On the Israeli elections

From Communist Party of Israel

On the Israeli elections

Two days after the general election on Tuesday (February 10), it was clear that even after all of the soldiers' votes had been counted today evening (Thursday, February 12) the mandate distribution in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) was not altered.

Following the final votes' count, center-right Kadima remained with 28 mandates, rightist Likud was close behind with 27 mandates, the racist Israel Beiteinu party was the third biggest party with 15 mandates, Labor received only 13 mandates, Shas had 11 mandates and Meretz only 3 mandates.   Hadash (the Democratic Peace and Equality Front – Communist Party of Israel) has increased its influence to four mandates. Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh said he was "very happy". "This is still serious progress" he said.

Israel's military offensive against Palestinians in Gaza Strip and the major protest demonstrations organized by Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the progressive and militant peace forces lead by Hadash, focused the election campaign on two main issues: what should be the Israeli peace and security policy and what should be the relationship between the state and its Arab-Palestinian minority.

Those issues split the Israeli population and led to the disappearance, for all intents and purposes, of the center-left Zionist agenda. According to Israeli law, the creation of a coalition government is granted to the head of the faction who has the greatest chance of forming a majority coalition – in other words, not necessarily the leader of the party who received the most votes.

Despite the added force, MK Barakeh said Hadash would not join any government. "When we speak with the president, we will tell him our vision of a future state. I think he's smart enough to realize that this vision does not exist under any possible government." Barakeh also said: "We may have only four mandates, but we bear the burden of being the spearhead against Liebermanization". "People who were worried about racist Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Yvette Lieberman realized that they shouldn't stop at the Zionist social-democratic Meretz party station, but stop at the more radical and militant Hadash station," he added.  

MK Dov Henin expressed optimism about his party's support among the young generation of voters, and added "In the one hand, there is a new Israeli consensus that clearly rejects any further steps in the peace process. Under certain circumstances this center will be willing to continue negotiations with the current Palestinian Authority, but it will be unwilling to make any significant concessions. On the other hand, the Arab-Palestinian minority of Israel rejected the violent policies that characterize the occupation policy of the government. In addition, Hadash and the Communist Party managed to mobilize a not negligible portion of the Jewish-Israeli young population for their political and social agenda. It further led to the eradication of the well-intentioned do-gooder liberals from the political map. Parties like Meretz got certain political support in kibbutzim and from the Tel Aviv middle class, but their message proved irrelevant to the majority Arab-Palestinian citizens and the Left activists both Jews and Arabs".

The foreseen instability of the future governing coalition, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories and the current capitalist crisis, suggests that there may be elections again within the next two years. "It is imperative that, facing those elections, the Arab-Palestinian citizens and the militant left unite and present an alternative to the growing fascist forces in the Israeli society" said MK Khenin. "A new generation of young people has entered Israeli politics," he continued, "They are open and critical, and in Hadash and the Communist Party they have found a real alternative to old Zionist politics."