Nov 17, 2008

Will they learn from the Haredim? Probably not

Another couple of interesting observations from the recent municipal elections...

1. The difference between the Haredi party and the Hiloni parties is this - The Haredi parties band together and run under one general party. Thus, all the haredim vote for one party instead of three or four parties. The one party becomes big, 5 seats in this case, and acquires an unusual amount of power. If each group would run their own party, we would have 3 or 4 haredi parties with 1 or 2 seats each.

The hiloni parties, on the other hand, each group runs their own party, as if there are such great differences between them. Does anybody know the difference between Labor and Likud and Kadima on a local municipal level? What about Mishpacha Achat and Dor Acheir? If they would band together and run together in one or two parties, they would be large parties, 4 or 5 seats each, and have tremendous strength. Instead, each one runs separately and we have 5 or so hiloni parties with 1 or 2 seats each.

So it turns out that even though the hiloni parties cumulatively have more seats than UTJ in City Hall, UTJ has the most power because the seats are unified into one party.

If the hiloni leaders had any brains, they would get together and unify the various parties into one or two parties and run together.

2. Someone pointed out to me the following: It is true that UTJ acquired great strength in these elections, pulling in 5 seats, becoming the largest single party, and holding the greatest cards for Abutbol's upcoming coalition.
However, their claim of being the overwhelming majority of RBS, and thereby taking control of RBS, is false. An analysis of the polling stations shows that despite the great battle UTJ put up against TOV and how they fought for every single vote they received, they still only took 33% of the votes in RBS. So in the neighborhood, they are still far from being the majority they claim to be.

I do not have the paper with the breakdown in front of me, so I cannot confirm right now that they only took 33% of RBS, but I trust the person who told me because he did the analysis.


  1. Cmon,
    On one hand Shas Gimmel and Tov are so different that there is a need for three parties, but Morrocans from the 1950's aliya, and Russian Olim are all "chilonim" and therefore the same?
    Comments like this show a lack of understanding of general Israeli society.

  2. that is why I did not limit it to one party. Most of them are more or less the same. Yes there might be some special interest groups (like Russian olim), that would not fit in and would form their own small party, but I do not see why they cannot fit in to a larger party... In general I am against sectoral parties anyway...
    About Russian olim - your comment indidcates you are ignoring the national trend that the russian parties are shrinking as the olim integrate more and more into society and no longer feel like they need their own parties...
    So maybe there is room for a small party or two catering to special needs and interests, but overall, most of the people voting Likud, Labor and the other parties (on a municipal level only) could easily fit together into one or two big parties...

  3. Yes. Chilonim have different IDEOLOGIES. OPINIONS. Socialists, Environmentalists, Nationalists. And they don't face the same threats to express them in public or in private as Chareidim do. Well observed.

  4. Rafi, your comments presume that the divide between hilonim and charedim is the most pressing issue to people in this country. The hilonim are busy arguing over how to run things, and have this disconcerting culture 'rivalry' to deal with, but by no means is that the central ideological debate in Israel. See anonymous 5:20.

    However, it may be true that it is becoming more and more pressing, particularly as the secular parties (on a national level) appear to be diminishing in their individual influence compared to the religious parties as a whole. But even supposing that the secular parties would join forces to decrease religious influence, it leaves the question of their own ideological divisions undefined, and thus ultimately without support. Exhibit A, Shinui.


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