Breaking many records of political instability Israel is headed for an unprecedented third in a row election on February 25, 2020
Incumbent PM Netanyahu and the head of the largest faction in the current and soon to be shortest-lived in history Knesset, Benny Gantz met today in Tel-Aviv to see if an agreement for a broad-based coalition sometimes called a national unity government could be achieved. The meeting, however, was a sham because Blue and White had no intention of entering a government in which Netanyahu would be PM for even one day and Netanyahu had no intention of vacating the prime minister’s office.
The two men must have exchanged only a few pleasantries, as their meeting lasted well short of one hour. Following the meeting and the announcement that no national unity government would be forthcoming, the leader of the swing faction Israel Beitenu, Avigdor Lieberman wasted no time in announcing that he would not be joining the Likud in a religious-right majority government and that he would be supporting amending the law to dissolve the Knesset and hold the new election at the first possible date to which the Elections Commission had given its approval: February 25, 2020.
This date is just shy of the 90-day minimum that Israeli law requires between the dissolution of the Knesset and a new election, but this law can and likely will be amended by a Knesset majority vote to allow for this unprecedented third in a row election to be held at the earliest possible date.
This makes the current Knesset elected just a few weeks ago in October of this year the shortest lived in Israeli history. The current government under PM Netanyahu will continue serving as the caretaker government until such date as a new government is formed and obtains the confidence vote of at least 61 members of the new Knesset to be elected on February 25. Since this caretaker government has been in place since the very start of 2019 and since the earliest it is likely to be replaced would be March of 2020, it will be the longest serving caretaker government in Israeli history.
These historic firsts leave little doubt that Israel is facing a major identity crisis, a crisis upon the resolution of which the direction and fate of the century and a half old Zionist movement will surely depend.