Israel is going to elections! PM Netanyahu hopes that the democratic process will bring governmental stability to Israel.
Just two years after the last round of elections, Israelis will again go to the ballot box to cast their votes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent letters of dismissal on Tuesday evening to two of his top ministers, Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), essentially dissolving his government and setting Israel on the path to new elections.
After months of political strife, with these two ministers constantly criticizing the Prime Minister and his policies, Netanyahu finally decided to dissolve the current Knesset and go to elections.
Explaining his actions at a press conference just hours after firing the two ministers, Netanyahu stated that the two worked behind his back to undermine him while serving as ministers in his cabinet:
“They [Lapid and Livni] tried to overthrow me. The government was under constant threats and ultimatums. The country cannot be run in the current situation. Elections are not a good thing, but a government that is attacked from inside is seven times as bad … In one word, you call that a putsch. You can’t run a government this way.”
Livni and Lapid responded to the accusations by claiming that Netanyahu was paranoid, and that they had made no such deal to overthrow him.
Four ministers, members of Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, will resign following the dismissal of their party head.
Elections in March 2015
The elections will take place on March 17, 2015. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein convened the heads of the Knesset factions in his office Wednesday morning and they all agreed on the exact date.
Netanyahu hopes to garner further political power in the upcoming elections, enabling him to establish a solid government that can ride out its four-year term. Netanyahu’s coalition was formed after elections in January 2014, and has now crumbled well ahead of the term’s end in November 2017, after less than two years.
Recent polls show that the right wing, nationalist and religious block will strengthen and gain more seats in the Knesset after the coming elections, and the left wing will lose some of its power.
A Hamas Victory?
The first American response to the new elections was given by Secretary of State John Kerry who expressed hope that the elections would lead to a government that would advance peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Hamas for its part viewed this political development as a personal victory. “The collapse of the Israeli coalition is another example of our victory and of Netanyahu’s defeat in Gaza,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
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Author: United with Israel Staff