Fifth Elections Loom as Indecision Seems Imminent in Israel
Israel is only 13 days away from Election Day, its 4th in two years, yet the electoral picture is only getting fuzzier as the decisive date approaches. In polls released on Tuesday, both blocs – the one supporting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the one vowing to replace him – don’t reach the 61-seat threshold needed to form a government. Right-wing parties headed by former Netanyahu allies, willing to join center-left candidates in the quest to remove the long-serving premier, have lost ground in recent days, narrowing the room for maneuvering post-election. Still, Netanyahu, even with the support of the wavering right-wing Yamina Party, which hasn’t declared its loyalty to either side, is short several seats from ensuring a viable coalition. On Wednesday, former Netanyahu confidant-turned-nemesis Gideon Saar, facing a week-long drop in the polls, said he would consider supporting the left-wing’s proposed bill barring individuals facing criminal charges from serving as prime minister. Netanyahu currently is standing trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.