Israeli Elections Avoided, For Now
Israelis breathed a sigh of relief late Monday night, as the embattled “unity government” managed to postpone its own midnight budget deadline by 120 days and avoid a fourth general election in 18 months. Throughout the day, negotiations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz seemed to be going nowhere, and the threat of an automatic dissolution of parliament at midnight remained high. While both parties had already agreed on delaying the budget, other issues, such as the appointment of the police commissioner and state attorney, proved to be problematic. Eventually, Netanyahu was forced to relinquish his demand to be involved in such appointments, and after emergency press conferences and improvised video messages by both sides, the vote was held. The next time the country will face the threat of a premature election cycle will be the new December 23 budget deadline. Until then, Israelis hope their representatives focus more on the raging pandemic and unprecedented recession than their own political fates.