Just over a year after being voted out of office and facing trial on charges of “corruption,” former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the cusp of a stunning and overwhelming return to power. With 85% of the vote counted, Netanyahu and his political coalition are on track to win 65 of the 120 seats in Israel’s Knesset, curb stomping the leftist coalition who have misruled Israel and hopefully ending the political instability that has resulted in five elections since April 2019 (inclusive).
The current makeup of the Knesset looks like this:
Likud —29 seats — Opposition — Center-Right
Yesh Atid — 17 seats — Ruling — Secular-Left
National Unity (Blue and White plus New Hope) 15 seats — Ruling — Socialist Left
Shas — 9 seats — Opposition — Religious, Conservative
Labor — 7 seats — Ruling — Social democracy
United Torah Judaism — 7 seats — Opposition — Religious, Conservative
Yisrael Beiteinu — 7 seats — Ruling — Nationalist, Secular, Russian-speakers’ interests
Religious Zionist — 6 seats — Opposition — Nationalist, Religious, Conservative
Meretz — 6 seats — Ruling — Ruling — Secular, Social democracy, Two-state solution
Hadas-Ta’al — 5 seats — Opposition — Secular, Israeli Arab interests, Secular
United Arab List (Ra’am) — 4 seats — Ruling — Israeli Arab interests, Conservative, Islamist
Jewish Home (Jewish Home plus Yamina) — 4 Seats — Opposition — Religious, Zionist, Orthodox interests
Balad — 1 Seat — Opposition — Arab nationalism, Anti-Zionism, Social democracy
The new Knesset will be divided as shown below.
If the current election numbers in Israel hold, @netanyahu would have 65 seats in his coalition, an extremely durable mandate. Shas in particular dramatically outperformed the polling. Major victory for Bibi. pic.twitter.com/QIcxK35vqZ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 2, 2022
What is interesting is the shift in the electorate. Shas, a religious party, gained three seats. The story of the night, though, is the Religious Zionist party. It went from being a minor member of the Yamina faction of Jewish Home to the third largest vote-getter.
In previous elections, the left has been united by an anti-Bibi fervor that kept Israel’s largest party, Likud, in opposition. The voters, it seems, have had enough, turfing out the leftists in an election that produced the highest voter turnout since 2015 and the largest number of votes ever cast.
This election comes at a critical time for Israel and the Middle East. US intelligence (hahaha) agencies issued a warning yesterday that Iran was on the verge of launching a strike against US, Saudi Arabian, and other interests in the Middle East. Not only is Netanyahu solidly against Iranian adventurism, but his coalition is also much more hardcore on that issue than he is.