By Fatih Er, World Bulletin
Israel's critical election period is over. Since the "1948 Arabs" decided to go to the polls the turnout has increased dramatically. The Israeli media has been emphasizing high turnover as a sign of a democratic progress in the country and trying to demonstrate it to the West. The results of this high-turnout elections did not disappoint the pollsters. The Israeli right wing has got the majority in the Parliament. But that does not mean they will be able to establish a government.
According to the results Benjamin Netanyahu's party 'Likud Beyteynu' together with other right-wing parties have won 62 seats in the Parliament. Left-wing parties, among them the 'Yesh Atid' party established by a former journalist Yair Lapid who started his political career in 2006, have gained 46 seats. This simple arithmetic demonstrates that there will be a lot of haggling in the Israeli politics in the days to come.
Netanyahu, whose party got the majority of votes and who knows the Parliament arithmetic very well and has the bargaining power, will most probably initiate a new government coalition. But that does not mean Netanyahu will knock at the doors of all the right-wing parties. Because solutions to many important issues like permanent peace with Palestine in the upcoming period, relations with the other countries in the region, and even apologizing to Turkey, will depend on the partners Netanyahu chooses for his new government.
Netanyahu will not be able to overcome these troubles with the hawkish Habayit Hayehudi and Shash parties who shelter the extreme right militants and have set their heart on the Jewish religious law. Bibi will not be able to move on neither with a one left-wing and two right-wing party coalition nor with one right-wing and two left-wing parties. It is impossible to bring the parties with diametrically opposite views together to look for a solution to chronic problems.It is clear that if Netanyahu makes a coalition with only right-wing parties the problems in the region will double. A coalition with Hatora, who by no means wishes a Palestinian state to exist, Hayehudi, who insists on mass exile of Arabs from the country, or Shash, who has adopted Jewish religious law as the basic principle, would not only fuel the Palestinian issue but would also portend a probable clash with Iran.
At the same time such a radical government would take critical decisions on the country's north, namely the Sina region, and that would double the problems with Egypt where changes are underway. There is no need to write about what would happen to Gaza then.
Even if Netanyahu decides upon the right-wing coalition, he cannot avoid taking in Shaul Mofaz with his 'Kadima' party. Mofaz, who could only be a part of Netanyahu's coalition for 5 weeks though he had two representatives, will never accept entering the coalition unless he is in charge of the Defense Ministry. Interesting scenarios will be discussed in the Israeli politics and new political plans will be worked out but in the end of the day a coalition will be established. As Israeli politicians love their seats to the point of sickness, they well might step away from their principles. Who knows, maybe Israel will have a parliamentary coalition resembling the DSP-MHP and ANAP coalition that was once formed in Turkey. Here is what Knesset looks like after the election:
CENTER AND RIGHT PARTIES CENTER AND LEFT PARTIES
LİKUD BEYTEYNU ................ 31 YEŞ ATİD............................19
HABAYİT HAYEHUDİ................11 HAAVODA......................... 15
ŞAS........................................11 HATNUA............................ 6
HAGUDAT HATORA................ 7 MERETZ............................ 6
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