But for us living at a distance away, understanding the Israeli election could be difficult. Here we look at five issues that matter for the Israelis and the 11 major parties that are associated with those issues:
5 issues of Israeli election:
- The Palestinian question: The biggest issue in Israeli politics. Millions of stateless Palestinians reside in Gaza and the West Bank and there is a huge debate on whether the Palestinians should get a state and how.
- The Iranian bomb: Iran has defied the West to continue with its nuclear programme and Israel feels Tehran will develop an N-bomb to attack Israel.
- Israeli Arabs: They constitute 20 per cent of Israel and are accused of not being truly committed to Israel. The Israeli Arabs, on the other hand, feel that they are treated racially by the Jewish citizens.
- The economy: The high cost of living in Israel has been a cause for protests in the recent past.
- Chareidim: People of the Chareidi sector are disliked for they are considered the worst lot of people who don't serve in the army, work or pay taxes. The cornered Chareidim want representatives who will help them financially and allow them to maintain their religious standards.
And here are the 11 major parties of Israel who are associated with the above factors (this is a simplified presentation for every party has views on wide range of issues but we do it to get a large picture)
- Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu believes Iran's bomb is the biggest issue for Israel.
- HaMachane Tzioni led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni aim to improve the economy, worl towards the Palestinian state and oppose Netanyahu.
- Yesh Atid (means "there is a future")Party which aims to bring down real estate and food prices and help the elderly. This party is led by Yair Lapid.
- Kulanu party which also looks to reduce Israel's high cost of living. This party is led by Moshe Kachlon.
- United Torah Judaism represents Ashkenazi Chareidim. This party is led by spiritual leaders like Rabbi Chaim Kanievski and Rav Aharon Leib Steinman.
- Shas represents Sephardi Chareidim, which is led by Arye Deri.
- The Joint Arab List represents Israeli Arabs and is led by Ayman Odeh.
- Yisrael Beiteinu which is after the Israeli Arabs and their parties. It is led by Avigdoe Lieberman.
- Bayit Yehudi Party led by Naftali Bennett is against the formation of a Palestinian state.
- Yachad Party led by Eli Yishai is also against formation of a Palestinian state.
- Meretz under the leadership of Zehava Galon is in favour of a Palestinian state.