Oh My! Benjamin Netanyahu Fails to Form a Coalition Gov’t; Unprecedented New National Election Ahead


Decameron:  As of Midnight local time, Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government. New elections will take place.

New York Times, May 29, 2019:  "JERUSALEM — Seven weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared “a night of tremendous victory” in Israel’s election, his failure to form a government by midnight Wednesday has turned into a stunning debacle for him and thrust Israel into a new election.

"Israelis will return to the ballot box in about three months, the first time in the country’s history that it has been forced to hold a new national election because of a failure to form a government after the previous one….

"Mr. Rivlin [Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel] said he could offer another member of Parliament the chance to form a government or he could tell the speaker of Parliament that efforts to form a coalition had failed and that there would be no alternative to calling new elections."

The Likud Party 's hard choice of having President Rivlin ask another Party — probably the Blue and White Ticket — to form a new government or going for a new election, had a significant role in achieving the Knesset (Parliamentary) vote going for a new election.  That buys Netanyahu some time. 

Remember, Mr. Netanyahu is facing corruption charges, far more specific than the issues roiling the United States after the Mueller investigation.   

Questions to consider and watch as the new election approaches:

*  Did the Likud Party make a deal with smaller right wing parties to throw their votes and therefore the election to Likud in April 2019?  The Likud had 35 seats, the Blue and White had 35 seats.  Bloc-vote trading  may be perfectly legal under Israeli political law, but it does make one wonder. 

*Will the Likud make other deals with smaller right wing parties to make sure that Likud and Netanyahu get more, or at least equal seats, to Blue and White in the upcoming election?

*Watch Avigdor Lieberman, head of  Yisrael Beiteinu, identified by the New York Times and others as an "ultranationalist" party.   He was the "kingmaker" who refused to joined the coalition on Wednesday in advance of the legal deadline. 

Rather than face the situation where President Rivlin chose another bloc — the Blue and White ticket — to form a government, the Likud introduced "its own bill to disperse the Parliament before the president could act," says the Times.

Keep your eyes on the ball — when the new elections come along, watch the smaller right wing parties and what they do, especially the actions of Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home. 

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7 Responses to Oh My! Benjamin Netanyahu Fails to Form a Coalition Gov’t; Unprecedented New National Election Ahead

  1. jdledell says:

    This move by Neyanyahu is going to really hurt Likud in the next election. People vote Likud because of their perception that Netanyahu is a strong leader. Now that Netanyahu is stll facing criminal charges and has shown his weakness for all to see, I suspect Likud to reduce their representation from 25 seats to 20 or 21 in the next election. The problem Netanyahu had in forming a new coalition is his right wing minority parties are split between religious and secular priorities. For example, Yisrael Beitenui leader Lieberman refused to back down on his demand that the religious no longer be granted a exemption from IDF service. The religious right wing refused to participate in a coalition that was so obviously anti-religious.
    The moderate Blue and White party leady by Benny Gantz which got the same 25 seats as Likud in the previous election might be in a position to form a new government in this next election as Israel tires of the Netanyahu personality style of governing. The moderate/Left parties may gain in the next election if Arab turnout returns to its normal patterns after a weak showing in the last election and the Labor party regains some of its historical support.

  2. Julian says:

    Likud finds its roots in the right wing Herut party founded in 1948. In that election, it won fewer seats than the Communist Party. Now its contemporary equivalent runs Israel without the left at all, and the Communist Party is gone. Overall, left leaning parties were 7.5 times larger in Israel’s early years than all of the right put together.
    With Likud now facing challengers from its right, the real fissure in Israeli politics will increasingly run along a fissure between religious and nationalist factions (Israel’s secular middle class resents their reluctance to pull their weight, especially militarily).
    Turns out the arc of history bends in the direction of those with the greatest conviction. We saw a flash of that on the American right when Trump delivered his inaugural address. The mere flash in the pan of that sentiment frightened all the right people. Imagine if that could be sustained ala the rise of the Israeli right.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Evidently trump says jews always flip when referring to m cohen.well with a flip comes a flop,like in flip flops.game over.

  4. Fred says:

    You mean Michael Wolff said that in his book but left out the fact checking.

  5. BraveNewWorld says:

    The question for me is what does does Adelson make Trump give Israel to prop up Netanyahu?

  6. Artemesia says:


  7. Larry Kart says:

    FWIW, this from Israely law professor Amichai Cohen:
    The nut graf (as we used to say in the newspaper business):
    “In the background of the conscription debate is a much more important issue. What really bothers Netanyahu, and the entire Israeli political system, is the ticking legal-criminal clock. Israel’s attorney general has decided to indict Netanyahu on charges of receiving bribes and breach of trust, subject to a preliminary hearing with Netanyahu’s lawyers that is set for early October. According to extensive media reporting, the coalition negotiations focused on changes in the Israeli Immunity Law, and the insertion of an override clause in the Israeli Basic Laws, both of which are aimed at halting the legal proceedings against Netanyahu…. Some observers suggest that this is the real reason for Netanyahu’s failure. Netanyahu’s insistence on a coalition that would support his immunity meant that his political options were extremely limited. Effectively, there was only one possible coalition that would do so. That left Netanyahu vulnerable to demands by all potential coalition parties that he couldn’t afford to refuse. The prospective coalition parties were quick to realize this and increased their requests. Perhaps even Lieberman realized the dynamic and decided this would be a good place to draw a red line. Perhaps he realized that ultra-Orthodox parties were pushing their demands in other areas of religion-state relations and felt a need to protect his secular base.”

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