Despite the mounting pressure from the public, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu up to this day has reigned unopposed. With an election on the horizon, that does raise the question of whether he is going to win again or not and the bigger question of whether the problem is within the person or the establishment itself.
You must have had this question in your mind for such a long time, juggling your brain and trying to figure out how such a controversial figure in a state which claims to be the only true Democracy in the Middle-East keeps winning and winning despite all these calls for his resignation. Well, you don’t have to look far for we have broken it down for you in a most concise manner possible.
It all begins with the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament which true to its namesake is made up of 120 seats that will go to each respective party for a little bit more than three percent of votes. Thanks to this system no party whatsoever can achieve an outright majority and it is always necessary for the winning side to form a coalition in order to assume full control over the country. As you can expect forming a coalition with different parties works one’s fingers to the bones and even after that it requires the president’s consent which might not even be given to the leader of the majority. Unfortunately, things usually don’t go that far, for alliances seems to fall apart during the coalition building phase.
This has exactly been the reason that Israel has had four elections in just two years. Ever since two years ago, neither Likud nor the other parties were able to form a stable majority. Netanyahu has effectively been a caretaker with no real authority over how to implement his party’s vision and policies. That being said, Netanyahu’s reasoning for wanting to cling to power is altogether a different ball game. Being the Prime Minister is not without its perks and for Netanyahu this kind of protection granted by the vestiges of office might effectively determine his political survival. Just as you know, Netanyahu and his family are deeply mired in allegations alluding to a money-laundering scheme and large corruption, thereby making the victory in the election a priority for them.
Back in December, Netanyahu’s disagreement with his partner in power Benny Gantz reached the boiling point, prompting them to bail out on one another concerning the national budget, dissolving the Knesset and forcing yet another election. Enter the Covid-19 pandemic in the picture and suddenly the whole equation changes. Working together for the benefit of the “people”, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to a power-sharing agreement filled with loopholes and rife with hostilities. It was no wonder that everything effectively broke down, leading to the political mess we’re seeing nowadays.
In spite of this rather unfortunate turn of events, these last few chaotic months weren’t without their own merits for someone like Netanyahu. For starters, Gantz is very much out of the picture thanks to his mistakes. His decision to form a unity government with Netanyahu was perceived as nothing less than a full-fledged betrayal by his allies in Blue and White, smothering the fragile alliance in the crib. Now, Gantz remains alone without anyone at his side and very unlikely to even earn a seat for his singled-out party in the Knesset. Furthermore, Netanyahu’s smart maneuvering concerning his performance with regards to the pandemic has restored some of the pragmatists’ faith in him, possibly giving him an edge in the election.
As of this moment, Likud is still maintaining a steady lead over other parties. That being said, Netanyahu’s path to victory and possibly political survival is fraught with perils that have yet to be revealed. Until then, stay with us for a complete analysis of the results in the coming days.