- Netanyahu will have a hard time if he triggers another election.
- He wants out of the current political arrangement with Benny Gantz.
- Two religious parties have indicated they may not back him.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing immense criticism from the Israeli citizenry for his poor handling of the coronavirus crisis, and the current economic turmoil that is devastating the country. Currently locked in an unfavorable political arrangement, he’s apparently looking for a way out.
This is according to a recent revelation by a source close to him, as reported by Channel 12. According to the official, the flexibility of the Blue and White party, and Alternate Prime Minster Benny Gantz in accepting the one-year budget proposal would determine whether the country goes to the polls again, or not.
Netanyahu and his party are pushing for a one-year budget. They cite flexibility in budgetary allocations as the main rationale behind their motion. Gantz and his party members are, however, skeptical about this, and seek a two-year budget. They believe that the one-year budgetary proposal is an additional loophole allowing Netanyahu to trigger an election in a year’s time.
Israeli law allows for the prime minister to dissolve the Knesset in the event that members fail to agree to a budgetary timeline. According to the Channel 12 report, Netanyahu will be looking to enter into a different partnership once the Knesset is disbanded to secure a victory.
The arrangement is likely to be under more favorable terms. Among the main candidates for such an accord, according to the report, is MK Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz).
This Plan May Not Succeed
MK Uri Maklev of the United Torah Judaism religious-political alliance has criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent political maneuvers, and cited conflict of interest in pushing state statutes. The Member of the Knesset has asserted that the UTJ union will not back him in case he triggers fresh elections.
The pronouncement by the ultra-Orthodox party, which has so far been loyal to the prime minister, is surprising.
Speaking to the Yated Ne’eman publication, Maklev said that the prime minister is trying to stay in power by taking the national budget hostage. Ne’eman has warned that the strategy will backfire on him, stating, “if Netanyahu tries to dissolve the Knesset, we will oppose it. There is no reason to take the country into another round of ridiculous and unnecessary elections.”
Interior Minister Arye Deri who is also the chairman of the Haredi religious Shas party, has echoed these sentiments and rebuked the move by Netanyahu to precipitate another election. According to the minster, it would be unthinkable and selfish to do so when the country is going through serious economic and social turmoil.
According to Deri, “The country cannot allow political paralysis in the midst of a severe public health and societal crisis. It’s unthinkable.”
It will be interesting to see how Netanyahu, “The Magician,” gets out of this quagmire.