The empowering of the Israeli extreme right in the 18th Knesset elections

Mohanad Mustafa, As'ad Ghanem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Israeli general elections that were held on 10 February 2009 resulted in a historical victory for the right and a vast defeat for the 'Historical Israeli left'. The Israeli 'extreme right', to the right of the Likud, rejects any 'concessions' for the Palestinians, supports the continuation of the settlements and holds racist views against the Arabs, won 38 seats - a historical achievement since the creation of the state of Israel. While, on the other hand, the total collapse of the Israeli historical left, the Labor and Meretz parties, that together won 56 seats in 1992, only managed 16 seats in the last elections. The election results are part of a general Israeli trend where the Israeli public, elite, media and academia are moving towards the extreme right, with almost total support for punishment measures against the Palestinians. Israel, due to historical, social and cultural developments, is moving towards the 'extreme right'; the 'peace option' is no longer viable. This article aims to present a critical and new assessment to the trend in Israel and to analyse the factors behind these developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalMeditteranean Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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