post.,b=facebook

  • Augustus

    Netanyahu appears to have been quite successful during the past four years, both diplomatically and economically. He gets along well with orthodox and right-wing parties, so it’s plausible to expect a coalition along those lines, although nothing can really be excluded in Israeli post-election formations. But attempts by prominent figures from the centre, left-wing, or right-wing parties to try and ‘split’ the coalition would not be a very helpful way to rule the country. Benjamin Netanyahu has seven years experience as a prime minister with proven capabilities in defense and economic issues. But whatever the
    final outcome, the citizens of Israel will expect sound fiscal policies and a secure future for their children.

  • MaxSceptic

    This speaks directly to many of the young serving soldiers who
    have grown up with all the technological comforts of modern western
    life, only to find themselves serving in the frightening military.

    That “frightening military” is at the forefront of development and deployment of new IT advances.

    Brawn is useful, but brains make – and operate – modern military systems like Iron Dome.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here