Why Israel is Holding New Elections

Why Israel is Holding New Elections

Yitzhak Herzog in Tel Avv

Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog in Tel Aviv / Samuel Scott

TEL AVIV — Israel’s thirty-third government was doomed to collapse from the beginning.

The governing coalition consisted of ministers from parties that were completely the opposite of each other on ideological grounds. The Economy Minister — Naftali Bennett of the right-wing, religious-Zionist Jewish Home party — was opposed to any future Palestinian state and wanted to annex part of the West Bank. The Justice Minister — Tzipi Livni of the centrist Hatnuah party — led the peace talks with the Palestinians and was firmly committed to the two-state solution. The primary political alliance that led to this coalition following the last elections in January 2013 was between Bennett, the religious Zionist, and newcomer Yair Lapid, the staunch secularist and political newcomer of the centrist Yesh Atid party who became Finance Minister.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — of the center-right Likud party — could perhaps be forgiven for being unable to herd all of these cats together and run a functioning government for more than two years.

Read the rest of my essay at the Times of Israel!

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