June 27, 2019

Can Israeli Anglos Unite Politically?

“The 250,000 immigrants of voting age from English-speaking countries in the Interior Ministry database are more than the amount of votes Shas received in the 2015 election, when the party won seven seats.

And that is without counting their children and grandchildren, whose mother tongue is also English.

That is why it’s no wonder that over the past 16 years, parties have made a serious effort to attract these voters by fielding Anglo candidates and doing events for English-speakers.

But is it possible to galvanize these voters into a force like Jewish voters in American elections? Past and present Anglo candidates and heads of some parties’ Anglo divisions disagreed.

Arguably the most serious effort ever made by an Israeli party to attract English-speaking voters came in 2003 from Natan Sharansky’s Yisrael Ba’aliyah (Israel immigration, on the rise) party, which fielded Harvard-educated candidate Eli Kazhdan in what looked like the realistic fifth slot. The party won only two seats, and Sharansky’s political career was over.”

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