Israel Government Collapsed – Early Elections on Cards Again
The Unity Government had formed in May 2020.
Israel government collapsed early Wednesday morning. Due to the collapse of Benjamin Netanyahu’s unity government, the country is now headed towards its 4th election in less than 2 years.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz had joined hands to form a coalition government in May 2020. The decision came after the conduction of 3 elections, all of which failed to provide a conclusive result. A caretaker government had taken charge of the state affairs for more than a year until it became necessary to have an elected government in 2020, in order to deal with the crisis of the global Corona Virus pandemic.
Earlier this year, Benjamin Netanyahu, head of Likud, had asked Gantz to form a unity government with him on emergency basis. The now Prime Minister had vowed to share power equally with the leader of the Blue and White Party for three years.
Garry had decided to take up the offer despite his previous promises of never forming a coalition government with Netanyahu. He joined the government as an ‘alternate Prime Minister’ who was to trade places with Benjamin soon. The two stated that they had put their personal differences aside for the ‘betterment of the Israeli people’.
As a result of this unity government, Netanyahu was serving his 5th consecutive term as Prime Minister.
The Government’s Collapse
The seven month old government in Israel collapsed on Wednesday morning, due to its failure to meet the deadline of presenting a state budget.
The parliament of Israel, Knesset failed to reach an agreement and pass a budget and also failed to agree on the extension of the deadline. The failures resulted in an automatic dissolution of the parliament.
The new round of elections is supposed to take place in the coming year, probably on the 23rd of March.
Reaction to the Collapse
Both the Prime Minister and the alternate Prime Minister blame each other for the failure. Netanyahu opined that the Blue and White party leader had pushed the country towards elections that he labelled ‘unnecessary’. However, he is hopeful of winning the coming elections.
According to Benny Gantz, Netanyahu was too preoccupied with his trials of corruption charges to pay any attention to where the country was headed. The longest serving Israeli PM is facing charges of corruption, breach of trust and fraud. Netanyahu has denied all allegations and claims to be the victim of ‘witch hunt’ by his opponents.
According to CNN, opinion polls show that Likud will once again emerge victorious out the elections. However, the situation may be changing, given the fact that people from the Likud are breaking away from the party and joining others in trying to form a majority against Netanyahu.
This includes a former cabinet secretary, Gideon Saar, who left the party claiming that Benjamin had turned the party into a cult, aimed at ensuring that he survived in the arena of politics. Saar then went on to form his own New Hope party and has vowed not to serve under Benjamin.
A religious right wing party led by Naftali Bennet, a former supporter of Netanyahu also seems to be gaining ground. All of these opponents are expected to give Benjamin Netanyahu a tough time in the up coming elections.