Cite: Miles, Israel’s Religious Vote in Comparative Perspective

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Miles, William F. S. "Israel’s Religious Vote in Comparative Perspective: An Africanist Analysis ." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 179-200.

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Abstract

Invoking the framework of religion and politics, this article contrasts the explicitly Judaic dimension to the 2009 elections in Israel with the implicitly Muslim one in 2007 in Nigeria. It also highlights the organizational, political, and theological similarities between fundamentalist (qua haredi) Judaism in Israel and fundamentalist (qua Sufi) Islam in Nigeria. Despite the obvious dissimilarities between Israel and Nigeria in terms of demography, standard of living, and dominant religion, both are relatively young democracies in which religious belief, practice and identification occupy key roles in their respective political behaviour and electoral politics. Both polities have also experienced increasing politicization of religion since independence. Proponents of legislating sharia in Nigeria and halacha in Israel unwittingly share compatible policies. Similarities in the organization, leadership, and political functionality of ultra-Orthodox and Sufi religious brotherhoods in the Jewish state and northern Nigeria transcend creedal differences.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918952331

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Keywords: Nigeria; religion; elections; sharia; halacha; brotherhoods

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Cite: Sharkansky, Corruption Again, and Again not Decisive

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Sharkansky, Ira. "Corruption Again, and Again not Decisive." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 165-178.

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Abstract

Corruption was prominent in the run-up to the 2009 election, but did not affect the outcome. Two candidates accused of corruption, Benyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, led their parties to greater success than in the election of 2006. The candidate claiming to be free of corruption, Tzipi Livni, led her party to the most seats in Knesset, but not enough to overcome Netanyahu’s advantage of allies. Complicating the analysis of corruption and the election outcome is the fuzziness in the key concept. Corruption means different things to different communities and individuals. Israel is not free of corruption, but neither is it clearly more corrupt than other western democracies. Citizens may be inured to a chronic, but tolerable level of corruption, so that they do not consider it essential to guiding their votes.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918952072

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Keywords: Israeli elections; peace; security; public opinion

Cite: Rynhold, Peace and Security in the 2009 Election

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Rynhold, Jonathan. "Peace and Security in the 2009 Election." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 142-164.

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Abstract

As in many previous elections, the issues of peace and security were central to the outcome in 2009. The public’s turn to the right on these issues informed their electoral decisions, giving the parties of the Right a Knesset majority. However, this does not represent a return to the ideological agenda of territorial maximalism. Rather, the ‘New Right’ is focused primarily on security concerns, which it believes should be prioritized over peace diplomacy or further unilateral withdrawals. It operates within the overall ‘neo-centrist’ consensus which solidified in 2006, namely a willingness to make extensive territorial concessions in principle, coupled with opposition in practice due to a complete lack of faith that such concessions will bring Israel peace and security. Aside from this, there was one new and worrying development in the election campaign: the incitement of tension between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens around the issue of peace and security.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918950421

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Keywords: Israeli elections; peace; security; public opinion

Cite: Koren, Arab Israeli Citizens in the 2009 Elections

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Koren, David. "Arab Israeli Citizens in the 2009 Elections: Between Israeli Citizenship and Palestinian Arab Identity." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 124-141.

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Abstract

The 18th Knesset currently seats 13 Arab and Druze MKs. This is one MK fewer compared to the corresponding figure in the 17th Knesset and the number of MKs representing predominantly Arab parties hardly changed (increasing from 10 to 11). These minor changes are surprising considering the formative nature of the events in the Jewish-Arab arena during the three years since the last elections. The article suggests that the same events which intensified the Arab desire to separate from the Jewish majority – The Israeli operation in Gaza during December 2008-January 2009 (“Cast Lead”) and the “Israel Beytenu” party’s campaign which has placed the issue of Israeli Arabs’ loyalty to their state at the top of its agenda – were the ones who motivated the Arabs to participate eventually in the elections to allay outcomes they perceived as deleterious to their interests.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918951782~db=all

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Keywords: Jewish-Arab relationship; Arab Nationalism; Arab minority in Israel; Palestinian identity and Palestinian Nationalism; voting patterns among minority groups

Cite: Khanin, Israel Beiteinu between the Mainstream and ‘Russian’ Community Politics

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Khanin, Vladimir (Ze’ev). "The Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) Party between the Mainstream and ‘Russian’ Community Politics." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 105-123.

