The State of Israel has announced new elections for the Israeli government in another few months.  Who will win the election?  A significant shift among many of the Israeli political parties is going on now.  Some parties to the right of the ruling Likud party have made some strategic moves, while some parties to the Left of the Likud are moving around too.  The term “musical chairs” is fitting in this situation for many of the same players who are running for office.

New Parties in Israel

Historically, many times there has been a new party in Israel that hovers as a middle-of-the-road party.  Nearly every time, the party garners a significant chunk of the electorate.  Sometimes, these parties receive as much as 10-15% of the votes.  In the follow-up election, nearly every time, they disappear or become marginally important on the political stage.

In the 90’s, there was a third way party which had some celebrity generals on their list.  Their central message was not right or left – but middle of the road.  They did very well, but then disappeared soon after.  In the last Israeli election, the Kulanu party, led by Moshe Kachlon garnered enough support to catapult their leader into the seat of the Finance Minister.  Most polls indicate that they will become a small party in the upcoming election.

The Generals Party

In the upcoming election, two former Chiefs of Staff are running together.  Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya;alon both served as Israel’s Chief of Staff.  They are both widely respected.  It would not surprise nor bother most people in Israel if either one of them would become Minister of Defense in the next Israeli government.  Will they change the political landscape in Israel in this election?  Probably yes.  Will their impact last for more than one term of Israeli government?  Probably not.