Jerusalem24 – Mohammad Hamayel – Israelis today, Tuesday, are voting in the fourth Knesset elections in 2 years. However, less voters are turning up at polling centers. Wadea Awawdeh reported to Jerusalem24 that, “Voter turnout amongst Israeli Jews at around 25 percent, which is much less than the previous elections in 2020.” Awawdeh also continued about the Arab vote, “The Arab vote is almost half of that at around 15 percent.”
Jerusalem24 contacted Israeli Affairs Expert, Esmat Mansour, who had various explanations on why there is a lower turnout this election cycle. Mansour stated that “The lower turnout can be because of voter fatigue, these are the fourth elections in two years after all. There isn’t any big differences between the different electoral programs. The Iranian File is absent from discussion, the Palestinian File is absent, the security file is also largely absent. It is as if they do not represent the needs and wants during these elections. The main issue these elections seem to be whether or not Israelis want Netanyahu.” The different election campaigns were focusing on alliances to remove Netanyahu, while Netanyahu focused on himself listing among his achievements combatting the Corona virus pandemic.
Mansour, also continued about the lower voter turnout by saying that “Another fear people have is that these elections may not change anything, and that there will be a fifth election. All these are elements that may have influenced the turn out.” Awawdeh mentioned that Arabs also have many reasons for not participating in these elections, according to him these reasons include “the political division, disappointment in the parliamentary blocs as well as other reasons.”
Despite the lower turnout, the elections are still ongoing. The Israeli political parties participating in the elections have split on one major issue, that is Binyamin Netanyahu. The longest serving Israeli Prime Minister has managed to become a controversial figure in Israeli politics. Regardless, he still enjoys wide support in Israel. While the results will not be officially announced until Friday, polls are projecting a draw. Mansour commented on this saying “Polls show that the elections seem to point towards a draw between the Netanyahu Camp and the anti-Netanyahu Camp, which is compromised of the Arab list, the far left and far right including Liebermann and Bennet and the Labour Party.”
The draw might end up throwing the results up in the air, Mansour continues on this point to explain, “if there is a draw, the result of the elections might fall to the parties that might swing the decisiveness of the majority such as “Blue & White”, Meretz and others.” If one of these parties, or even if they don’t, can have large repercussions on the results of the elections for both sides.
On the topic of these smaller parties Mansour stated that, “these small parties may be able to enjoy the advantage of the smaller voter turnout this election. There are fears that the turnout will be low, which will only serve the smaller parties.” this is due to Israel using relative representation which takes into account the voter turnout to determine how many votes are needed to gain a seat in the Knesset.