An Election Rerun Shows Why Nothing Is Normal in Israeli Politics Anymore

An Election Rerun Shows Why Nothing Is Normal in Israeli Politics Anymore
Former Defense Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman during a press conference after a second, snap election was called, Tel Aviv, Israel, May 30, 2019 (AP photo by Oded Balilty).

Only one thing is clear in Israel’s suddenly chaotic politics. On July 16, Benjamin Netanyahu will become the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history. But two months later, he may be on his way out of office.

Unprecedented political developments are roiling Israel after Netanyahu was surprisingly unable to form a governing coalition despite another election win in April. A rerun of the vote is set for Sept. 17, and Netanyahu’s fate could look very different by then. It is as intriguing of a domestic political reality as Israel has ever seen, with multiple moving parts and scenarios to contemplate.

The latest among many unprecedented twists came on May 29. Netanyahu had seemed invincible after April’s election, with a smooth path ahead to form a government, all-but securing support from 65 members of the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament. But with the deadline for announcing a governing coalition just hours away, Netanyahu had only managed to secure the support of parties representing 60 lawmakers. Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the hard-right, ultranationalist party Israel Our Home, or Yisrael Beiteinu, refused to join the government unless Netanyahu rescinded an agreement with ultra-Orthodox parties that would allow their members to indefinitely defer military service. If Netanyahu agreed to Lieberman’s demand, he would lose the ultra-Orthodox vote and fall even shorter of a parliamentary majority.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to WPR’s fully searchable library of 16,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news and analysis from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • The Weekly Wrap-Up email, with highlights of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review