GP Insights # 341, 18 April 2020
On 16 April, the President, Reuven Rivlin have a three weeks ultimatum to the Israeli Parliament to choose a new Prime Minister. Failure in doing so would result in the dissolution of the 23rd Knesset and the fourth election in a year.
The ultimatum from the President came after Gantz, the Prime Minister-designate, failed to form a governing coalition within the 28-days mandate. This further resulted in a two-day extension, which ended without a decision thereby urging the President to instruct the Parliament to choose a new Prime Minister.
What is the background?
The Israeli elections held on 2 March ended with neither of the main party leaders with a majority. The parties on account of the President supported Gantz with the task to form a coalition government following which the Blue and White leader was given the mandate by Rivlin.
In lieu of the global pandemic, Gantz had said that he would work towards the healing of the Israeli society not just of the virus but also from all the hatred and division. Gantz failed in convincing the parties for a coalition government, which resulted in a two-day extension of the deadline. The above ended with Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu failing to come up with a deal.
Gantz' efforts were not appreciated by Netanyahu; the latter was against the idea of a unity deal. Although Gantz detests a government led by Netanyahu because of the corruption charges he faces, he believes that with the present crisis working in the coalition will help the situation.
What does it mean?
First, the continuation of political instability in Israel. Three elections in a year, still Israel is yet to form the government. The society seems to be polarised and divided, with neither of the two leading parties not able to gain their trust.
Second, both parties have agreed to form an emergency government owing to the situation and have proposed a six-month national emergency government in order to confront the pandemic. This decision has aroused criticism within the Blue and White Party, which is believed, to have caused his alliance to fall apart slowly.
Finally, there is much tension between both the parties with Netanyahu wanting to assume greater power.