Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winners and Losers List of the Jan. 22 Knesset Elections

BibiFeed's Winners and Losers list of the Israeli Knesset Election, not based on the outcome but on the results:


Benjamin Netanyahu.
The King is naked. King Bibi's crown has been snatched away, but he still remains King. If coalition talks go well, and Netanyahu manages to form his 3rd government, he will of had achieved his primary goal of serving as Israel's Prime Minister for a decade long, with a pretty overweight scale of achievements. A weakened Likud Party may indicate Netanyahu has lost his charm or at least the battle this time round, but it does not take too much thought to believe that if his ultimate goal is to put Israel on a path of prosperity, a weakened Likud, which has moved way rightwards, in a stable government is the ideal recipe for a bright end to his political career.

Yair Lapid.
The typical Israeli that arise to power in a split second, may serve as proof to the young and growing generation that the time has come for them to lead. Lapid's inexperience did not hold back over half of million Israeli voters to place their trust in him, to serve as a hand on the wheel of the Netanyahu's led government, to shift the drive to a new destiny.Lapid may well become Washington's darling. He may find common ground with the cool American President that came to power over matchable incidents. 

Mark Mellman.
Mark Mellman, one of the US Democratic party's leading consultants and communication strategists, who served as Yair Lapid's top strategists, managed to succeed where Arthur Finkelstein and Stanley Greenberg failed.   

Mark Mellman, an American  Jew, started advising Yair Lapid since January 2012, ultimately becoming a campaign Strategist for the Yesh Atid party. In an exclusive interview to Nadav Peri on Israel's channel 10, Mellman says Lapid represents a wave of new politics, and that "Yair is a breath of fresh air, a person who can change that kind of [old] politics."

Shaul Mofaz/ Kadima.
Shaul Mofaz sneaked in through the back door, but he survived the hurricane, overcoming the early eulogies of his political career and defying the skeptics. Mofaz of 2 Knesset seats is not the same Mofaz as Chairman if a large 28 seats faction. He'll not only crawl in to the Netanyahu government, but he may even be lucky enough to be offered the Defense Ministry portfolio. Kadima may also reserve the party for a future Ehud Olmert comeback platform. 

Naftali Bennett.
'Something new' is indeed 'starting,' and it has no better exemplar than Naftali Bennett. Bennett, who represents the new generation of clean shaven nationalists couldn't of been prouder than of Tuesday night. Not only did he manage to overcome the hard hitting negative campaign orchestrated by the Likud party, he also managed to quadruple the support of the traditional NPR/Mafdal movement, becoming the next leader of the non-frightening Right. His plan of conquering the Likud party post-Netanyahu may not be in reach, but he's definitely here to stay. 

Anglo Israelis and US Jewry.
The attention given in this election season to the Anglo-Israeli community was unprecedented. the Jerusalem Post hosted numerous debates in English, in which all of the major parties participated in. The outreach on behalf of the Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid was highly notable in TV commercials and online activity. 

Israelis now have in Dov Lipman the first US born Knesset Member since Meir Kahana in 1984. based on his activism over the past 8 years since he immigrated from Maryland, and his promise to respond to every letter or email sent his may, gives the Anglo community some pride and anticipation for a sane voice and Representative on their own behalf. 
A Likud/Yesh Atid led government, with Yair Lapid serving as Foreign Minister will also help Israel's standing in the international community, and paint a new image of Israel in the United States. Who could not be proud of seeing our good looking Foreign Minister getting the warm reception we were all missing over the past four years. 

For American Jewry, a more moderate centrist government that is focused on domestic issues, issues that are also of great concern to the Jewish community, such as sharing the burden and reforming the Rabanut, is a Israel they will feel more proud of and more passionate about. 


Likud Party.
'Likud is in our hearts, Likud is in our heads," says the famous Likud party jingle, but seems this time it wasn't in the ballot booth. Likud lost 6-7 seats to Yesh Atid, who's support  doubled in a week with the help of undecided right-wing voters, who flocked the Likud to the Bayit Yehudi, en route to Lapid.

Every losing cmapaign has many fathers to it's defeat, but the rightward turn the Likud took in selecting hardcore nationalists to the front of the list may of done the biggest damage to the image of a ruling party. Those members who have registered in order to influence the party's list from within, didn't even bother volunteering or even voting for the Likud Beitenu.

Netanyahu's goal of retaining his position as Prime minister may of been achieved, mainly due to the merge with Yisrael Beytenu. But the Likud's power, as ministry positions, has been reduced, and their influence over the government's policies may have been diminished,.

Shelly Yechimovich.
Not only is her voice irritating, but seems like her appeal to the left and to the many participants of the 2011 summer social protests fell on deaf ears. Leading the Labor Party, Yechimovich increased support for her party by only 2 seats since the devastating results in 2009, where Ehud Barak led his party to the worst of its time in politics: 13 seats.

Yechiomovich has only to balme herself. The moment she self declared herself as a viable challenger to Prime minister Netanayhu, was the moment she began to fall. Voters were angry, anxious about their future, but they were definitely not stupid. They didn't buy Tzipi livni's call for peace, nor did they accept Yechimovich's dismissal of Netanyahu. 

Voters wanted Netanyahu as Prime Minister, yet held hostage to center-left parties that would move him in the right direction. The minute she decried that notion, was the moment she lost all of the trust from these voters seeking change. 

United Torah Judaism.
Mabruk. Kol Hakavod on the great victory, rising from 5 to 7 seats. Hence, Agudath Yisrael and Degel Hatorah's reaching may turn out to become the greatest tragedy of the election outcome. The party that would under no circumstances participate in a government that calls for Yeshivah students to join national service, will likely remain lonely in the opposition with Meretz, Labor and the Arab parties. While Shas is a preferable partner in a Bibi/Lapid/Livni government, UTJ will pay the price for joining forces with the right.

Tzipi Livni.
Oy vey. what a astonishing defeat. The former Foreign Minsiter that missed two opportunities to become Israel's first female Prime Minister since Golda Meir, has fallen from the top 28 seats in the previous Knesset to a mere 6 seat faction in the 19th Knesset. Her call to resume peace negotiations with Abbas, based on the Annapolis understandings suffered a devastating blow.