HomeNewsPolitical paralysis in Israel

Political paralysis in Israel


Political paralysis in Israel again after dissolution of Parliament for new elections

  • The current government could not even comfortably present its bill to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections because each of the groups forming the current ruling coalition tabled the amendments it deemed necessary to satisfy its particular interests

Israel is heading for its fifth election in three years, plunging the country further into political uncertainty, as it grapples domestically with protests over skyrocketing living costs and internationally against international efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

The prime minister, Naftali Bennett, announced that he would not run in the upcoming elections, but would keep his post as deputy prime minister after his coalition partner, Yair Lapid, takes over as head of the interim government. “I leave behind a prosperous, strong and secure country,” he told reporters Wednesday. “We proved this year that people with very different views can work together,” he added, referring to his ideologically diverse coalition.

Last week, Bennett took steps to dissolve Parliament after a series of defections made his coalition government no longer sustainable but even this law was the subject of amendments for the factions forming the government to take advantage of the difficult situation.

The amendments were submitted by parties from across the political spectrum. Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his party was blocking the dissolution bill to advance a subway bill, and the Arab-led Joint List party claimed it expected a delay would lead to the expiration of regulations extending legal protections to settlers in the occupied territories.

Once the call for early elections gets final Knesset approval, Israel’s center-left Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will replace Bennett as prime minister of an interim government with limited powers. But even with lawmakers grappling with the exact date of the election, either Oct. 25 or Nov. 1, the campaign is already dominated by the possible return of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lapid and Bennett ended Netanyahu’s record 12-year reign a year ago by forming a rare ideologically mixed alliance that included an independent Arab party for the first time. The government lasted longer than many expected, but faltered in recent weeks amid infighting.

Netanyahu, now leader of the opposition, is delighted with the end of what he has called the worst government in Israel’s history. He hopes to win a sixth term in office despite being on trial for corruption on charges he denies. Polls have shown his right-wing Likud party leading in the polls, but he still lacks a ruling majority despite support from allied nationalist and religious parties.

Lawmakers from the pro-Netanyahu bloc said they were working to form a new government before parliament is dissolved. That scenario, which seems remote, would scupper an early election.


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