February 1, 2023 12:27 pm


Political Instability Haunts Israel

The looming uncertainty over the political situation is driving the country’s future into doubt as well as enigma.

Israel heads for fifth election in last four years

With the fifth election in less than four years taking place, it is evident that Israel is going through an uncertain period. The looming uncertainty over the political situation is driving the country’s future into doubt as well as enigma.

Israel’s Political crisis began in 2019, when after the elections, no party was able to form the government. Both the major parties in the country won an equal number of seats. The Blue and white and Likud party won 35 seats each.

The then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party Likud failed to prove his majority in the Knesset. 61 is the majority mark in the 120 member parliament. The political parties couldn’t ally with each other due to their own policies and political interests.

The parliament was dissolved and a fresh mandate was called for. The second election took place in September 2019. In the September election mandate, there was again a hung assembly with no party reaching the majority mark.

The Blue and white under Benny Gantz became the single largest party with 33 seats while Netanyahu’s Likud could win only 32 seats. Smaller parties like Joint list, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu and United Torah Judaism could win only a couple of seats.

This election also couldn’t give a clear view of Israel’s future. When the President of Israel called Netanyahu to form an alliance and thereby form the government, he failed.

The President then approached Benny Gantz who was given 21 days to prove majority, failing to do so- he resigned. The president even approached the Members of Knesset to form a group and form the government. But all his efforts failed.

The Knesset again voted to dissolve itself and elections were called in March 2020. Benjamin Netanyahu became the head of the caretaker government.

The elections in March again resulted in a hung assembly. The Political upheaval in the country resumed again. Though Netanyahu’s party gained more seats than Blue and White, Netanyahu was not able to form the government. The two major parties of Israel finally came down under settlement to form the government.

On 20th April, 2020, The Likud as well as the Blue and white agreed to form the ‘Equal Unity government’ where both Netanyahu and Gantz would become the Prime Minister on a rotational basis. A coalition government was formed.

Both the parties divided the portfolios equally. However, the government collapsed in December 2020 on the budget vote-leaving the country in uncertainty.

The people of Israel went into the elections once again in March 2021. After again a fragmented mandate in the country, the President now called an all party meeting and directed Netanyahu to form the government. Failing which, Reuven Rivlin, The President of Israel, ordered Yair Lapid to form the government. In June, 2021, A coalition government was formed with most of the parties agreeing to join.

Bennet became the Prime Minister of this coalition. The country thought that now there’ll be certainty in the political sphere of the country but it was too early to suggest. On 6th April, 2022, the Members of the Knessets of the Yamina Party withdrew support from the government.

Following which, in June 2022, Bennet as well as Lapid declared the dissolution of the parliament and went in for fresh elections. The snap elections have been called on November 1 later this year.

Lapid would be the caretaker prime minister till the next elections. The middle east region has eyes on the political uncertainty prevailing in Israel as this would further direct the development in the middle east region as Israel has a very important role to play in the region.

Israel’s looming uncertainty has caused it many losses in recent years. This uncertainty has come as a boon to former Prime Minister Netanyahu to revive his political career. It is too early to predict the elections but the times in which the country is growing, reflect upon the hope for a political stability in the country.

With the recent Israel-Gaza conflict, the political uncertainty has furthermore increased. With the pattern in the elections of no party winning a complete majority, fear has risen that the country will see the same fate once again in the upcoming elections.

Raghav Bijalwan
Raghav Bijalwan
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