Israel: Election seems closer than ever as government infighting reaches new high

An employee of the Central Elections Committee organizes boxes for counting ballots | Photo: EPA / Abir Sultan
Likud minister warns that unless Likud and Blue and White agree on new working relationship, Israel will be ‘on the expressway toward the voting booth.’

The fragile coalition between Likud and Blue and White that brought an end to a year-long political stalemate could unravel within days and force Israeli lawmakers to once again dissolve the parliament.

The latest crisis began on Wednesday noon after Blue and White sided with the opposition and voted in favor of a bill that bans gay conversion therapy. This caused an uproar among the Haredi parties in the coalition and resulted in the trading of barbs between Likud and its main coalition partner.

A Likud minister went so far as to say that an early election, the fourth in just over a year, could be triggered because of Blue and White’s defiance, “If we do not find a new arrangement to govern our relationship within the coalition, we will end up “on the expressway toward the voting booth.”

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The minister noted that “it is unacceptable to have half of the cabinet vote against the government.”

He further warned that despite the terms of the unity deal stipulating that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz would become interim prime minister should an election be called, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under no legal obligation to follow through on that.

The minister said that even the High Court of Justice cannot enforce the unity deal, as it is not written into law, and hence Netanyahu could remain prime minister.

(Israel Hayom).


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