With the dissolution of the Knesset last week, Israel is heading for its fourth election in two years. Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz justified his vote along with the opposition by Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to approve the general budgets, but the “unitary government” between the Likud and Blue and White was dysfunctional from birth.
It is a bizarre situation. There is no country that has passed four general elections in two years. It shows the deep political crisis that Israel is going through.
Gantz accuses “Bibi” of being concerned with his legal cases, not with handling a country in crisis. Netanyahu blames his partner for establishing “a government from within” to torpedo the Likud. Does the dissolution of the chamber assure elections soon?
There are still three parliamentary votes pending, and in my opinion, none of the partners want the elections. There are many first-time deputies who fear being left out of Parliament, including Gantz. I think we will see elections only in June or November, not in March or April.
How can one explain that Netanyahu is still in power without having achieved a clear majority of the right-religious bloc in the last three rounds?
It is proof of the seriousness of the political crisis. Netanyahu continues to govern thanks to the inexperience of Gantz and Blue and White, who capitulated to pressure from the Likud. They used their electors, who voted for him to oust Netanyahu.
And before the forecast of the fourth elections, the “liberal” center-left still does not present a feasible alternative. Battles of egos continue, and former army chiefs like Gadi Eizenkot are once again sounding off to lead lists?
The center-left is totally disintegrated. The “prestige” of the generals, as Yitzhak Rabin or Ariel Sharon (both former commanders-in-chief who became prime minister) has been diluted. Gantz was known for his role in the tzahal, but was voted in for his explicit promise that he would never sit next to “Bibi”. He changed sides, as did Amir Peretz with his moustache (the leader of the Labour “Avodá” led by Barak, who shaved off his moustache during the campaign as a guarantee that he would not support Netanyahu). The people have lost confidence in politics, and the center-left will be so weak and disorganized that the right-wing bloc will end up winning.
For a turnaround, mathematics demands that the Jewish opposition groups form alliances with the Unified Arab List. It does not seem that this will happen…