Israel’s ‘Seinfeld Elections’: Netanyahu Gambles for Political Gain

Israel’s ‘Seinfeld Elections’: Netanyahu Gambles for Political Gain
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference in Jerusalem, Dec. 2, 2014 (AP photo by Gali Tibbon).

Whether Israeli voters like it or not, Israel is being thrown into a period of even more acrimonious political sparring now that the Knesset, its parliament, has called for new elections.

The decision to dissolve the government, making it the second-shortest-lived in the country’s history, came from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu has been steadily moving in that direction, seeking a way to bolster his standing with the right by pretending his principal concern is with his coalition members to the left.

Netanyahu has successfully shifted media attention to the friction he has experienced in recent days with his centrist coalition members, Finance Minister Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Netanyahu claimed the two were making the country ungovernable by criticizing his policies. The truth, however, is that Netanyahu’s policies have also come under attack from the right, and it is this criticism that worries him most.

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