Israel has landed itself in a position where it is holding an election for the third time in less than a year. Following inconclusive votes, no majority government was formed and April and September voting cycle went waste. The new one slated for March should be able to see the formation of a government.
The delay has actually gone in Benjamin Netanyahu’s favour who has been the longest-serving leader in Israel and literally, a permanent fixture. He has bought himself time before the charges of bribery and corruption can be proven against him. He was charged for accepting huge amounts of money, cigars and expensive gifts in return for favours to wealthy supporters.
Under his Likud Party, Netanyahu remains the more favourable candidate in comparison to his rival Gideon Saar, a former interior minister.
Israel suffers from a multi-party syndrome where a coalition government is the only way out. As a result, Israel has to show patience with a cycle of frequent elections with no formal and strong government and new leadership insight. In April and September both, Netanyahu failed to gain enough support in the 120-seat parliament, called the Knesset. Also, his rival Benny Gantz, a former military chief and head of the centrist Blue and White party failed last month. His defeat was reportedly due to possible political sabotage orchestrated by Netanyahu himself to dampen the coalition support that Gantz had gathered.
A third voting cycle has become inevitability after the heads of both of the largest parties and the parliament exhausted all the possible avenues to try to form a government. Early polls have indicated a continued deadlock as neither side is likely to build enough support to form a government.
A delayed formation of a new government means a lot of challenges for Israel as a nation. For one, their position of the offensive has become weak at the hands of Iran building power over the Middle East and systematically moving towards Iraq border towards Israel. For the other, the US peace position may not stay as the elections come through only in March of next year. Also, the Hamas threat looms at large and without a stable government in place, Israel is in no position to negotiate a solution.
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