Israel election: Will rainy weather wash away the Arab vote?

"Isolated showers are expected from the north to the northern Negev," said the Israel Meteorological Service.

 JERUSALEM EXPERIENCES its first rain of the season, last Thursday, even before the beginning of Heshvan. (photo credit: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
JERUSALEM EXPERIENCES its first rain of the season, last Thursday, even before the beginning of Heshvan.
(photo credit: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Rainy weather throughout Israel on Election Day could keep voters home. There is special concern about the turnout of Arab-Israeli voters who reside in the North, where precipitation could be heavy.

The Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) said on Tuesday that “isolated showers are expected from the North to the northern Negev” and that there was a  “chance of isolated thunderstorms.”

Other weather services show a greater chance of rain in the North.

"Rains in Israel are of a sporadic nature with lengthy intervals between them."

Dr. Noam Halfon

Rain, rain go away

While the correlation between bad weather and low voter turnout is complex, the IMS said in 2020 that rainy weather was indeed associated with decreased voter turnout.

However, as noted by Dr. Noam Halfon, writing for the IMS on past election weather concerns, “Rains in Israel are of a sporadic nature with lengthy intervals between them” and that polling stations remain open for 15 hours.

 Fear of rain is called ombrophobia. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Fear of rain is called ombrophobia. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Dampening electoral hopes?

Yet with approximately 50% of Arab-Israelis expected by Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) researcher Dr. Muhammed Khalaily to turn out to vote on Tuesday, the rain might make a difference for the three Arab parties: Hadash-Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad.

The three parties need to exceed the 3.25% voting threshold to be able to obtain seats in the Knesset. Khalaily said last week of an IDI poll of Arab-Israeli citizens that 50% would not be enough for all three parties to gain mandates.

One or more Arab parties unable to meet the electoral threshold could mean a flash flood of additional seats for other parties. 

Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.