Friday, March 26, 2021

Likud made huge gains in the Arab vote this election (Ahron Shapiro)

Ahron Shapiro, Senior Policy Analyst for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, noticed something amazing that got no coverage during the Israeli elections.

One of the remarkable stories of the Israeli election is the Likud achieving a historically high percentage of Arab votes. In one Arab city, the Likud soared close to 10x (!) higher than in past elections. In most areas, their vote at least doubled.Image
In the Beduin city of Rahat in the northern Negev, Netanyahu's vote improved by 896% (!!!) over the last election.
21st Knesset: 0.58% (93 votes)
22nd Knesset: 0.82% (160 votes)
23rd Knesset: 0.61% (136 votes)
24th Knesset: 6.08% (1,026 votes)
In Nazareth, Netanyahu's vote improved by 291%.
21st Knesset: 1.46% (328 votes)
22nd Knesset: 0.89% (283 votes)
23rd Knesset: 1.00% (348 votes)
24th Knesset: 3.91% (885 votes, only seven fewer than Meretz)
In the Jerusalem Hills village of Abu Ghosh, the Likud got a quarter of the total vote.Image
In Umm al-Fahm in the region known as the "Triangle", the Likud improved by 169%.Image
In the villages of Ka'abiyye-Tabbash-Hajajre, the Likud improved from 2.72% of the vote to 13.84% in a single election, a rise of 253%Image
In Abu Snan, Netanyahu saw a 204% rise in support.
21st Knesset: 2.98% (142 votes)
22nd Knesset: 3.99% (224 votes)
23rd Knesset: 3.15% (190 votes)
24th Knesset: 11.38% (577 votes)
In the northern Israeli village of Bu'eine Nujeidat, support for the Likud rose by 377%.Image
In Kafr Yasif, the Likud improved by only 92%.
21st Knesset: 2.26% (106 votes)
22nd Knesset: 1.79% (94 votes)
23rd Knesset: 1.75% (97 votes)
24th Knesset: 4.13% (186 votes)
But in Kafr Kanna, Netanyahu saw an increase of 266% over the last election.
21st Knesset: 0.79% (54 votes)
22nd Knesset: 1.01% (91 votes)
23rd Knesset: 0.71% (73 votes)
24th Knesset: 3.70% (267 votes)
The Likud in Baqa al-Gharbiyye? Up by 338%.
21st Knesset: 0.37% (29 votes)
22nd Knesset: 0.28% (30 votes)
23rd Knesset: 0.18% (21 votes)
24th Knesset: 1.51% (92 votes)
And in the Arab city of Tayibe, Likud was up by 231%.Image
You get the idea. The fact is, I couldn't find a single Arab town or village anywhere in Israel where the Likud garnered fewer votes than in the last round. This is particularly impressive given that Arab turnout was down and Bibi had a vote sharing pact with the hard right. /end 

Netanyahu's Likud has prioritized infrastructure and investment in Israel's Arab sector, a very underreported story.  But he was doing that before these elections. What explains this increase in support by Arabs for Likud? I can understand the Arab communities being upset at the Arab parties, but why wouldn't they go to a left-wing or centrist Israeli party?

I don't know the answer, but clearly Israeli Arabs do not have the same contempt for Bibi as their supposed supporters in the West.