Israeli Knesset Election Quiz

==Note: As of at least November 18, 2009, the link to the Israeli election subsite is no longer working. The Kieskompas site is still worth visiting for the other elections still on line.==

Elections to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament are today.

This Dutch site has an English-language quiz that lines you up with an Israeli political party. Israel has many many parties, because only 2% of the national vote is needed to secure representation in the Knesset. That said, most of the Israeli parties are quite right wing.

Electoral Compass:
Former URL of Israel Election Compass: [inactive on 11/18/2009]

Taking a quiz likes this will make it apparent how little we outside the Middle East know about the internal debates of Israeli politics.

The quiz posits statements encapsulating Israeli political positions. You agree or disagree more or less strongly to the political statements as a way of gauging your position on Israeli political spectrum.

The boilerplate presupposes certain position for the test taker.

For example, the first question posed is “Under no circumstances should settlements be removed from Judea and Samaria.” Judea and Samaria is a term often used in Israel for the Occupied Territories, especially by supporters of the occupation and Jewish settlement.

Other statements like “The government should see to it that public life is conducted according to Jewish religious tradition” reflect disagreement between secular and observant Israeli Jews.

“The High Court of Justice should be able to rule on any action brought before it, even political ones.” is probably a reference to the recent tendency of the Knesset’s right-wing to outlaw largely Israeli Arab political parties just prior to elections. The High Court of Justice has reversed these political decisions before the two most recent elections.

While it may be that I’m posting the link to this quiz a little late for this election, the taking the quiz will be a good way of getting familiar with what you don’t know when the election results are determined.

Israeli News Resources, in English:


Haaretz Daily Newspaper:

Arabic News Resources, in English:



Posted on February 10, 2009, in News, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “That said, most of the Israeli parties are quite right wing.”

    This is not actually accurate. Israel has always had a *much* stronger socialistic economic bent than the USA, and on foreign policy issues Israelis consistently poll and protest far to the left of Americans. They print things criticizing the Israeli govt in Israeli newspapers that you’d never read here.

    • Thanks for writing.

      I suppose I was foregrounding the issue of the peace process when I characterized most of the Jewish Israeli parties as Right-wing. Livni’s statement that Israeli Arabs ought to voluntarily immigrate would put Kadima on the Right, if the position is upheld. I was putting Labor on the Right for this question as well, since it has served for years in governments which oversaw settlement expansion in the Occupied Territiories. In the US the ‘middle ground’ of the Palestinian Israeli conflict is often represented as an enforceable land-for-peace deal. From what I can tell, that’s endorsed only by Meretz, Hadash and the Israeli Arab parties, very much on the Left.
      It is also true that for many years Israel has been social-democratic, although I think that the model has been undermined, as in Europe. The generous child support allowances were cut under Netanyahu and recently reduced again. If looked on as a welfare issue, support for the allowances would put Shas to the Left of Kadima. Of course the issue is part of the secular religious divide and not just social welfare. Incidentally, there is some reporting that the cutbacks in social services have disproportionately impacted Israeli Arabs, which complicates the matter further.

      As for criticism of public figures in the Israeli press, I can’t tell from the English language papers.

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