Unprecedented Politics in Israel6 min read

 Over the past decade, Benjamin Netanyahu has held a firm grasp on his political territory throughout the state of Israel. He began his ascension into politics through his being the representative in the United States for the state of Israel and rose quickly through the ranks during his workings with past President Bill Clinton—with whom he had many significant disagreements and mal interactions. Eventually, Netanyahu ran for the title of Prime Minister under allegiance with the conservative party titled the Likud. Netanyahu, arguably, has had a very successful running in the country throughout his time in office, having strengthened quite significantly ties between Israel and the U.S. as well as vastly improving the Israeli economy and military strength. However, in recent years, Netanyahu’s support amongst the Israeli public has been dwindling—a result of various accusations, at the moment, of corruption and his recent concessions to Arafat (the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization). As a result of the current wave of mistrust and uncertainty building around Netanyahu and his role as Prime Minister, compounded by his failure to receive the parliamentary majority vote for reelection, he so failed to create a cross-party coalition in the Israeli government. That being so, the task has now been passed to Benny Gantz—a member of the White and Blue party in Israel. 

 The current governmental crisis that has befallen the Israeli government stems from the political deadlock that occurred as a result of the failed election last September in the Israeli parliament. Neither of the two competing majority parties, both the Likud (the conservative party in Israel) and the White and Blue (the centrist conservative party in Israel), received the required 35 seat count of the 120 seats available to reach a majority and gain control of parliament. From that point, once a majority vote has been successfully reached, the president of Israel then elects or reelects, an individual for the position of prime minister. However, in this case, as the parties reached a deadlock, an election for prime minister could not take place, and thus the Israeli president Reuven Rivlin requested a coalition (a form of government in which various political parties agree to work across party lines, reducing the dominance of any particular party within said “coalition”. The most common use for this style of arrangement is when no party can independently achieve a majority in the parliament.) be formed by Netanyahu in order to rectify the current standstill in their political field and make a decision on the next prime minister. 

 Ultimately, after many attempts to reach such a coalition between the various parties, Netanyahu failed to achieve the desired coalition in the final vote. Netanyahu avidly insisted that his version of a coalition include his more “traditional allies,” an amassment of strict and religious groups, drawing various claims, or rather accusations from Gantz that he was not negotiating in a manner that will result in any form of success. “Since I received the mandate, I have worked tirelessly both in public and behind the scenes to establish a broad, national unity government. That’s what the people want,” Netanyahu included in a statement, trying to win dwindling support for his cause. There are many arguable reasons for his failure; however the most notable of the list was the brewing mistrust that he was amounting amongst various groups compounded by his being tried for various attempts of corruption (bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases) which severely tainted his reputation. Moreover, Netanyahu struck a serious nerve amongst individuals in his own party as a result of his various concessions to the Palestinians, which cost him great deals of support amongst the conservative parties that have helped to keep him in power for the past decade. When Netanyahu failed, the second attempt was passed on to Benny Gantz, the head representative of the White and Blue party, which is considered to be the centrist party of Israel. His party has amounted to a noticeable movement throughout Israel, as centrist ideology seems to be appealing to more and more individuals who are tired of the far-right and far-left policies and actions being made throughout their government. Gantz’s possibility of success and his determination in achieving the desired coalition government are looking very high, as he stated how he hopes to achieve a “broad and liberal unity government that will represent all of Israeli society.”, and that “The path to a unity government lies in values and in all we promised to the public.” Gantz has yet to achieve the desired goal of a coalition, but the effort is still ongoing and ever prevalent in the state of Israel, and all are eagerly awaiting the second round to conclude and a new or currently standing, although very unlikely) prime minister to be chosen. 

 After having looked at various recounts of the climate in the Israeli parliament at the moment and the various blockages that are being formed as a result of conflicting ideals in the Israeli government, I can only come to conclude that the deadlock will continue to persist for a couple more weeks at a minimum. The alt-right parties only want to remove Netanyahu, their once prized possession, from his current position as Prime Minister as he has lessened his once very harsh stance on the Palestinian-Israeli interaction crisis and has made recent concessions to them in the recent years/months. However, time will only tell if the conservatives agree to the coalition government presented by Gantz from the White and Blue party, as their ideals, although they claim to be centrist, are still very far left from the alt-right parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu who now passionately desire to oust Netanyahu. Time will only tell at this point whether or not Netanyahu will be able to pull through and achieve reelection; however, it seems that his chances are incredibly slim and only becoming increasingly so, and so Gantz will become the next Prime Minister of Israel, and a potential cross-party coalition will soon be implemented. What we must pay attention to in the coming weeks, and continue to ponder over amongst ourselves, is how the upcoming prime ministerial elections will impact the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Also, if Netanyahu is successfully removed from power, how will Israeli-American interactions move forward?

   Works Cited Page

“Https://Time.Com.” Time, 2019, https://time.com/5706385/israel-netanyahu-loses-parliament-majority/. Accessed 28 Oct 2019.

“Israel’s Benny Gantz Is Asked To Form Government.” BBC News, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50167387. Accessed 28 Oct 2019.

“Netanyahu Vs. Gantz: Your Comprehensive Guide To The Israel Election”. Haaretz.Com, 2019, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/EXT-INTERACTIVE-netanyahu-vs-gantz-your-comprehensive-guide-to-2019-israel-election-1.7086971. Accessed 28 Oct 2019.

“NPR Choice Page.” Npr.Org, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/09/16/760464318/netanyahu-fights-to-hang-on-in-another-israeli-election-heres-what-to-know. Accessed 28 Oct 2019.

1 thought on “Unprecedented Politics in Israel<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">6</span> min read</span>”

  1. Very interesting article. Israel has served as a major point of decisiveness in American politics over the past few years. Many have questioned the legitimacy of the allegiance between the two countries, especially considering the nuclear deal they share. The current state of Israel’s government may also create some problems as the U.S. does not take very kindly to dealing with countries with struggling governments. The current leading party of Israel trying to interfere with the country’s election may also bring Israel’s democracy into question. The idea of being able to build coalitions with other parties is pretty foreign to the United States. The two may go on to have their differences soon enough.

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