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What Has Been Is What Will Be: The 2015 Israeli Elections and the State of Turkish-Israeli Relations

The most notable aspect of the 2015 Israeli parliamentary elections was that the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has entered his fourth (and third consecutive) term in office as Prime Minister. His views, his right-wing coalition, and his hesitant nature as a decision maker make it unlikely that he will push for serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians. As the quality of Turkish-Israeli relations is very much linked to the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, a true improvement (beyond just normalization, which in itself is difficult to achieve) in Turkish-Israeli relations remains unlikely.

What Has Been Is What Will Be The 2015 Israeli
A Jewish man casts his ballot at a polling station in Bnei Brak, near the city of Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGEN
 

The 2015 parliamentary elections were framed as a choice between being “for Bibi” (incumbent Prime Minister and head of the Likud Party Benjamin Netanyahu) or “against him.” Many voters in the end chose the Likud Party because Netanyahu was perceived as more capable of dealing with security issues (i.e., Iran, Hamas, ISIS) than his main opponent from the Zionist Union party, Issac Herzog.1 The Likud Party was clearly the big winner of the election, receiving 30 mandates (out of 120), and essentially increasing the mandates it received by 50 percent over previous elections. The Labor Party in its current form of the Zionist Union (after uniting with former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s party, Hatnua) increased its strength from 15 mandates to 24.2 

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