Politic in Israel
by Aviel Schneider – israeltoday.co.il – electronic issue June 2012
In the 64 years since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, there have been 32 governments. A term is supposed to last four years; but amid political instability and fractious coalition infighting, governments tend to collapse, forcing early elections.
Left-wing governments have ruled for 36 years, right-wing governments for 25 years, and centrist governments for three years. Of Israel’s 12 prime ministers, the first one, David Ben-Gurion, ruled the longest and Benjamin Netanyahu comes in second (see table below).
Since the Oslo Accords of 1993 which launched the land-for-peace process with the Palestinians, there has been a rotation between left and right. When left-wing governments failed to deliver on peace, the people voted for a right-wing leader. Then, when the right inevitably disappointed, people turned back to the left.
Today, however, the peace process is not the hot-button issue. Both left and right-wing governments have endorsed the concept of land for peace; even the hawkish Netanyahu has reluctantly expressed support for a Palestinian state.
Bigger differences between the parties have emerged on social issues, including these: drafting the ultra-Orthodox into the army or civil service and sharing the national burden; the high cost of living and plans for another round of mass protests this summer; growing crime and criminal violence; and a flood of African migrants that threatens security and the Jewish character of the state.
Peace with the Palestinians has moved to the background because nothing is happening in that arena. As long as the peace process lies in a coma, other illnesses are treated.
Who ruled the country for how long?
13 years and 3months David Ben-Gurion
7 years and 6 months Benjamin Netanyahu (as of 2013)
6 years and 9 months Yitzhak Shamir
6 years and 4 months Yitzhak Rabin 6 years and 3 months Menachem Begin
5 years and 9 months Levi Eshkol
5 years and 1 month Ariel Sharon
5 years Golda Meir 3 years Ehud Olmert
2 years and 9 months Shimon Peres
1 year and 10 months Moshe Sharett
1 year and 9 months Ehud Barak