The local elections in the shadow of the war

one of the main topics in Israel prior to October 7, were the Municipal and local elections, which were supposed to take place at the end of the month (according to the date set by law, once every 5 years). But just as the war has become so Dominant in national politics, so has local politics been set back in the last two months.

Beyond the lack of public attention, and the inability of the government to look after an event such as the elections at a time of war, hundreds of thousands of Israelis were recruited on reserve duty to the IDF – were there is no practical ability to vote in local elections from afar, Due to lack of a homogeneous Ballot. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of voters, thousands of candidates were recruited to the local lists, and even about 70 candidates for mayor or Head of municipality.

In light of the conditions, Interior Minister Moshe Arbel has prosponted the elections from October to January 30. But the war is getting longer, and Israel is now a month ahead of the new deadline, with the end of the war not quite in sight. In the political arena, there have been demands to prostpone the elections again, so as not to hurt candidates and voters; another concern is that the results of elections in diverse cities may reflect in a disproportionate manner, the populations that do not serve in the reserves, such as Haredim and Arabs. It is no coincidnce that the main impetus for postponing the elections is the Religious Zionism Party, which represents a sector that has particularly high representation in the army.

The proposal is expected to be discussed soon in the government, and is expected to be accepted (unless if there are considerations that are not in the public domain). In any case, it is good to see that even in the shadow of the war, the State of Israel does its best to maintain the principle of democratic representation.

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