Tomorrow will be the fourth election in Israel in two years. While there are many similarities between all four, this one is very different for a variety of reason.
The other three elections saw a very strong anti-Netanyahu campaign from the left. With the left essentially having disintegrated since the corona pandemic, Netanyahu’s fiercest opposition is actually from the right. While there is no one party that can unseat Netanyahu, a few of the second tier parties can band together after the election and at least block Netanyahu from building a coaltion.
Despite this, the Prime Minister is pushing ahead and for the first time actively courting Israeli Arab votes. A recent poll showed that 1 in 3 arabs in Israel want to see Netanyahu remain as Prime Minister.
So what is going on?
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords the internal body politics within Israel has begin to shift. The Israeli Arabs now see that the “palestinian” cause is a losing one and many of them would rather support a strong leader to bring real security and investment to their communities.
This has fundamentally changed how people are voting and the Prime Minister is capitalizing it – in a sense applying the same principles of the Abraham Accords to Israel’s multi-faceted cultural makeup. Something akin to a cultural revolution. If it works, Israel may never be the same.