With less than a week till deadline, NO GOVERNMENT agreement in sight
Messiahs Mandate, Ron Cantor, October 17, 2019
With Israel in full holiday swing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not close to forming a government by the Oct. 24 deadline.
The Israeli government has been essentially stalled since the summer when, unable to form a coalition, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and call for new elections. The previous elections were held on April 9.
“It’s a dangerous situation,” said Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni, whose party, United Torah Judaism (UTJ), is supportive of Netanyahu. “Instead of sitting and preparing plans, building budgets to deal with the Iranians, the whole [government] is sitting for over a year in recess and not doing anything.”
Netanyahu has the loyalty of a 55-seat right-wing bloc. While that isn’t enough to push him over the 60-vote mark, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz also doesn’t have enough support should President Reuben Rivlin task him with the next attempt to form a government.
At this point, both sides are waiting for Avigdor Liberman, head of Yisrael Beitenu, to decide where he will throw his party’s support.
Will Bibi Go to Jail?
Another mitigating factor is whether the attorney general will indict Netanyahu on corruption. If so, Likud would possibly oust the long-term party leader and then join forces with Blue and White.
In the meantime, Netanyahu canceled an overseas trip next week, two days before his deadline, presumably to continue negotiations for a government. Most Israelis want a unity government though it appears unlikely yet again.