Weekly Election Update: Labor gets their Leader

  • The final Labor primary is upon us. Peretz the old and previously failed vs. Gabai the young and previously not a member of the party. No matter which way it goes, Labor is likely to get a get a post Herzog boost in the same way that you get super energized when you recover from a cold even if your apartment is still a mess. Based on the early polling, the boost is worth about 4 seats and, as predicted here, comes at the expense of Yesh Atid. A fun wrinkle (ok, my definition of fun might be different), if former Kulanu MK Avi Gabai wins, then he will not be able to be the official Head of the Opposition because he is no longer an MK.
  • As we wrote last week, HaBayit HaYehudi is fighting with the Likud over the “Jerusalem Bill” which would make it harder to transfer parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. This week, UTJ got in the mix and further delayed the bill (all basic laws must be agreed upon by all the coalition members as per the coalition agreement). They may have done so in revenge of HaBayit HaYehudi searching for compromises on the Kotel and conversion controversies. Here’s hoping they can find some common ground in their disdain for American Judaism.
  • In the return of a once beautiful relationship, Yair Lapid defended Minister of Education Naftali Bennet from charges that he was bringing religion into the education system. He claimed that anxiety was in the air and that everyone is afraid of the other. For that, Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg accused him of “[forgetting] what it means to be secular”. Being secular means never having to not fear the other!
  • Lapid is in an interesting position. On the one hand his base seems to be people who are sick of all the other parties and who are secular in their approach to politics. On the other hand, he understands that he needs support from outside his base and from some religious people in order to get enough seats to challenge the Likud. It puts him in awkward positions of sometimes siding with religious parties when during the last government he fought a blood war against the ultra-Orthodox and his relationship with HaBayit HaYehudi collapsed. Will he be able to maintain the balance? Find out next week on…WEEKLY ELECTION UPDAAATEEE

Totally precise and not arbitrary election date: February 20, 2018

Winner: Likud

Runner Up: Yesh Atid

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