Israel Heads to Elections as Parliament Fails to Extend Own Deadline
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, offered up yet another crazed spectacle late Monday night, with a crucial vote swinging unexpectedly and in dramatic fashion at the very last minute, sending the nation almost certainly to its fourth election in two years. The bill that was meant to extend the budget deadline once more and allow Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz one last opportunity to settle their differences and avoid elections was put up to a vote close to 1 am, after Netanyahu made certain it had the requisite number of yeas to pass. After the first roll call, it appeared the veteran prime minister had done it again, and was on his way to securing more concessions from Gantz and remaining in office for the foreseeable future. But during the final roll call, three lawmakers from Gantz’s Blue and White party who had been hiding in the parliament’s library and parking lot to avoid being noticed, stormed into the chamber to everyone’s surprise, and shouted “No!” tipping the nail-biter in their favor and nixing the bill. The failure to secure an extension means that when the clock strikes midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, Israel’s parliament will automatically dissolve and the nation’s two-year political crisis will go on to write its next chapter.