Five Must-reads if You Want to Understand the Israeli Election

Five Haaretz articles on the parties, the candidates, the platforms and how the system actually works.

Reuters

Israel's Knesset election is just around the corner, and for many, questions still abound about the plethora of parties, personalities and platforms in the equation. What does Moshe Kahlon's new Kulana party stand for? Why have four parties from the predominantly Arab sector combined into one Joint List and are there Jews who intend voting for it? How does Israel's proportional representation system work?  And how will does each vote contribute to the building of the Israel voters want to see?

Here are five articles that give you the lowdown on the decisive day: 

In "Everything you need to know about Israeli elections but were afraid to ask," Shoshana Kordova has compiled the essential guide to how the whole thing works, from the election itself, through the subsequent role of the president and the building of a governing coalition. It's indispensable reading for both first-time voter and veterans.

Don't believe what you're told, cautions Gershom Gorenberg in "Four myths about the Israeli elections." Elections in Israel don't work like in other countries, he says, and it's dangerous to rely entirely on what politicians and reporters say.

If you're interested in where the politicians stand on the issues, you won't want to miss Judy Maltz's "Where do Israeli lawmakers stand on matters of religion and state?" Only slightly more than 50 percent of the sitting Knesset members responded to questions posed by Jewish Pluralism Watch, but some of their responses are enlightening.

Does the emergence of the predominantly-Arab Joint List mean that Israel's perennially neglected non-Jewish voters are finally coming in from the cold. Read why many Jews think that it does in "Meet the Jews who'll shun Zionism and vote for the Arab ticket."

Finally, what is facing Israel's next prime minister, whoever he or she may be? Barak Ravid, Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent, gives his take in "Wanted: A prime minister who can clean up Israel's diplomatic mess."