Israel appears to be deadlocked in repeated elections and accusations of corruption, and an upcoming primary election could force a new direction.
Israelis are scheduled to vote March 2 in a General Election but first comes a December 26 primary with the nation’s indicted prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on the Likud ballot.
Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister to date, will face a primary challenge from long-shot candidate Gideon Sarr amid allegations the current prime minister accepted luxury gifts and traded favors with Israeli media for positive news coverage.
Saar, who served as a minister under Netanyahu, has said the prime minister is too weakened to lead the party and to win in March.
David Rubin, a former mayor of the Israeli city of Shiloh, says Netanyahu has been unable to form a political coalition and hence a governing coalition, so there is now a chance he could lose the primary.
“That would change the situation,” Rubin says, “because [Netanyahu’s] main opponent in Likud, at least according to the polls, would be able to pull some votes from the left-of-center-party over to Likud whereas Netanyahu really has no chance of doing that."
Netanyahu says the charges are politically motivated and amount to an attempted coup against him.