The Elections in Israel 2009

ISBN 13: 9781412814782

The Elections in Israel 2009

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9781412814782: The Elections in Israel 2009
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The elections to the 18th Knesset (legislature of Israel) were held on February 10, 2009, almost three years after the elections to the 17th Knesset and approximately twenty months before the original date set for them to be held. The elections are best understood in the context of the wars that were at each end of Ehud Olmert’s government tenure, corruption scandals involving the prime minister, and the failure of Tzipi Livni, the newly elected head of the ruling center party, Kadima to form a new coalition following Olmert’s resignation.

The election campaign of 2009 began with the resignation of Ehud Olmert in the shadow of his corruption scandals and issues of integrity and clean government. This was followed by the world financial crisis, which directed attention towards the economic dimension and performance of the candidates. On the face of it, the campaign was cut short when military action began in Gaza. Still, the election was on the minds of candidates, and the question of who can best ensure security prevailed in the campaign. It becamepersonalized and focused on the candidates: the two candidates who had once headed the government and aspired to return, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and the chairperson of Kadima, Tzipi Livni, who was running for the first time as head of a party.

The Elections in Israel 2009 will be of particular interest to those concerned with comparative politics and elections in an open society. This volume is the latest in the series begun in 1969.

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About the Author:

Asher Arian was Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a senior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. He is author or editor of numerous books on the topics of governance, elections, public opinion, and political behavior in Israel

Review:

"The Elections in Israel 2009 demonstrates how complicated and interesting the Israeli political system is. Edited by the experienced hands of Michal Shamir and the late Asher Arian, two of the most prominent political scientists in Israel, it ranges from basic analysis (shifts in the political map and candidate selection) to broad issues (political communication, stability and governability). One is also impressed by the mosaic of scholars who contributed to this volume, making it, once again, a must read to anyone interested in Israeli politics and society."   —Prof. Itzhak Galnoor The Hebrew University

"This, the last volume in the series to bear its founder’s name, is a fitting tribute to the memory of Asher Arian. Starting with coverage of the 1969 election...the series is a treasure trove of Israeli politics, especially on topics treated by different authors over time in different contexts. This volume is the strongest ever...: a lively combination of current political commentary, long range trends, particularly with regard to ethnic group analysis, and a sprinkling of more professional methodology and statistical analysis.

The introduction by Arian and his long time co-editor Michal Shamir is a true gem, serving both as a prelude to the rest of the volume and a fine, succinct representation of current Israeli politics. Other striking contributions include a careful analysis of the rapid decline of the Left, the embitterment and isolation of Palestinian voters, the surprisingly large number of "wasted" votes cast for parties that do not meet the threshold for representation under the proportional system...and the effect on democratic choice of "party primaries" vs. leader or committee selection and the placement of candidates... Of particular interest is the voter backlash to American style mass media politics that has become apparent in Israeli politics."

—Prof. Samuel Krislov, The University of Minnesota

 

"The Elections in Israel 2009 is the thirteenth volume in the Elections in Israel series. The first book, which became the spark for the series, was edited by Asher Arian to study the 1969 election. Beginning with the 1984 election, Asher was joined by Michal Shamir. This edited series presents the most comprehensive study of electoral change in Israel. This volume, like its predecessors, provides outstanding insights by outstanding scholars, and publishes the best set of empirically-based analyses of the most recent Israeli election. It is a capstone in a monument to Asher’s memory."

—Prof. Paul R. Abramson, Michigan State University

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