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Netanyahu fires Lapid and Livni, calls for early elections

Flash polls show Likud and Naftali Bennett’s ‘Jewish Home’ parties as the biggest winners in new elections.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections after firing Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni Tuesday evening.

The decision to dismantle the current governing coalition comes amid clashes in the cabinet over a number of controversial laws, ranging from the ‘Jewish Nation-State Law‘ to a proposal to make purchasing a first home easier for army veterans to a law targeting the newspaper owned by Netanyahu’s wealthiest and influential benefactor, Sheldon Adelson.

Flash polls conducted by Israel’s two major television news channels Tuesday evening both predicted Netanyahu’s Likud gaining seats in new elections, giving it 22 seats. Naftali Bennett’s settler party Jewish Home would dramatically go up to 17 seats, according to the two polls. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party would receive between 10 and 12 seats. Those right-wing parties alone would compromise around 50 seats, just 10 shy of the number of mandates needed to form a government.

Labor, whose leader wasted no time going on television to present himself as an alternative to Netanyahu, received a mere 13 seats in both polls.

As Noam Sheizaf wrote in his analysis of the current situation, the next government is likely to be even more right wing than the current one.

In a prime-time press conference Tuesday night Netanyahu faced harsh questioning from Israeli reporters who told the prime minister that the Israeli public does not understand why new elections are necessary less than halfway through the current Knesset’s elected term. They accused him of hypocrisy in firing Livni and Lapid for criticizing him while brushing off much harsher criticism from far-right party heads Liberman and Bennett.

For his part, Netanyahu lamented that because the Likud didn’t receive enough votes in the last election he was forced into forming the current government with less-than-ideal coalition partners, whom he accused of making the government ungovernable.

Meretz leader Zehava Galon put out a statement summarizing Netanyahu’s press conference as saying: “I failed. Elect me again.”

Elections are expected to take place in March 2015, although no date will be known until the Knesset passes a law dissolving itself. The dissolution law will likely be voted on this week.

Related:
Israel’s elections: A referendum on Netanyahu
Top 10 reasons Israel should be going to early elections

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    COMMENTS

    1. Whiplash

      Power and politics go hand in hand. Lapid and Livni have over stepped their powers and Netanyahu has sacked them. It is unlikely that the left and center parties can get their acts together to prevent another right wing government.

      The bottom line is if Israelis elect right wing parties to govern, then one should reasonably expect a right wing government to follow a right wing agenda in accordance with their constituents’ expectations.

      So people should not get too excited over the election of another right wing government. At some time in the future there will be another left-centrist government and that will be nothing to get too excited about either.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Weiss

      Must be nice to be able to call elections whenever you please . especially when it suits your own personal agenda.

      This is not Democracy.

      This is a cabal built upon back door deals … A Parlimentary system that has NO DIRECT ELECTIONS of individual candidates.

      Israeli voters select PARTIES NOT CANDIDATES THEMSELVES.

      The Candidates for each PARTY are CHOSEN through “party lists” conducted through more back door deals.

      And yet ANOTHER reason why I am Ashamed to be Jewish.

      Reply to Comment
      • Sluggo

        Weiss, you are a clown. My guess is you are a teenager

        Reply to Comment
    3. Average American

      Weiss thank you for education. Israel will never be, never intended to be, a democracy. Israel uses words in creative ways. Underneath it all is the Zionist land takeover of Eretz Israel. Palestinians are just the first people to be affected. West Bank is just the start.

      Reply to Comment
      • Sluggo

        So,what is taking them so long? The Palisitinians are played out. Why don’t they move onto the next people and places?

        And why did they get rid of the Sinai? And Southern Lebanon? Seems like your theory is working in reverse.

        Reply to Comment

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