“The 2022 Israeli Elections: Change, but No Change”, Erwin van Veen and Folkert Woudstra (Clingendael Institute, The Netherlands)

On 1 November 2022, Israelis will cast their votes to elect a new parliament for the 25th time since 1948. Between 1949 and 2019 (70 years), Israelis went to the polls 20 times. Each parliamentary assembly (Knesset) averaged 3.5 years. But between 2019 and 2022, Israelis voted four times. Each parliamentary assembly averaged only nine months. This brief examines some of the causes of Israel’s political turmoil and assesses whether it matters for two issues of European concern: Israel’s status as ‘democratic’ ally and the occupation of Palestine. Despite their evident shortcomings with regard to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, we do not expect the Israeli elections of November 2022 to downgrade the country’s allied status across European capitals. Neither do we anticipate the Israeli elections to moderate the country’s policy of annexation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Our analysis suggests instead that future Israeli governments will maintain majoritarian Jewish rule and expects it to be propelled by a more unapologetic and repressive ethno-nationalism. This will lead Israel further down the path of exclusionary governance and large-scale human rights violations that risks backfiring in the long term. It will also further erode the moral credibility of the European Union, including the Netherlands, in the areas of human rights and accountability, as well as increase their complicity in the continuation of occupation.

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