Israel heads for new elections after Netanhayu fails to form governing coalition

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | 5/29/2019 | William A. Jacobson
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You thought Bibi Netanyahu won the April 9, 2019, elections, right?

Well, he did but didn’t.

Time - Israel - System - Winning - Party

As we explained at the time, in Israel’s (dysfunctional) parliamentary system, it’s necessary for the “winning” party to form a coalition with other parties. Usually, but not always, that coalition will be built by the party that wins the most seats in the Knesset.

In April, Netanyahu’s Likud Party won the most seats, 35 out of the total 120 Knesset seats (tied with the main opposition):

Likud - Seats - Kahol - Lavan - Party

Likud ended up with 35 seats, as did Kahol Lavan, the party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

United Torah Judaism gained a seat compared to last week’s results, putting its final count at eight. The rest of the parties held on to the same number of seats: Shas with eight, Hadash-Ta’al with six, Labor with six, Yisrael Beiteinu with five, Union of Right-Wing Parties with five, and four each for Meretz, Balad-United Arab List and Kulanu.

Parties - Majority - Seats - Netanyahu - Majority

It was assumed that given right-wing parties won a majority of seats, that Netanyahu would be able to cobble together a majority of 61 or more. But in Israel, the parties each have their own agendas, and the “right wing” consists of both religious and secular parties.

And it was the religious/secular split that caused the problem, over the issue of drafting ultra-orthodox (“Haredi”) men into military service. That is opposed by the religious parties, and was demanded by the secular party headed by former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Liberman - Yisrael - Beytenu - Party - Seats

Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party only had 5 seats, but those were five seats needed for a majority. And Liberman, who has no love for Netanyahu, wasn’t budging on the draft issue. Neither were the religious parties.

A tweet from Trump urging Israeli parties to form a coalition couldn’t salvage the situation, even through Trump is hugely popular in Israel:


Hoping things...
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