chapter
The Price of Fear: Israel Beiteinu in 2009
WithOlena Bagno
Pages 22

Israel Beiteinu (IB) received fifteen seats in the Eighteenth Knesset and became one of "the hits of the season" in the 2009 elections. This chapter explains IB's success in 2009 within the framework of the assimilationist-ethnic debate, arguing that the dynamics of the vote for IB in the last ten years supports the assimilationist argument and is indicative of immigrants' political integration into the Israeli political continuum. The political campaign of IB—the only party with many immigrants on the list that may have been seen as building on an ethnic basis—focused exclusively on issues related to Israel rather than on ethnic policy issues such as the lobbying of "ethnic" interests of the country of origin. IB's electoral campaign did not fit into the pattern that would have been chosen by an ethnic party also because it did not make an appeal related to ethnicity central to its mobilizing strategy.