The elections to the 18th Knesset (legislature of Israel) were held on February 10, 2009, almost three years after the elections to the 17th Knesset and approximately twenty months before the original date set for them to be held. The elections are best understood in the context of the wars that were at each end of Ehud Olmert's government tenure, corruption scandals involving the prime minister, and the failure of Tzipi Livni, the newly elected head of the ruling center party, Kadima to form a new coalition following Olmert's resignation.

The election campaign of 2009 began with the resignation of Ehud Olmert in the shadow of his corruption scandals and issues of integrity and clean government. This was followed by the world financial crisis, which directed attention towards the economic dimension and performance of the candidates. On the face of it, the campaign was cut short when military action began in Gaza. Still, the election was on the minds of candidates, and the question of who can best ensure security prevailed in the campaign. It becamepersonalized and focused on the candidates: the two candidates who had once headed the government and aspired to return, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and the chairperson of Kadima, Tzipi Livni, who was running for the first time as head of a party.

The Elections in Israel 2009 will be of particular interest to those concerned with comparative politics and elections in an open society. This volume is the latest in the series begun in 1969.

chapter |16 pages


ByMichal Shamir, Asher Arian

part 1|126 pages

Shifts in the Political Map: Who Won, Who Lost?

chapter |22 pages

The Price of Fear: Israel Beiteinu in 2009

ByOlena Bagno

chapter |28 pages

‘All That Is Left’: The Demise of the Zionist Left Parties, 1992–2009

ByOfir Abu, Fany Yuval, Ben-Porat Guy

chapter |30 pages

Turning Points in Palestinian Politics in Israel: The 2009 Elections

ByNadim N. Rouhana, Mtanes Shihadeh, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury

chapter |20 pages

The Losers: Who Didn’t Make It into the Knesset?

ByYael Yishai

part 2|80 pages


chapter |20 pages

Chronicles of the Comeback that Was and the One that Almost Was

ByShlomit Barnea

chapter |30 pages

Tzip(p)ing through the Elections: Gender in the 2009 Elections

ByEinat Gedalya, Hanna Herzog, Michal Shamir

part 3|76 pages

Political Communication

chapter |26 pages

War on the Agenda: The Gaza Conflict and Communication in the 2009 Elections

ByYariv Tsfati, Tamir Sheafer, Gabriel Weimann

chapter |24 pages

Just Like in America: New Media in the 18th Knesset Election Campaign 1

ByDan Caspi, Eleanor Lev

chapter |24 pages

The Election Compass: Party Profiling and Voter Attitudes

ByAsher Arian, André Krouwel, Mark Pol, Raphael Ventura