The Role of Joint Lists and the New Political Rhetoric in Israel, 2015–2020

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Western Galilee College, Israel osnatak@bezeqint.net
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Abstract

In 2014, Israel changed its electoral rules, requiring political parties to obtain at least 3.25 percent of the popular vote to gain a seat in the Knesset. We investigated the role that this change played in the creation of joint lists of several parties in the four ensuing elections, and found that the platforms and statements of joint lists were less ideological than those of their constituent parties. Our argument is that the trend of inter-party alliances characterized by unifying rhetoric is a political innovation in the Israeli context. We suggest that, as a result of such joint parties, Israeli politics—once known to be extremely ideological—has become dominated by non-ideological pragmatism.

Contributor Notes

OSNAT AKIRAV is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Western Galilee College. She was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University in 2016. Her research focuses, among other topics, on setting political agendas, candidate selection, gender, and minorities. Her recent publications include “The Lioness from Peki'in” (International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2019); “Gender and Parliamentary Activity” (Women's Studies International Forum, 2020); and “Measuring the Formation of a New Government: The Case of the Israeli Parliament 1949–2016” (Journal of Legislative Studies, 2020). E-mail: osnatak@bezeqint.net

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