Another stalled election on Tuesday could mean Israel will return to the polls in a few months.
The latest polls in Israel predict that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could fit into a single seat by an absolute majority, with the country within days of his fifth election in less than four years.
Two polls, published last Thursday by Israeli public broadcaster Kan and another published Friday by Maariv newspaper, both showed that Netanyahu’s four-party bloc conquered 60 of the 120 seats in parliament in Tuesday’s vote, just one less seat. of the majority.
The results would mark an extraordinary comeback for Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, an accusation he denies, but he is unlikely to resolve the political deadlock that has led the country to switch from one unstable coalition government to another.
The deadlock in the elections could mean that Israel will return to the polls in months, while Prime Minister Yair Lapid would remain in office as a janitor.
In Tuesday’s general election, Netanyahu joined Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the far-right Zionist Party, who is expected to win 12-14 seats in Israel’s parliamentary Knesset.
In the past, Smotrich called for the apartheid segregation of Jewish and Arab women in maternity hospitals across the country. In addition to domestic tensions, analysts point out that the alliance between Netanyahu’s Likud party and religious Zionism could put pressure on the country’s foreign policy.
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed personally warned Netanyahu that cooperation with right-wing parties could harm the development of bilateral relations. Another controversial Netanyahu ally is Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit, who is seeking a record sixth term.
Ben-Gvir has previously called for the expulsion of disloyal politicians from Israel, along with Palestinians who have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails at police.
Earlier this month, Yakov Katz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, called Ben-Gvir “a modern Israeli version of an American white supremacist and European fascist.” “He threatens the future of Israel’s fragile democracy,” Katz said.
Israel has faced several elections since 2019 and Netanyahu, now 73, has been indicted on three counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, which he described as a “fraudulent political witch hunt” to get him out. According to Israel’s Central Election Commission, next week’s election will include 209,000 voters who did not vote in the last election in March 2021.
Most early voters are Jewish and are expected to favor far-right and far-right parties over the left.
According to Israel’s Central Election Commission, between the fourth ballot in March 2021, 209,000 first-time voters (who would fill approximately 5 of the 120 seats in Israel’s proportional representation parliament) joined Israel’s voting pool. About 165,000 of them are Jewish voters. Among them are newly enlisted soldiers and colleagues from the Eastern Orthodox Church who are far from military service. They share little in daily life in Israel. They share a lot as a political group. Both belong to the right wing or radical right. That is, it is part of what is now called the Bibi Block.