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Bye-Bye Bibi, hello Prime Minister Benny Gantz? (maybe, maybe not)

Bye-Bye Bibi, hello Prime Minister Benny Gantz? (maybe, maybe not)

Gantz gets the mandate to try to form a government, but he only gets there with the backing of an Arab party that seeks the destruction of Israel. So don’t count Bibi out yet.

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Gantz-arrives-at-Presidents-House-to-receive-mandate-to-form-govt-621147

Last time we checked, the dysfunctional Israeli political system had just completed its third attempt in a year to elect a Prime Minister.

Based on the exit polls, it appeared that Bibi Netanyahu would be the next Prime Minster, with his Likud Party and other religious and right-wing parties obtaining a majority.

But, when the actual votes were counted, Bibi and his coalition fell 3 seats short of the needed 61 seat majority in the Knesset.

The Blue-and-White Party leader, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, has cobbled together a potential majority coalition recommending him for Prime Minister, after Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, leader of a secular party and someone who hates Netanyahu and his religious party supporters, threw his support to Gantz. Based on that, Gantz gets the first shot at forming a government.

The Times of Israel reports:

Gantz would need a Knesset majority made up of his Blue and White (33 seats), the hawkish Yisrael Beytenu (7 seats) and dovish Labor and Meretz (6 seats without Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abekasis), with support from outside of the coalition from the Arab lawmakers of the Joint List (15 seats).

If all those parties recommend him to form the next government, even without becoming part of it, he would have the backing of 61 MKs compared to 58 for Netanyahu from Likud (36), the ultra-Orthodox Shas (9) and United Torah Judaism (7) parties, and the right-wing Yamina (6).

This would be a minority government, because not all parties would be part of the government even if they recommended Gantz for Prime Minister.

But there’s a big “but” here. Even with Liberman, Gantz gets to 61 only with the support of the Joint List of Israeli Arab parties, at least some of whom call for the destruction of Israel and include Knesset members who glorify terrorists. And that means Gantz may lose some of those 61 seats for his coalition, as Yoram Hazony tweeted:

President asked Gantz to form a government—something it seems he cannot do.

He’s got 61 (including the anti-Zionist Joint List, without Orly Levi). But Hauser and Hendel (Blue-White) say they won’t go in with the anti-Zionist Joint List.

So Gantz has 59.

Which is nothing.

The Jerusalem Post adds more context to this mess:

In accepting the mandate, Gantz vowed that within a few days, he would form a “wide, patriotic” government that would “represent all citizens of Israel and defend the rights of residents of Judea and Samaria, Arab citizens and residents of the periphery and the Center of the country.”

Currently, the only parties willing to join a Gantz-led government are his Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Meretz and the Joint List is ready to support the government from outside the coalition. But there are at least two MKs in Blue and White who refuse to support a government backed by the Joint List, which would leave Gantz short of a majority.

Legally, 61 MKs have to vote for the government at first, even if it ends up being a minority government with less than 61 MKs.

So a minority government put in place only by the backing of parties that seek the destruction of Israel?

I dont think this is over, or that Bibi definitely is out of the game. Liberman has said he will do everything to avoid a fourth election. But if Gantz fails to put together a government, and the only alternative is Bibi or a fourth election, perhaps that will be the excuse Liberman needs to back a Likud-led government.

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Comments

2smartforlibs | March 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm

That would be a disaster

For all that it does right, Israel has the most idiotic government structure in the developed world. I’ve seen PTA associations that were designed better than this.

The entire form of government needs to be abolished, and something new built from scratch.

    4th armored div in reply to Tom Servo. | March 16, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    this is a Brit form without a king.

    they do need a majority rule. which would encourage a 2 party system.

      drednicolson in reply to 4th armored div. | March 16, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      It’s a common flaw of parliamentary systems and proportional representation. Minor parties often wield disproportionate influence in a tail-wags-dog fashion, through playing kingmaker. Getting their pet policies enacted in exchange for their help in forming a ruling coalition. Policies that the majority of voters would not want (or they would have voted for the minor party).

        Tom Servo in reply to drednicolson. | March 16, 2020 at 4:31 pm

        Israel might be at the point where they require a coup and a military led government for a while. Either that or just accept that the appointed bureaucracy is going to run everything forever, and elections are a joke.

          openeyes in reply to Tom Servo. | March 17, 2020 at 7:15 am

          A military coup is the generals taking over the government by non-democratic means.
          Considering 3 of the top 4 in B&W party are former generals and they have been maneuvering for these elections by non-democratic means (faked up indictments of Bibi) – you could call this a soft military coup…only the use of armed troops is missing.

          Most Israeli chiefs of staff over the last 3 decades have been leftists. The last one for sure not a leftist was Moshe Levi in the 1980s.
          It is a miracle Israel survives.

          Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | March 17, 2020 at 7:15 pm

          Most Israeli chiefs of staff over the last 3 decades have been leftists.

          Indeed. Even under right-wing governments the military establishment, like the civil service, remains in the grip of the left.

      buckeyeminuteman in reply to 4th armored div. | March 17, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Two party monopoly. I fixed it for you. Which is truly one party whose sole goal is to enrich themselves from lobbyists and continue getting re-elected. The People be damned.

How God awful

Sounds like a surefire way to govern!! In the end, the privileged rule over the peasants. Same as it ever was.

brightlights | March 16, 2020 at 3:36 pm

I think Gantz and Lieberman know that if this goes to a 4th election they might be toast. Each lost lost votes in the 3rd so if they can seal the deal this time, their parties are done for.

“… parties that seek the destruction of Israel?”

So like the US Democrats then, right?

I don’t think Bibi’s time is done yet. This seems like wishful thinking rather than anything that would succeed. Though I never discount the insanity of the left to screw up a wet dream.

The deadlock exists only so long as Netanyahu remains head of the Likud. Gantz’s strategy is, once the Knesset meets, to pass a law disqualifying anyone who is awaiting a criminal trial from being PM, just as such people are already disqualified from being a minister. It looks so far like he has the numbers for such a law. Once it is passed, Netanyahu is automatically out of the running, so the Likud will have no choice but to elect a new leader, and that leader can form a coalition with Gantz’s circus and Lieberman. Gantz expects/hopes that some Likud members would leave the party over it, thus reducing the Likud’s numbers by a few and letting him lead the coalition.

I shared this post to Facebook earlier today, quoting this as a lede;
“…So a minority government put in place only by the backing of parties that seek the destruction of Israel?

I dont think this is over, or that Bibi definitely is out of the game. Liberman has said he will do everything to avoid a fourth election. But if Gantz fails to put together a government, and the only alternative is Bibi or a fourth election, perhaps that will be the excuse Liberman needs to back a Likud-led government.”

Apparently, “This goes against Community Standards on spam”…

Suddenly facebook disapproves of your editorials.

And now, it can’t be shared because, “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.”

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