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Israeli Parliament Dissolved After Coalition Dispute


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Maccabi HMO coronavirus vaccine facility in Tel Aviv on December 13, 2020. (AFP)


The coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz was unable to agree on a budget. Israel is thus heading for the fourth new election in four years.


Israel's parliament in Jerusalem automatically dissolved at midnight on Tuesday. The deadline for an agreement on the budget for 2020 had previously expired. The coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz failed to agree on a budget for the year to come; a last attempt at a compromise failed on Tuesday night in parliament. The country is now facing the fourth new election within four years, probably on March 23, 2021.

Even before the Knesset was dissolved, discussions began on Tuesday on how a new election can be held safely during the Wuhan virus crisis. It was about the question of how corona sufferers can cast their votes.

From the beginning, the grand coalition between Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and the center alliance Blue and White with Gantz, could not find common language, and tensions have recently intensified.

Netanyahu did not want to commit to a budget for 2021

The coalition agreement stipulated that the government would adopt a budget for 2020 and 2021. Netanyahu had withdrawn this commitment and only wanted a budget for 2020. The reason for change named by head of government were the extraordinary circumstances of the Wuhan virus crisis. However, critics assume that, among other things, he wanted to prevent Gantz from taking over the office of head of government from him in autumn 2021 as agreed.

To prevent a severe economic crisis in the coming year, on Tuesday the government approved a financial plan as an alternative to a regular budget.

A corruption trial is underway against Netanyahu. Mr. Gantz has accused the 71-year-old of wanting to do everything possible to avoid conviction.

The Gantz alliance has now crumbled. Blue-White should be concerned whether it will cross the 3.25 percent treshold.

After a new election, Netanyahu has to reckon with problems again in forming a government. According to surveys, the right-wing camp is stronger than ever. However, it is fragmented between different parties, whose chairmen are all seen as bitter rivals of Netanyahu who want to become head of government themselves.

For Ambitious and Willing To Learn More

Mr. Gantz may not has the potential for winning but can inflict damage to Likud.

According to the law, the "dissolution of the Knesset" is considered a parliamentary vacation, during which the plenum can meet for various decisions at the request of 25 deputies or at the request of the government. Therefore, theoretically, parliamentarians have the opportunity to approve a variety of laws - for example, a law banning the formation of a government for a deputy under trial.

Now that Mr. Gantz has "untied hands," the left flank can take advantage of its advantage and try to "annoy" Benjamin Netanyahu with everything it can. But this requires an absolute majority of the deputies, which the leftists and the Arabs cannot form without support of smaller parties Yamina or NDI.

Bosses of small right-wing parties want to replace Netanyahu

Likud must compete for the support of the electorates of these two parties which think of themselves as right-wingers because the bosses of these parties are Natanyahu's rivals. If in the last elections Netanyahu's supporters, who wanted to see him as Prime Minister, could vote for the "satellites" of "Likud" in the hope that they would support the ruling party, now the alignment has changed.

This time it is impossible to guarantee whether the parties after winning mandates will support Netayahu to be Israel's leader.

"Kahol Lavan", "New Hope" of Gideon Saar, "Yesh Atid - Telem", "Yamina" and NDI will compete with each other for the votes of the "protest electorate", which also no longer quite understands whether it is right, left or centrist. However, according to the recent polls, Israelis want Likud be the strongest force in future Knesset.


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