10 things to know about how the settlers voted

While the over 413,400 settlers are often talked about as if they all hold the same religious and political beliefs, in fact they are a diverse population that spans the gamut of Israeli society.

By
April 22, 2019 17:56
The basic error is to treat all the settlements alike

The basic error is to treat all the settlements alike. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

A unified settler vote could create a seven seat party representing Judea and Samaria.

While the over 413,400 settlers are often talked about as if they all hold the same religious and political beliefs, in reality they are a diverse population that spans the gamut of Israeli society, from the ultra-religious to the secular Meretz voter.

Like most of the Israel public, their political power is weakened by sheer apathy. Two of their potential mandates were lost by settlers who failed to vote, even though as a group, settlers have a higher than average voting record.

Settlers are often identified with the national religious or right wing parties. It is correct that a higher proportion of their voters do lean right or vote for ultra-religious parties.

Their highest concentration of voters can be found in three parties, the Likud, United Torah Judaism and the Union of Right Wing Parties. These parties each received about a mandate a piece from the settlements.

The remaining two settler mandates are split between the remainder of the Israeli political map. The breakout below of the political presences of the settlers is a based on from Israel’s election committee, culled independently by The Jerusalem Post and the YESHA Council.

Settlers have higher than average voting record

Settlers in the 125 communities located in Area C of the West Bank have 78% voting rate, polls compared to the 68% tally nationwide. Of the 237,694 potential voters, 185,004 people went to the polls.

The highest percentage of voters are often found in the smaller settlements. The newly created settlement of Amihai in the Binyamin region, had the highest such record with 64 of its 65 eligible voters casting their ballot, for a 98.5% voting rate. With 49 votes, the URP was the popular choice there. This was followed by Telem in the South Hebron Hills, where 194 out of 210 voting, for a 93% rate. Some 43% of those voters also went for URP.

The settlements with the highest number of voters

Ma’aleh Adumim with its population of over 37,800 is the third largest settlement. It’s easily dwarfed in size by the larger ultra-religious settlements of Modin Illit with over 70,000 people and Beitar Illit with over 54,500, according to Central Bureau of Statistics data.

But Ma’aleh Adumim’s 27,839 eligible voters, mark the largest such number in any of the settlements. Modin Illit comes close with 27,232, followed by Beitar Illit at 24,740.

Ma’aleh Adumim residents, however, are less likely to vote than their ultra-orthodox counterparts. Only 73%, some 20,257 voters turned out to the polls on April 9th, compared to the 84% in Modin Illit, where 22,385 people went to the polls. There was 81% turnout in Beitar Illit, with 19,816 voters.

Some 97% of the Modin Illit voters and 90% of the Beitar Illit voters chose only two parties, United Torah Judaism and Shas.

This leaves Ma’aleh Adumim with its mixed religious and secular population as one of the higher vote getters for many of the parties.

Likud was the most popular


The 42,770 votes for the ruling Likud party was the secured in Judea and Samaria by any single party. It represented 23% of all settler votes cast, falling slightly below the 26% support the party received nationwide. During the last two elections, it was the former Bayit Yehudi party led by Naftali Bennett that received the most settler votes.

On a percentage basis, the Likud had the most support in the Gush Etzion settlement of Kedar, securing 61% of its 707 votes. Blue and White was the second most popular party with 12.4% of Kedar’s vote.

In real numbers, the Likud had its strongest support in Ma’aleh Adumim, 10,093 votes, representing almost 50% of the city’s voters. Blue and White, was the second most popular party with 10% of the vote.

United torah judaism was second most popular party


The ultra-religious United Torah Judaism party was the second most popular party in settlements, receiving 35,130 votes, representing close to 19% of the settler vote. It’s a far higher number than the 5.7% support the party received nationwide.

The party’s popularity, and the settler support for the ultra-religious Shas party, was not evenly spread out among the settlements, but was culled from a few significant ones

The bulk of the 52,759 votes for UTJ and Shas came primarily from Modin Illit and Beitar Illit.

UTJ garnered 18,008 votes in Modin Illit and 12,532 in Beitar Illit. It also received 1,726 votes from Givat Ze’ev, 602 from Kochav Yaakov, 574 from Emmanuel, 277 from Matityahu, 221 from Ma’aleh Adumim, 119 from Ma’aleh Amos, 116 from Ganei Modin and 114 from Asfar,

On a percentage basis, UTJ fared best in Matityahu in the Binyamin region, with support from 82% of the community’s 344 voters.

