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Who votes Likud?

Itzhak Rozovsky


house_main_0In spite of failed economic and social policy, in spite of the fact that living conditions of most of the population deteriorate daily, it is apparently Netanyahu who will form the next Israeli government. The Likud – Beitenu party continues to lead in the polls, with prediction of 35 mandates. The meaning is – more than 800.000 supporting voters.

What impels them to give their votes again to Netanyahu and his party? Maybe ideology? But ideology has long ago lost its relevance to those who are in power in the Jewish state. Pure material incentives replaced all the previous values. Thus, in order to define the real electoral basis of the Likud – Beitenu party we should answer the question “qui prodest”? And to find the answer in this case will be much easier than to the detectives seeking to resolve the crime.

So what is the electorate which benefited from Netanyahu’s rule? First of all –  Israeli oligarchs: big capitalists, high-ranking bank and corporate managers, prominent state officials and also their relatives and service staff. They will fight to the last defending Netanyahu, the architect of “Swine Capitalism”, who loaded them with big money.

But they are relatively not numerous. Even altogether with their milieu they can ensure not more than 3-5 mandates to their favorite party. Where are the missing 30 mandates? Here we come to the interesting point.

Let’s ask a question: who else, in the midst of galloping growth of prices and indirect taxes, benefits from all this mess? The answer is simple – house-owners who let their apartments. The income from letting apartments grows much more rapid than the cost of life. But what is the number of these house-owners? We can count them rather easily. According to official data, about 500,000 apartments in Israel are for rent. Their owners constitute the main bulk of Netanyahu’s and Likud electorate. Of course, not all the house-owners vote Likud, but a vast majority of them do. Together with their adult household they provide additional 17-20 mandates to Netanyahu (let us remember: 1 mandate is worth of approximately 25,000 people coming to vote – and these people do come and vote).

Thus we defined two large groups  – let’s call them for convenience “oligarchs” and “rentiers” – which ensure for Likud – Beitenu 20 – 25 stable mandates. There are no other big sectors which would unambiguously support Netanyahu. For justice’ sake,  two more large groups exist, whose interests Netanyahu’s government will defend with no less vigour, than the privileges of the aforementioned sectors, although these groups will add almost nothing to Likud – Beitenu: settlers and ultra-orthodox Jews. The secret is simple – these communities almost unanimously vote for the parties like Jewish Home, Shas and  Yahdut Ha-Torah. It will be very difficult for Netanyahu to build his coalition without these parties.

Two conclusions, very obvious and upsetting, follow from this.

  1. As long as Netanyahu and his party stay in power they will by no means change their policy in order not to angry their electoral basis. That means, excise duties, indirect taxes and dwelling cost will continue to grow till general crisis destroys our economics as a whole. And in the debris will be not “oligarchs’ and “rentiers’, but the main bulk of population, who has no escape hatch.
  2. No political party which will enter coalition headed by Netanyahu will change anything of what was described in paragraph A. All the politicians understand the point very well, therefore when they promise that after joining the future Netanyahu’s government they will solve the problems of social inequality, of dwelling cost and so on, they openly deceit their voters. The antinational policy will change on one condition only: if the Likud – Beitenu party loses power and all its leverage.

house_main_1Let us return now to the analysis. 20 – 25 mandates from “oligarchs” and “rentiers” – it’s a lot, yet it is not enough in order to lead consistent policy in the interests of these groups. Additional 10 – 15 seats are needed for continuing the present antinational course without a threat of coalitional crisis. And we know that such a potential exists.

Paradoxically, it is ensured by the same voters who shall become the first victims of the socio-economical mess that inevitably will take place immediately after the elections, when Biby begins to fill in tremendous budget holes.

As mentioned above, Netanyahu would do anything in order not to affect the interests of “oligarchs” and “rentiers”. Therefore the problems will be solved at the expense of lower middle class and the so called “weaker sections”. But numerous voters belonging to these strata are going to support Biby. They refuse to understand that it contradicts their straight interests.

Regretfully, the Russian-speaking citizens constitute a disproportionally large part of these strata. Moreover, in many cases they are just those who are so ruthlessly exploited by house-owners. These miserable tenants may give Netanyahu 4 additional mandates. The picture is unbelievable: “rentiers” and tenants, whom they rook, vote together for the continuation of this robbery.

Most “Russian” voters are surely “protected” against any objective information by political “advantagers” and mass-media serving their interests. Quite a number of the Russian-speakers have neither time nor strength to get aware of the real state of affairs. So they cannot even evaluate the absurdity of the situation, cannot understand that it is unnatural to vote for those who firmly intend to continue defending their interests only and to deprive the majority of the hope for better future.

But today, several days before the elections, they still have an opportunity to think the matter over, to reconsider this suicidal option – voting Likud – Beitenu. The only instrument for those, understanding the gravity of the situation, to influence the situation – is word. On condition that it will reach out to the ears of those to whom this word is destined.


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