Poll predicts 30 female MKs in next Knesset, down from current Knesset

Poll predicts 30 female MKs in next Knesset, down from current Knesset

The future Knesset is expected to have roughly 30 women MKs, according to various polls done by Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Prof. Ofer Kenig, an IDI press release reported on Friday. This is a drop from the current Knesset and would mean that women, who make up roughly 50% of Israel’s population, will hold 25% of the seats in the Knesset.
The previous Knesset witnessed the lowest number of parties eventually crossing the electoral threshold (eight). In the upcoming one the number is expected to be higher, between nine and fourteen. Five lists are said to be within the danger zone of not gaining enough support: Meretz, Religious Zionist Party, Ra’am, the New Economic Party and Blue and White. The last party, headed by Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, won 33 seats in the previous elections. 
The Knesset will likely witness a departure of a quarter of its current 120 members, meaning 30 MKs will not be reelected, the polls predict. They include current Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, and former Welfare Minister Itzik Shmuli, among others. All of whom said they are retiring from public service. 
Likud has the highest number of women on its list when compared in absolute numbers to all other parties but when the issue is gender equality, Labor and Meretz lead. The only party headed by a woman expected to cross the electoral threshold is Labor, headed by Merav Michaeli. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that, should he form a government, he means to appoint an Arab-Muslim Minister, educator Nael Zoabi. Due to the Joint List failing to remain unified, it is expected that this Knesset will have less non-Jewish members in it when compared to the current number, 17. 
Another trend is the decline in the appeal of former IDF generals in politics and the increase of former municipal leaders entering it. Ashkenazi was a former IDF chief of staff, and two other politicians, Telem leader Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon (a former IDF chief of staff) and former Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz of Jewish Home are all leaving politics. Current Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak-Halevi of New Hope and Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi of Yamina are two examples of the municipal leaders pushing forward, the report claims.  

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