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Abstract

The Israel Our Home (Israel Beiteinu, IB) party became the major surprise of the 2009 elections, winning 15 Knesset seats. Two-thirds of these seats were won through Russian speakers, who entered Israel in the recent waves of Russian Jewish immigration; and a third came from veteran and native Israelis. This composition showed a major dilemma of IB – to find a modus vivendi between the party’s nationwide aspirations and its predominantly Russian community character. The IB’s electoral success was a result of its concept of a ‘population and territories exchange’, which was a ‘neo-centralist alternative’ to both the ‘land for peace’ of the left and the ‘peace for peace’ concepts of the right, as well as the charismatic figure of the party leader Avigdor Lieberman, who better than anybody else succeeded in expressing the feeling of frustration of the various peripheral groups in Israeli society.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918951330~db=all

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Keywords: Russian-speaking Jews; immigrant politics; Lieberman; Israel Beiteinu; elections

Cite: Cohen and Susser, Stability in the Haredi Camp and Upheavals in Nationalist Zionism

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Cohen, Asher and Bernard Susser. "Stability in the Haredi Camp and Upheavals in Nationalist Zionism: An Analysis of the Religious Parties in the 2009 Elections." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 82-104.

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Abstract

This study examines the respective performances of the various religious parties in the 2009 election. It concludes that while the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) parties broadly maintained their electoral strength, the national religious parties were rocked by debilitating conflicts, ideological splits and intra-institutional fractures which resulted in a substantial decrease in their Knesset representation.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918951479~db=all

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Keywords: Israeli political parties; Shas; Yahadut Hatorah; National Union; Jewish Home; Israeli elections 2009, Ultra-Orthodox / Haredi, Elections, Elections 2009, Israel: Politics, Israel: Religion, ברוך זיסר, אשר כהן

Cite: Inbar, The Decline of the Labour Party

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Inbar, Efraim. "The Decline of the Labour Party." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 69-81.

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Abstract

This article presents the main reasons for the gradual decline, and eventually the marginalization, of the Labour Party. It starts with a general discussion of the decline of dominant parties in democratic political systems followed by a review of Labour’s decline. Then it proceeds to analyze in detail the reasons for Labour losing its centrality in Israeli politics. The article concludes with a few thoughts about the future of Israeli politics.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918951342~db=all

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Keywords: Labour; Israeli parties; Israeli politics; Labour’s decline

Cite: Diskin, The Likud: The Struggle for the Centre

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Diskin, Abraham. "The Likud: The Struggle for the Centre ." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 51-68.

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Abstract

On 26 October 2008 President Shimon Peres called for new elections. The Knesset was dissolved on 11 November. Three candidates claimed that they were in the running for prime minister: Livni, Netanyahu and Barak. The election campaign would focus more on individuals than on parties. The security issue took high priority in the elections. A major issue throughout the campaign was the position of the leading parties on the establishment of two states for two peoples as part of a peace agreement. The internet became a major tool in the campaign. On the morning of 27 December, the IDF began a war in the Gaza Strip, which Israel called Operation Cast Lead. The major parties agreed to suspend their campaigns until the end of the war. Kadima’s victory with 28 seats came as a surprise. The Likud came second with 27 seats, having lost voters at the end of the campaign to the third largest party Yisrael Beiteinu, which ended up with 15 Knesset seats. Looking back at the election campaign one can best define it as a broken and shortened one.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918950933~db=all

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Keywords: Downs; elections; electoral campaign; coalition formation theory; Kadima; Likud

Cite: Godberg, Kadima Goes Back: The Limited Power of Vagueness

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Goldberg, Giora. "Kadima Goes Back: The Limited Power of Vagueness." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 31-50.

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Abstract

On 26 October 2008 President Shimon Peres called for new elections. The Knesset was dissolved on 11 November. Three candidates claimed that they were in the running for prime minister: Livni, Netanyahu and Barak. The election campaign would focus more on individuals than on parties. The security issue took high priority in the elections. A major issue throughout the campaign was the position of the leading parties on the establishment of two states for two peoples as part of a peace agreement. The internet became a major tool in the campaign. On the morning of 27 December, the IDF began a war in the Gaza Strip, which Israel called Operation Cast Lead. The major parties agreed to suspend their campaigns until the end of the war. Kadima’s victory with 28 seats came as a surprise. The Likud came second with 27 seats, having lost voters at the end of the campaign to the third largest party Yisrael Beiteinu, which ended up with 15 Knesset seats. Looking back at the election campaign one can best define it as a broken and shortened one.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918950907~db=all

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Keywords: Kadima; Likud; Labour; centre party; neo-centrism; party identification; middle party; dealignment; realignment

Cite: Gerstenfeld, A Political History of the 2009 Campaign

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Gerstenfeld, Manfred. "The Run-Up to the Elections: A Political History of the 2009 Campaign." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 14-30.

