Election campaign billboard showing portrait of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  in Ramat Gan is defaced
Election campaign billboard showing portrait of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramat Gan is defaced
Photo: AP
Election campaign billboard showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramat Gan is defaced

Israel's never-ending political crisis

Explainer: After four election rounds in two years, Israel is no closer to getting out of its political turmoil as the so-called 'bloc for change' works to oust Israel's longest-serving premier, who is dogged by corruption allegations

AFP |
Published: 05.06.21 , 18:43
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has been asked to form a new government after the country's longest serving premier Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition that would allow him to hang onto power.
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  • The move comes after the fourth inconclusive election in two years. Here is a look back at Israel's recent political turmoil.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    Election campaign billboard showing portrait of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  in Ramat Gan is defaced
    Election campaign billboard showing portrait of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  in Ramat Gan is defaced
    Election campaign billboard showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramat Gan is defaced
    (Photo: AP)
    Deadlock
    In polls on April 9, 2019, the incumbent Netanyahu hopes to prevail again, despite being dogged by corruption allegations.
    Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and the centrist Blue and White alliance of ex-military chief Benny Gantz finish neck-and-neck with 35 seats each. Parliament chooses Netanyahu, backed by smaller right-wing parties, to try to form a majority government.
    But after weeks of political bargaining, he is unable to command a majority in the 120-seat parliament. The deadline expires and parliament agrees to hold a new election.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: EPA)
    New impasse
    The September 17 vote proves another tight race, with Gantz's party at 33 seats against the Likud's 32.
    Netanyahu is charged with forming a government and proposes a unity government, but Gantz refuses to join, citing his rival's potential indictment on corruption charges.
    Neither can muster the 61 seats needed for a majority.
    After Netanyahu tells President Reuven Rivlin he has failed to form a government on October 20, Rivlin hands the task to Gantz, who also throws in the towel a month later.
    Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust on November 21. It is the first time a sitting premier faces trial in Israel. Netanyahu rejects the charges, saying they are an attempt to remove him.
    On December 11, as the deadline passes to form a government, lawmakers call a new election for March 2, 2020.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו בפתח משפטו
    בנימין נתניהו בפתח משפטו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement shortly before the opening hearing of his corruption trial
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Third election in a year
    This time around the Likud wins the most seats - 36 against 33 for Gantz's party.
    On March 16, Gantz, with initial pledges of support from 61 lawmakers, is nominated to try to form a government, but ultimately fails. On April 20, with Israel in COVID lockdown and facing economic crisis, Netanyahu and Gantz announce a deal to form an emergency unity government.
    The three-year agreement will allow Netanyahu to stay in office for 18 months.
    Gantz will then take over for 18 months, before Israel heads to an election. On May 6, the Supreme Court approves the coalition deal and lawmakers endorse the pact the next day.
    But after lawmakers fail to adopt a budget, parliament is dissolved on December 23, and a new election called for March 2021.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו ובני גנץ אישור כנסת קריאה טרומית ראשונה את פיזור הכנסת ממשלה ירושלים מליאה
    בנימין נתניהו ובני גנץ אישור כנסת קריאה טרומית ראשונה את פיזור הכנסת ממשלה ירושלים מליאה
    The Knesset dissolved
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    Fourth time unlucky
    Israelis go to the polls for a fourth election on March 23.
    The Likud comes first, winning 30 seats, but Netanyahu still has no clear path to power. The president asks him to form the next government on April 6, giving him a May 4 deadline.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    נשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין
    נשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין
    President Reuven Rivlin
    (Photo: GPO)
    More horse trading
    On April 18, Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid party proposes a unity government of the right, center and left to oust Netanyahu.
    Netanyahu calls on former senior Likud member Gideon Saar to join a government. Two days later he calls for Israel's next leader to be chosen by referendum.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    יאיר לפיד
    יאיר לפיד
    Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid
    (Photo: EPA)
    Lapid given nod
    After Netanyahu fails to get enough support, Rivlin asks Lapid on Wednesday to form a government.
    The former television anchor vows to end Netanyahu's divise tenure and the "two years of political paralysis" with a unity administration to prove that Israelis "don't hate each other".

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