When we covered the Israeli elections in April 2019, we assumed that someone, likely Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu, would emerge with a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knessed. But it didn’t happen, with Netanyahu unable to form a coalition.

So Israel held a second election in September, and once again Netanyahu emerged with the best chance of putting together a coalition.

But once again, he couldn’t do it.

So Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz has been given the chance.

The Times of Israel reported:

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday tasked Benny Gantz, the Blue and White party leader, with forming Israel’s next government, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week that he had failed to do so.

Gantz, like Netanyahu before him, now has 28 days to try and form a government, though the prime minister-designate is seen as being no more likely to manage the task….

In a possible reference to Gantz’s previous promise not to sit in a government with Netanyahu or the ultra-Orthodox parties, Rivlin said, “As long as the boycotts and delegitimization of groups in Israeli society, as long as there is no real will to come to compromise and agreement, there will not be a government.

Netanyahu was initially tasked by Rivlin with trying to form a government based on the strength of his pact with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties to negotiate as a bloc of 55 MKs of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers after September’s inconclusive elections (Likud: 32; Shas: 9; United Torah Judaism: 7 and Yamina: 7).

Gantz heads a bloc of 54 MKs from the center, left and Arab parties (Blue and White: 33; Labor-Gesher: 6; Democratic Camp: 5; and 10 out of 13 MKs from the mainly Arab Joint List).

Don’t count Netanyahu out, just yet. It’s unlikely that Gantz can get a majority, and any hope he has would have to include anti-Zionist Arab parties, but that would rule out Avigdor Liberman joining the coalition, and his 8 seats are needed to get a majority.

There is a possibility of a rotating Prime Ministership between Gantz and Netanyahu, but Netanyahu was unable to pull that off when he had the mandate.

So there may be a Round Three.


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