Analysis: The writing for Likud was on the street

For anyone who cared to listen, the ordinary people were quite clear on their disappointment in Netanyahu.

January 23, 2013 12:32
2 minute read.
A Tel Aviv man votes with his dog

A Tel Aviv man votes with his dog 370. (photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Yesh Atid coup in the election would have been shocking a week ago, but not 12 hours before polls closed, walking the streets of south Tel Aviv. In classic Likud strongholds like the Hatikvah neighborhood, time and again people spoke of voting for Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid or Naftali Bennett  of Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi), with Shas and also Labor coming up again and again. Likud was a distant fifth place, mostly mentioned with a dismissive tone directed at Binyamin Netanyahu by people who, like their parents, had voted Likud in election after election.

Bibi was spoken of as a man who took a bite out of the poor of the schunot (neighborhoods) and who had had his chance to improve things but did little. While people spoke favorably of his stewardship on the security front, there was little sentiment that peoples' lives were better off than they were four years ago.

Furthermore, the assumption that hammering the “African infiltrators” issue would win votes for the right was torn to shreds. As much as Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas spoke in no uncertain terms about the “migrant threat”, the party only received one more mandate than 2009. And the far-right “Strong Israel”, who made the issue one of the backbones of their campaign and led protests against the migrant community in south Tel Aviv, found themselves outside the Knesset, despite the projections that they'd pass the two-percent threshold. And we all know by now what has happened to the Likud, the other party who spoke of their success in fighting the influx of migrants.

The conventional wisdom that the Israeli public was moving further right has been betrayed by the results showing the right-wing bloc in a dead heat with the center-left bloc for control of the Knesset. True, with 31 seats the Netanyahu-led Likud Beytenu will still be the largest party in the Knesset, but it's a far cry from the 45 or so seats they were projected to win in the election when they announced their merger in October.

In hindsight, the hype that saw Naftali Bennet taking 17 seats also seemed to be premature, not to mention the assumption that a solid Netanyahu victory was a foregone conclusion.

On Tuesday, only a few minutes away from the offices of most Israeli media outlets were normal people heading to vote, more than willing to express what was really on their minds, and hinting at the surprises that came hours later at 10 p.m.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN

Cookie Settings