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Bibi Comeback? Israel Heads For New Elections as PM Bennett Set to Dissolve Parliament

Bibi Comeback? Israel Heads For New Elections as PM Bennett Set to Dissolve Parliament

Country to hold 5th election in 3 and a half years; Vote to be held on October 25 or November 1. Former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, welcomed the prospect of a fresh election.

After almost one year of taking power, Israel’s ruling coalition has agreed to dissolve the parliament and hold new elections. “Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced Monday that his weakened coalition will be disbanded and the country will head to new elections,” The Associated Press reported.

With today’s announcement, Israel is heading for fifth election in three and a half years.

Prime Minister Bennett will be stepping down and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will serve as the caretaker prime minister as country goes to poll in four months’ time. “The elections will be held on either October 25 or November 1. Under a power-sharing deal with Bennett, Lapid will assume the role of interim prime minister at least until a new government is formed,” the Israeli broadcaster Ynet News confirmed.

The dramatic decision was reportedly taken after one of Prime Minister Bennett’s eight-party coalition, the right-wing Yamina party, threatened to quit the government. “A source close to the matter says that part of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s motivation for dissolving the Knesset of his own volition is that Yamina MK Nir Orbach has planned to vote to dissolve the Knesset, a move that the 59-member political minority cannot defend itself against,” The Times of Israel reported Monday afternoon.

The Jerusalem Post reported the drastic step taken by PM Bennett:

Israel will head to its fifth election in three-and-a-half years, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave up Monday on their efforts to stabilize the coalition.

In a joint statement, Bennett and Lapid said that they will bring a bill to dissolve the Knesset to a vote next Monday.

This means that elections will likely be held on October 25. Sources close to Bennett said the duo’s goal was to initiate an election on their own terms and not be forced out by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed the prospect of a fresh election. An opinion poll conducted earlier this month showed Netanyahu-led alliance winning 60 seats in the 120-strong Knesset — one short of the majority.

As The Associated Press noted, the upcoming “election could also set the stage for a return to power by longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now the opposition leader.”

The Times of Israel reported former prime minister’s statement:

Opposition chief Benjamin Netanyahu hails the coalition’s imminent collapse as “great news for millions of Israeli citizens.”

In a statement, Netanyahu says that “after a year’s determined struggle by the opposition in the Knesset and great suffering by the public in Israel, it is clear to everyone that the worst government in Israeli history has come to an end.

“A government that was dependent on supporters of terrorism, that abandoned the personal security of Israeli citizens, that raised the cost of living to unprecedented heights, that imposed unnecessary taxes, that endangered the Jewish character of our state, this government is going home.”


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It’s possible that a new election could result in a Netanyahu-led government. But there’s no reason to suppose the voters have changed their minds since the last four elections. And if Netanyahu does return, it’s entirely possible that he will do so by relying on the same Arab parties that he now denounces Bennett for partnering with, but himself offered a partnership first.

The reality is that a solid right-wing government led by the Likud is easily achievable; provided that the Likud leader is anyone but Netanyahu. At least 2/3 of the Knesset is right-wing; but many of them learned the hard way that Netanyahu can’t be trusted not to stab you in the back the moment it suits him, so they refuse to work with him. If he really cared about the country rather than himself, he would have resigned the Likud leadership after the last election, his fourth failed attempt. Any other leader would have united the right and established an 80-90-member coalition.

In the meantime, we face four months of Lapid as Prime Minister. Lapid is a lightweight. Think Buttigieg or Beto. Not light in the loafers, at least as far as anyone knows, but light in the head. He has no qualifications whatsoever, except a Netanyahu-sized ego without Netanyahu’s achievements. Unlike Netanyahu and Bennett, both of whom served in the special forces unit, Lapid served in the army radio service, much like Ted Kennedy or Algore. He has no academic qualifications either. His father was a famous journalist who went into politics, but he had intellectual heft; the son is nothing. And that is who will be running the country for at least four months, and after that for as long as it takes someone to put a government together, which could take another six months or longer.

Bottom line: This is not good news. Lapid will make people wish for Bennett.

