The deadlocked status of Israel’s prime minister post creates a couple of very different scenarios for the parliamentary government, says a U.S.-born Israeli citizen.
As predicted in pre-election polls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a potent challenge in Tuesday’s elections from Benny Gantz, leader of a political alliance known as the Blue and White Party.
Netanyahu leads the Likud Party, which could be forced to attempt a unity government after both Likud and Blue and White split the majority of seats in the 120-seat parliament.
The Jerusalem Post reported Blue and White was narrowly ahead of Likud, 33-32 seats, after 95 percent of ballots had been counted. Both parties are statistically tied at 25 percent of the total seats with only one other political party finishing in double digits. Nine total parties are represented.
Author and activist David Rubin, former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh, says one coming scenario is a “secular coalition” among the competing parties.
“That will be relatively stable in terms of size,” he advises, “but would create great division within the country.”
A second possibility is that Netanyahu can assemble a “right-wing coalition” with even a smaller left-wing party willing to join him.
Rubin points out that Gantz has publicly stated he will not share power with Netanyahu, which means a unity government with rotating prime ministers is an unlikely scenario. Such a scenario is unstable and would not last long anyway, he adds.