Settlers Will Occupy 7-10 Knesset Seats

In the past few Knessets, the proportion of MKs from the settlements has exceeded the proportion of settlers in the general population (3 percent).

In the past few Knessets, the proportion of MKs from the settlements has exceeded the proportion of settlers in the general population (3 percent). In the 14th Knesset, nine MKs were residents of the settlements; in the last Knesset, there were eight, and exit polls suggest the 16th Knesset will also have a disproportionate number of settler MKs.

Six residents of the settlements who were members of the 15th Knesset are almost certain to be in the new parliament. They include the National Religious Party's Shaul Yahalom, from Elkana; Yisrael b'Aliyah's Yuri Edelstein, from Alon Shvut, and four MKs from National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu - Zvi Hendel of Gush Katif, Uri Ariel of Kfar Adumim, Avigdor Lieberman of Nokdim and Benny Elon of Beit El.

They will almost certainly be joined by Professor Arieh Eldad, number seven on the National Union slate, and there is a good chance that they will be joined by Yehiel Hazan of Ariel, number 32 on the Likud slate, as well. Eldad, a former IDF chief medical officer, is the son of Dr. Israel Eldad, a leading ideologue of Lehi, the right-wing pre-state underground movement.

Two other candidates from the settlements could well squeak into the Knesset - Baruch Marzel of Hebron, number two on the Herut slate, and Nissan Slomiansky of Elkana, number six on the NRP slate.

The next Knesset will apparently have between seven and 10 MKs from the settlements, or 6 to 8 percent of the total number of MKs - double or more the settlers' weight in the population and about triple their weight in the electorate (2.3 percent). But since the voting rate in the settlements is high, settlers typically account for almost 3 percent of those who actually cast a ballot.