    Danny in reply to Milhouse. | June 20, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Netanyahu achievements

    1. Avoided a withdrawal to the 1967 lines as a prerequisite for negotiations without ruining Israel’s economic or political situation

    2. Opening of Japan and China to Israel

    3. Opening of India to Israel

    4. Created enough of a working relationship between Russia and Israel for Russia to overlook conflict between Israel and its ally Assad even when the force Putin sent to crush Isis was still on the ground

    5. He didn’t reverse the decline of Israel in European or African public opinion but he did miraculously keep America as a very strongly pro-Israel nation (possibly the last topic Americans can agree on). An especially strong achievement when you remember Obama was trying to hurt exactly that.

    6. Strengthened Israel’s relationship with every European government (especially impressive in light of his failure to reverse declining approval of Israel among Europeans).

    7. Minimized armed fighting between Israel and its terrorist enemies

    I could go on but deciding against further building projects in areas he doesn’t think Israel could realistically expect to keep in negotiations is a no brainer to me, Netanyahu has a great record at strengthening Israel. I also can’t really see any Israeli reversing decline of people who read the NYtimes or consider the BBC or the UN reliable from thinking poorly of Israel (and that was his only major failure).

      Peabody in reply to Danny. | June 20, 2022 at 5:37 pm

      Goodness gracious Danny! You are getting profound. I love reading your posts.

        ahad haamoratsim in reply to Peabody. | June 21, 2022 at 2:19 am

        He did in fact improve public relations with some African states and with central and eastern Europe. Nothing will improve Israel‘s image in Eastern Europe. They have too big of an emotional investment in demonizing Israel, for a variety of reasons that no Israeli Prime Minister is likely to be able to change.

        Danny in reply to Peabody. | June 22, 2022 at 9:51 am

        Thank you 🙂

    geronl in reply to Milhouse. | June 20, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    All Netanyahu had to do was say he would accept being the Foreign Minister and the last 10 months or so would never have had to happen.

    Vijeta Uniyal in reply to Milhouse. | June 20, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you for yet another insightful take!

    ahad haamoratsim in reply to Milhouse. | June 21, 2022 at 2:16 am

    So who would you put at the top of the ticket instead? I’m not crazy about his cult of personality, but in many ways he gets the job done.

    Under the guise of stopping the supposedly outside influence of the Charedim, the current government has declared war on religious Jews across the spectrum, even though Bennett himself is dati Leumi. And the army is out of control, instituting new policies that will make it nearly impossible for dati’im Leumi’im to continue serving, even though that segment of the population has always been among the most enthusiastic volunteers.

    I don’t see things getting any better under Lapid, or under any of the other future alternatives possible alternatives to Bibi.

    And whatever happens, Liberman and Kahana have to go.

    Eric R. in reply to Milhouse. | June 21, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Bibi is the most dominant figure in modern Israeli history, and I put him even over Ben Gurion.

    Ben Gurion founded the country, but Bibi (to use the phrase of his American adversary) fundamentally transformed it.

    Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more than the energy sector. Not only does Israel now produce almost all of its own electricity from its own natural gas and (increasingly) renewables, but it now EXPORTS natural gas to the Arab world. If you’re old enough to remember the first Arab oil embargo (as I am), think about that for a minute.

    Let’s add to that the fact that there are areas of technology – agriculture, drones, missiles, security hardware and software – where Israel is second to none (and yes, that “none” includes the USA) – thanks to Netanhyahu’s encouragement of capitalism.

    Bibi transformed Israel from a small, vulnerable state (which given its size, it still is with regards to Iranian nukes) into a midsize power, and the nation with more military power in relation to its size than any other in the world.

    Arrogant or not, Bibi should lead Israel until he is physically and mentally no longer able to.

I’ll bet Iran is watching the timing of all this with greater interest.

Yes, BiBi, a thousand times BiBi!!!

The Knesset leaders wanted to pass an anti-Bibi law. If it passed then their conservative coalition parties would no longer have a reason to be in the anti-Bibi coalition. Coalition gets replaced by a right-wing government.

lol. Talk about a catch-22

Bibi would be a boon to world peace, because peace through strength is the only kind of work that can bring peace.

ahad haamoratsim | June 21, 2022 at 2:21 am

America: one election every four years.

Israel: one year every four elections.