Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (center) strives for unity between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (left) and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. (Courtesy)

Despite Pandemic Israel will [Probably] Seat a New Government

To the relief of most Israelis, there apparently will be no fourth round of the national elections that began almost 15 months ago. But as they say in Israel, “It’s not over until it’s over.” Not surprisingly, if negotiations between incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu and contender Benny Gantz carry through to fruition, the prediction we offered a year ago will manifest: Netanyahu and Gantz side-by-side with the former army chief-of-staff sitting as defense minister. The lion’s share of the ministries considered to be top level – Foreign, Defense and perhaps Justice – will be under the purview of Gantz and his “Blue and White Light” party – those that remained with Gantz while their former colleagues moved into opposition. Netanyahu will extend his record as longest-serving prime minister by another eighteen months before handing the reins over to Gantz who, by that time, will have amassed at least some time in a governing role. Of course, no one has heard the fat lady sing yet so anything can still happen. The final potential fly in the ointment is the Justice Ministry. Both parties want it for the respective flip sides of the same reason: the Netanyahu camp still believes it can squeeze favorable moments for the boss as he goes to trial on corruption charges. Blue and White wants to see that nothing of the sort transpires.

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