Shas was most popular in Ganei Modin, garnering 40% of the vote. In real numbers it fared best in Beitar Illit receiving 5,253 votes followed by Modin Illit with 3,833 votes, Givat Ze’ev 1,304, Kochav Yaakov with 1,195 votes, Ma’aleh Adumim with 1,061 votes, Emmanuel 558, Ganei Modin 538 votes, Geva Binyamin 339 votes and Ariel with 126 votes.

The union of right wing Parties was third most popular


The Union of Right Wing Parties (URP), which is heavily identified with Judea and Samaria, was the third highest vote getter, garnering 33.650 votes reflecting 18% of all settler votes cast. Nationwide the party received only 3.7% of all votes.

On a percentage basis the URP was most popular in Yitzhar, in the Samaria region, garnering 86.6% of the 538 votes cast, this was followed by 6% for Zehut and 3% for Likud.

In real numbers URP was most popular in Beit El in the Binyamin region where 2,005 people voted for the party, representing 71% of the community’s 2,825 voters. This was followed by 310 votes, 11% for Likud.

New right party was fourth most popular


The New Right Party led by Naftali Bennett had hoped to capture the settler vote, but instead came in fourth with 19,742 votes, representing 11% of the Judea and Samaria voters. Nationwide the party received only 3.2% of the vote, which was not enough to send its politicians to the Knesset.

On a percentage basis the party was most Rosh Tzurim in Gush Etzion, securing 56.6% of the community’s 427 voters.

In real numbers, it was most popular in the Efrat settlement in Gush Etzion, where it received 1,866 votes, representing 34% of the community’s 5,488 votes. Likud came in second, with 24.4% of the vote.

Blue and white edged out Shas

The Blue and White Party barely edged out Shas for fifth place among settlers with 15,970 voters compared to 15,629 for Shas. The 9% of Blue and White’s settler vote falls way below the 26% support it received nationwide.

Blue and White was most popular in the Samaria settlement of Sal’it, where it received 64% of the vote. In real numbers it had the most support in Oranit with 2,120 votes, which represented 42% of the community’s ballots.

Feiglin more popular than Liberman in the West Bank

Right-wing politician Moshe Feiglin who based his campaign on the legalization of marijuana was more popular among settler voters than Avigdor Liberman who spoke of security and settlement building.

Nationwide Liberman’s party received 4% of the vote, enough to ensure his placement in the Knesset, while Feiglin failed to pass that threshold.

But in the settlement’s Feiglin’s Zehut party garnered 5% or 9,092 votes compared to the 3,498 that went to Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party. On a percentage basis Zehut was most popular in the Bat Ayin settlement in the Gush Etzion region, where it snagged 27% of the vote, 178 out of 650, coming in second behind the Union of Right Wing Parties, which had 38% of the vote.

Even in the Gush Etzion settlement of Nokdim where Liberman lives, his party came in fifth among the voters, garnering 9.2% of the vote, compared to Zehut, which came in fourth place with 11.4% of the vote.

When judging his support in real numbers, Liberman who comes from Moldova, was the most popular in Ariel. He received 1,425 votes from that community, which has a heavy concentration of residents from the former Soviet Union countries. He did second best in Ma’aleh Adumim, garnered 961 votes. In real numbers Zehut also did best in those two communities received 1,023 from Ma’aleh Adumim and 744 from Ariel.

Most left-wing settlement


The right-wing parties, popular among settlers, never had a chance in the small Jordan Valley settlement of Niran, located near the Palestinian city of Jericho.

First created in 1971, it has only 72 voters, out of which 79% or 57 people cast their vote for centrist or Left-wing parties.

Labor was the most popular party there, garnering the support of 31 people, who made up 54% of the voters. On a percentage basis, no other West Bank settlement demonstrated that much support for Labor. Another 39%, or 21 people, cast their vote for the Blue & White party, followed by another three who voted for Meretz and one who voted for Orly Levy’s Gesher party.

One other resident who cast his ballot for the Hadash-Ta’al party led by Israeli-Arab politician Aymen Odeh.

Settlements with Labor and Meretz support

With 2,066 votes, Labor supporters made up only some 1.1% of the eligible voters in the West Bank. It fared better than Meretz with its 840 supporters, that reflected only .5% of the overall settler vote.

The largest concentration of Labor voters in Judea and Samaria, 228 people, could be found in Ma’aleh Adumim, where they reflected only 1.13% of the city’s eligible voters. Some 102 Ma’aleh Adumim voters threw their support to Meretz, but the highest concentration of Meretz voters, 123 people, could actually be found in the Har Adar settlement just outside of Jerusalem.

The largely secular community, which has 3,003 eligible voters, is located just outside of Jerusalem and straddles the Green Line. It threw the bulks of its support, 51% to the Blue and White Party.


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