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Comment and Opinion

Haaretz: Israel’s parties are contracting to bring about Netanyahu’s downfall, by Anshel Pfeffer

As things stand, the next Knesset will feature the smallest number of parties in Israel’s history. There are currently only nine parties with a realistic chance of crossing the electoral threshold on September 17. And if Labor leader Amir Peretz changes his mind before midnight on Thursday – the deadline for handing the party slates to the Central Elections Committee – and decides to join forces with Democratic Union (or if, as some now fear, Peretz’s party fails to cross the 3.25 percent threshold), we’ll only have eight parties in the 22nd Knesset.

Over the last seven decades, the Knesset has numbered, on average, 12 elected parties (not including the inevitable midterm splits and breakaways). Some had as many as 15, but the lowest until now was 10 (on three separate occasions). The short-lived, outgoing Knesset had 11 parties. This isn’t just meaningless statistics or a result of the threshold being raised three times since 1992. On the eve of the coming election, Israel’s politics is contracting, bracing itself for a cathartic event.

Read more at Haaretz.