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A woman walks by a campaign billboard for the opposition Blue and White party in Israel A woman walks by an election campaign billboard for the opposition Blue and White party in Ramat Gan, Israel, Feb. 20, 2020 (AP photo by Oded Balilty).

Could the Coronavirus Finally Break Israel’s Political Deadlock?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Israelis went to the polls earlier this month for the third time in less than a year to elect a new Knesset and hopefully a new government. The unprecedented sequence of elections is a result of a combination of factors that have left Israeli politics deadlocked since last spring.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his conservative Likud party have led Israel’s government for 11 consecutive years, but three high-profile corruption cases against Netanyahu created an impetus for a new opposition party, the center-right Blue and White, to emerge in early 2019. Its platform is constructed not around stark policy differences with Likud, but around replacing Netanyahu. Under the leadership of former military chief Benny Gantz, it established itself as the main opposition force. ...

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