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Abstract

On 26 October 2008 President Shimon Peres called for new elections. The Knesset was dissolved on 11 November. Three candidates claimed that they were in the running for prime minister: Livni, Netanyahu and Barak. The election campaign would focus more on individuals than on parties. The security issue took high priority in the elections. A major issue throughout the campaign was the position of the leading parties on the establishment of two states for two peoples as part of a peace agreement. The internet became a major tool in the campaign. On the morning of 27 December, the IDF began a war in the Gaza Strip, which Israel called Operation Cast Lead. The major parties agreed to suspend their campaigns until the end of the war. Kadima’s victory with 28 seats came as a surprise. The Likud came second with 27 seats, having lost voters at the end of the campaign to the third largest party Yisrael Beiteinu, which ended up with 15 Knesset seats. Looking back at the election campaign one can best define it as a broken and shortened one.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918950969~db=all

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Keywords: Election campaign; Operation Cast Lead; Israel: Politics, Labour Party, Kadima Party, Israel Beiteinu Party, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak, Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Feiglin, Likkud Party, Elections, Elections 2009, Cast Lead / עופרת יצוקה

Cite: Sandler and Frisch, 2009 Knesset Elections from a Foreign Affairs Perspective

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Sandler, Shmuel and Hillel Frisch. "The 2009 Knesset Elections: A Foreign Affairs Perspective." Israel Affairs 16,1 (2010): 1-13.

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Abstract

Israel’s general elections in 2009 yielded three major outcomes: 1) the replacement of the bi-polar system that characterized Israeli electoral politics between 1977 and 2003 in which most parties are aligned to one of the two principal parties by a more flexible multi-party system. 2) The nearly total collapse of the Labor party and the Zionist left; for the first time since the 1920s, the Labor party was no longer a major political player, and 3). Kadima’s electoral relative success, despite scandals haunting it since 2006. Kadima has basically superseded Labor without necessarily adopting its ideology. We argue (contrary to Henry Kissinger’s quip that Israel never had a foreign policy but only a domestic policy) that primarily external factors and processes – chiefly the failure of the Oslo process in the 1990s – yielded these three outcomes.

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URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a918952125~db=all

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Keywords: Israeli elections; foreign affairs; Kadima; Labour; Likud; bi-polar party system; multi-polar party system

ToC: Israel Affairs 16, 1 (2010)

[Items will be posted separated, time permitting)

Israel Affairs: Volume 16 Issue 1 is now available online at informaworldTM.

Special Issue: Israel’s 2009 Election

Original Articles

The 2009 Knesset elections: a foreign affairs perspective
Pages 1 – 13

Authors: Shmuel Sandler; Hillel Frisch

The run-up to the elections: a political history of the 2009 campaign
Pages 14 – 30

Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld

Kadima goes back: the limited power of vagueness
Pages 31 – 50

Author: Giora Goldberg

The Likud: the struggle for the centre
Pages 51 – 68

Author: Abraham Diskin

The decline of the Labour party
Pages 69 – 81

Author: Efraim Inbar

Stability in the Haredi camp and upheavals in nationalist Zionism: an analysis of the religious parties in the 2009 elections
Pages 82 – 104

Authors: Asher Cohen; Bernard Susser

The Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party between the mainstream and ‘Russian’ community politics
Pages 105 – 123

Author: Vladimir (Ze’ev) Khanin

Arab Israeli citizens in the 2009 elections: between Israeli citizenship and Palestinian Arab identity
Pages 124 – 141

Author: David Koren

 

Issues

Peace and security in the 2009 election
Pages 142 – 164

Author: Jonathan Rynhold

Corruption again, and again not decisive
Pages 165 – 178

Author: Ira Sharkansky

Israel’s religious vote in comparative perspective: an Africanist analysis
Pages 179 – 200

Author: William F. S. Miles

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Keywords: Israel: Political System, Israel: Politics, Elections, Elections 2009, Peace: Israeli Peace Movements, Religious-Secular Divide, Israel: Religion, Israeli Palestinians, Ultra-Orthodox / Haredi, Zionism, Russian Immigrants, Labour Party, Likkud Party, Kadima Party, Ehud Barak, Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman