Bennett dissolves Parliament and Israel heads for its fifth election in three years

It was the chronicle of a death foretold.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
24 June 2022 Friday 12:07
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Bennett dissolves Parliament and Israel heads for its fifth election in three years

It was the chronicle of a death foretold. Everyone predicted that the collapse of Israel's “Government of Change” was inevitable, but it was not expected to be so sudden. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, together with his partner Yair Lapid, announced yesterday the dissolution of the Knesset, which will take place next week. The news shocked many members of the coalition, who did not expect the abrupt end of the government that ousted Benjamin Netanyahu from power, and which lasted just over a year.

"Attempts to stabilize the coalition have failed, and it is not possible to continue governing," Bennett and Lapid wrote in a joint statement, clarifying that the latter will be interim prime minister until new elections. It will be the fifth election since 2019. The heterogeneous coalition – eight factions from the right, center, left and Islamist Arabs – failed to overcome the insurmountable ideological distances, essentially in relation to the conflict with the Palestinians.

After the desertion of three deputies, the coalition was left in a parliamentary minority, so each vote was a nightmare. Several Hebrew media reported that the catalyst that motivated Bennett to throw in the towel was the imminent departure of Nir Orbach, another deputy from his party, Yamina, who apparently plans to change sides. Like the other defectors, Netanyahu's Likud offered him future job offers.

There is speculation that the next elections could be called on October 25, although it is not yet definitive. In this "political earthquake" there is a third way: that Netanyahu manages to form an alternative majority in this same legislature, without the need to dissolve the chamber and call elections.

Faced with the failure of the law to renew Israeli civil legislation on Jewish settlers residing in the West Bank, Bennett justified his drastic move as a gesture of "national responsibility." The call for new elections will mean the automatic renewal of this measure.

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