‘Right-wing’ parties in current Israeli gov’t did little for right-wing causes, study finds

Study finds that governing coalition’s ostensible right-wing parties did almost nothing for right-wing causes.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A new study released by the Mattot Arim NGO found that right-wing parties in the current governing coalition did almost nothing to advance right-wing causes, and that the Religious Zionism party in the opposition averaged almost double the Likud’s achievements per MK per year over the last three years.

According to the study, the single most prolific supporter of right-wing causes was Hebron resident MK Orit Strook of Religious Zionism, who averaged 38 actions per year.

While Benjamin Netanyahu constantly extols his party’s right-wing credentials, the Religious Zionism party averaged almost double the Likud’s achievements per MK per year over the last three years (20 to 11). This includes the time that the Likud headed the government, whether as a transition government or as part of a unity coalition.

The haredi parties were even further behind, with an average of six per MK per year for Shas and only three for UTJ.

But according to the study, they still outstripped the right-wing parties of the past year’s unity coalition.

Counting New Hope and Blue and White together as they have merged for these elections, Mattot Arim reported them as averaging only two achievements per legislator per year, and Israel Beitenu as averaging only one.

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Yamina was not included as the party disbanded after the government fell, although its MKs who joined other parties that have consistently passed the electoral threshold in the polls were incorporated.

The report also noted a big difference between the leaders’ activities. While Netanyahu scored an average of eight, Betzalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir of Religious Zionism scored 14 and 27, respectively.

The two Likud MKs who broke into the top five otherwise taken by Religious Zionism, Ariel Kalner (32) and Amit Halevy (24), were backbenchers who served in the Knesset for several months, not years, during the Likud’s recent transition governments between elections.

The right-wing causes that the sudy focused on were support for the young settlements in Judea and Samaria, building in the disputed region in general, the battle against the left-leaning judiciary, the fight against terrorism and national security, and Israel’s international political standing, as well as the issue of sovereignty and economic policy.

The organization calculated supportive actions very generously, including, for example, letters of protest sent to ministers over government policy while the most right-wing parties sat in the Opposition for the past eighteen months and were blocked from passing legislation.

Even simply attending a special Knesset session on the security situation in the Negev and supporting the meeting of the Planning Committee on building in Judea and Samaria, were reckoned in the MKs’ favor.

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