Israel is in for a fifth election in four years, and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could score a comeback Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. @falasteen47Israeli former premier Benjamin Netanyahu attends a preliminary vote on a bill to dissolve parliament and call an early election, at the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 22, 2022. © AFP / GIL COHEN-MAGEN
Israel’s unlikely eight-party coalition government took the decision to dissolve, last Monday, ushering in the fifth round of elections in just four years. An election from which Israeli opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, eyes a comeback and proves the domestic vulnerabilities of Tel Aviv that its enemies may seek to exploit.
In June of 2021, an unprecedented Israeli coalition government was sworn in after a tenuous period of two years, during which four national elections had taken place. At the center of Israel’s political mayhem has consistently been former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and one year later not much has seemed to have changed. Israeli PM Naftali Bennet, of the far-Right Yamina Party, decided to call it quits and dissolve his government, handing over his title to his coalition partner Yair Lapid, who will soon be sworn in as interim prime minister, awaiting a new round of elections.
What is important to understand about Israel’s political mess, is that the Israeli Knesset has always been and continues to be a deeply divided place, there has never been a single party government, only ever coalitions. Last year’s eight party coalition was perhaps the most ideologically diverse, claiming a slim 61 seat majority needed to form a government by making sizable political compromises, such as allowing an Arab party into the government for the first time in Israel’s history.
Israel to dissolve government, replace prime minister
Although many Israelis did initially support the coalition government, it quickly proved ineffective and weak on multiple fronts, due in large part to such a committed opposition bloc led by Netanyahu and his center-right Likud party and also because the coalition parties disagreed on so much. The last straw that broke the camel’s back came earlier this month, as the Israeli government failed to pass an emergency bill that allows illegal Israeli settlers the ability to be governed under civilian law, while the Palestinians in the same territories live under Israeli military law. The bill is normally renewed every five years and is seen as one of the easiest pieces of legislation to pass, yet due to the refusal of the Israeli opposition to vote for it, the governing coalition itself could not muster enough votes in the Knesset to pass it.
From the get-go Netanyahu had been calling the right wing parties of the coalition sellouts, claiming that the Left, along with the Islamist Raam Party, had insideously plotted an anti-right wing takeover. This was despite the coalition mostly consisting of far-right, centrist, islamist and center right parties, with only two espousing a left lean. Whilst popular Israeli political figures on the right, such as Justice Minister Gideon Saar, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Naftali Bennett himself, had all received public support from their political loyalists for their anti-Netanyahu stances, the next election results may prove them to have committed political suicide for joining a government with centrists and an Arab party. (RT)
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