• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

At midnight, the 23rd Knesset was officially dissolved, the deadline for approving Israel’s budget for 2020 expired and thus the Israeli voters have to go to the polls for the fourth time in less than two years. According to Israeli law, elections are automatically called 90 days from now – ie. March 23, 2021, the date may be changed by a Knesset vote, writes the newspaper Times of Israel.

Despite the fact that the party Kahol Lavan under the leadership of Benny Gantz, and Likud under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were rivals during the previous election campaign, the two parties decided to put the differences aside to establish a coalition government (read more HERE Norwegian), which could handle the Corona crisis and the severe economic crisis facing Israel. At that time, Israel had gone through three elections without getting a viable government in place.

Both parties have accused each other of breaching its obligations under the coalition agreement reached seven months ago.

Unlike the last three Knesset elections where Netanyahu’s biggest rival was Gantz and his center party Kahovl Lavan, Netanyahu’s biggest challenge in the upcoming election is the former Likud minister, Gideon Sa’ar who has shaped the new party New Hope. The party wants to remove Netanyahu, and party leader Naftali Bennett from the right-wing / Orthodox party Yamina. Both Sa’ar and Bennett are believed to be taking a tougher line than Netanyahu on Palestinian and settlement issues. Read MIFF’s article: He is changing the political landscape. Gideon Sa’ar’s new party is bad news for Benjamin Netanyahu.

They are both strong in the polls. Thus, it will not be an easy task for Israel’s longest-serving prime minister to remain in power after the next election.

Naftali Bennett will be one of Netanyahu’s biggest contenders in the election. He stands to the right of Netanyahu. (Photo: Ralph Alswang / Flickr)

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