These days, Israel is preparing for its fourth elections in less than two years, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial is approaching, but he still hopes to win again despite the accusations against him.
In this report, we review the many political crises that Israel has experienced during the two-year trip.
Dead end again
- In the elections that took place on September 17, 2019, opinion polls again revealed similar results.
- In a surprise move two days later, Netanyahu proposed a national unity government to Benny Gantz, who insisted that he should become prime minister.
- Official results released on September 25 confirmed that they are facing a new crisis.
- Neither of them managed to cross the threshold of 61 MPs to gain a majority, even with their allies.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu was tasked by President Reuven Rivlin to form a government.
- Gantz refused to ally with his opponent, referring to the judicial troubles the prime minister faces.
- Netanyahu declared he had failed on October 21 and Gantz was given the job.
- But a month later, Gantz told the president that he too had failed to form a government.
- The next day, the attorney general accused Netanyahu of corruption, fraud and breach of trust in 3 different cases. This was the first time a prime minister was in his position to face the judiciary.
- Netanyahu rejected the accusations, which he saw as an attempt to oust him.
- With the expiration of the December 11 deadline for parliament to nominate a prime minister, the deputies called for new elections, which were set for March 2, 2020.
Third elections in a year
- This time, Likud won the most seats, and on March 15, Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges was postponed in light of the outbreak of “Covid-19”.
- The next day, Gantz – who had the support of 61 lawmakers – was nominated to form a government but failed again.
- Gantz was elected Speaker of Parliament on March 26, and the following month a new deadline passed to form a government.
- Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to form an emergency national unity government on April 20 while Israel was on lockdown due to “Covid-19”.
- The three-year deal allows Netanyahu to stay in power for 18 months.
- Gantz then takes over as prime minister for 18 months before new elections are held.
- Five days later, thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv against the agreement, which they said threatens democracy.
- On May 6, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the coalition agreement, which lawmakers later backed.
- The new Netanyahu government was installed on May 17, but it was soon overshadowed by internal disputes and controversy.
- Lawmakers tentatively approved the dissolution of parliament in early December with the support of Gantz, who said Netanyahu “lied to you all.”
- The bill was rejected on Tuesday, which would have extended the deadline until midnight for the government to approve the budget or face new elections.
- Israel is thus preparing for its fourth elections in less than two years.
- Netanyahu will appear in court on corruption charges in January and February, at the height of the election campaign, which further complicates matters.