ECAJ statement on the results of the Israeli elections
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With news that Prime Minister Yair Lapid has conceded defeat in the Israeli elections and the results clearly showing that Binyamin Netanyahu will lead the new coalition government, we congratulate Mr Netanyahu on his return to office. This election saw a record voter turnout for both Jewish and Arab citizens and shows the strength and vibrancy of Israeli democracy. Israel remains the only place in the Middle East where regular elections are held in which all citizens have an equal vote and an unrestricted choice in voting governments into and out of office.
Clearly, it is for the citizens of a state to select their own government and, in a free and democratic process, their right to make their own choice is to be respected. It is also true that the Jewish people worldwide have a stake in the future of the Jewish state. We are profoundly connected to it and therefore have a desire to see a government that is stable, effective and capable of uplifting all of its citizens and enhancing its place in the world.
These election results point to a decisive victory for the pro-Netanyahu bloc, which we hope will deliver stable government and an end to the cycle of fragile coalitions and snap elections.
It appears also that, as has occurred in many democracies around the world, populist extremist politicians, with an openly racist and homophobic agenda, have made strong electoral gains, and are likely to hold ministerial positions when a new government is formed. Though this group runs under the banner of “Religious Zionism”, in our view, much of their rhetoric is incompatible both with our religion and with Zionism.
When a new Israeli government is formed then, like all governments, it will be judged on what it says and what it does.
We again extend our sincere best wishes to Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu and affirm our unwavering kinship with the State of Israel and its people.
Peter Wertheim AM, ECAJ Co-CEO
Alex Ryvchin, ECAJ Co-CEO