Mideast Daily News

Election Talk Builds in Israel; Talk of Dissolving Government Strengthens

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

March 19, 2017


Israel appears to be moving toward the possibility of a so-called “snap election” if issues are not resolved to the liking of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Hand-in-hand with talk of government change comes new polling predicting what the next government might look like, the latest of which being reported in Sunday’s media. In that poll, commissioned by Israel’s commercial Channel 10 television, Netanyahu’s Likud Party would again emerge with the greatest number of parliamentary seats (26) out of 120, only one more than the party of former media personality Yair Lapid (25). But as important as the gross number of seats a party wins is, a party must also be able to form a coalition that will bring its parliamentary footprint to 61 in order to capture the prime ministry. The sole surprise [to some] in the new poll is the prediction that the latest entry into the field, a so-far unnamed party headed by Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff who then served as minister of defense, would be a non-starter with less than the threshold amount supporting it. The results demonstrate a loss in strength for the Lapid party since Channel 10 commissioned a similar poll at the end of 2016. There is so far no indication the opposition parties have made any headway at all to be contenders in the next election, so many are questioning the motives of the Netanyahu threat of new elections, especially since many deemed the previous election to have been unnecessary. This time around, the issue at hand over which threats to bring down the government are being made is the dissolution of Israel Broadcasting Authority and the creation of a new broadcast overseer corporation. Having “changed his mind,” Netanyahu is now demanding that the new entity be killed before its birth and the old one renovated.

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