As Elections in Israel Draw Near, Netanyahu Counting on Ultra-Orthodox Parties for Support

The Haredi parties are loyal to Netanyahu, says an Israeli expert, primarily because he caters to their demands when it comes to budgets and exemption from the army. In return, he says, the Prime Minister gets their blind support.

Once again, Israelis are returning to the polls. Members of the country’s opposition intend to submit a bill on Wednesday that if passed will dissolve the current government, prompting another general vote, the fourth in just two years.

Recent polls predict that Likud party, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will be the strongest performer, as it is projected to get 31 out of 120 seats in the country’s parliament, the Knesset.

To remain in his position, Netanyahu will need to form a coalition with other right-of-centre parties to obtain the magic number of at least 61 parliamentarians.

In the past, assembling that number was not an easy task, and the efforts of the country’s opposition to see Netanyahu leave office will not make it a “peace of cake” this time either. 

Netanyahu’s Tango with Religious Parties

And this will certainly push the PM, just as it did in the past, into the arms of the Ultra-Orthodox parties.

Currently, israel has two of those. United Torah Judaism with its seven seats, represents Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, whereas Shas, with its nine Knesset seats, is a party that represents Sephardic believers. 

Both have shown “right-wing tendencies”, making them “a natural ally” of Likud, but Dr. Shuki…

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