Clock Running Down on Netanyahu Shot at Forming Israeli Government
Less than a week remains of incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 28-days in which he can either form a government of more than 60 parliamentary seats or hand back his mandate to the president. Most pundits are reporting there is little visible activity that would indicate Netanyahu is anywhere near close to succeeding. In fact, what is being reported is the amazing lack of any meaningful negotiations being carried out by anyone at all with Netanyahu’s Likud Party. President Reuven Rivlin is expected to give the mandate to the new bloc headed by political novice Benny Gantz, a former army chief of staff with no electoral experience. Also apparently unable to weave together the 61 seats needed for a government, Gantz’s so-called Blue-and-White party is reportedly seeking to raid the lower-level ranks of Netanyahu’s own party to pick up the necessary votes. Both groups are believed to be relying on last minute decisions to come to their ranks. Netanyahu is the nation’s longest-serving prime minister at a total of 13 years.