After four elections in less than two years, Israel has not escaped the situation of political blockade. The last day of the 28 days that the president, Reuven Rivlin, gave Benjamin Netanyahu to form the Government this Tuesday was marked by uncertainty until the last moment.
The prime minister, who is the subject of a judicial process for corruption, made several last-minute movements to try to secure the support of Naftali Bennet, leader of the far-right party Yamina, and even offered him the possibility of a rotating head of government giving him the option of being the one who starts the legislature, but it did not work. In addition, with Yamina’s seven seats it was not enough to add the 61 seats necessary and would require the support of the Islamists of Raam, a red line for Religious Zionism, a formation of settlers that is located to the right of the extreme right and that also supports Netanyahu.
The Likud, the prime minister’s party, hastened the day until the last second and promoted several bills, including one to approve the holding of direct elections to the position of prime minister. The conservative party moved before the president, Reuven Rivlin, meets with the leaders of the formations present in Parliament and appoints a new person in charge to form the Government.
The shadow of the elections
The Israeli media pointed to Yair Lapid, a former journalist involved in politics who is in charge of the Yesh Atid center formation, as the candidate with the most options to try to collect the 61 seats needed in the next 28 days. If he fails in his mission, Parliament will be dissolved and Israel will have to return to the polls for the fifth time. In case of being the chosen person, Lapid has also offered Bennet a rotating head of government, giving him the first shift.
Above the traditional division between right and left, the Israeli Chamber, like the street, is divided between pro and anti Netanyahu parties and the two blocs need the support of the Islamists of Raam to have options to govern. Mansour Abbas’s party, with four deputies, has become the hinge that the two blocks need to be able to reach the limit of 61 seats that allow the Executive to be built.
The prime minister, harassed by Justice, is really gambling his future and in these extreme situations is when he usually shows that he is a true survivor. That is why until the last moment all the attention was focused yesterday on whether or not he took a rabbit out of his hat.
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