A picture taken on February 3, 2019 in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv shows a giant election billboard of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump shaking hands. The writing on the billboard reads in Hebrew "Netanyahu, in another league". (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Lawmakers Might Face New Election

While the job of piecing together a coalition of 61 or more seats in the parliament in order to form a government is never easy, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s legal woes are credited with creating particularly difficult negotiations as would-be coalition partners seek to set positions that will leave the respective parties in strong positions if Netanyahu has to resign. With indictments expected in several investigations, the political buzzards are circling the still-breathing carcass to the point where a growing number of observers believe the only alternative to stalled negotiations will be the nullification of the April 9 balloting and new balloting held. Never before has so much time lapsed since the election with the putative prime minister being unable to sign a single coalition partner. The bulk of Netanyahu’s problems are coming from his traditional allies, the right-wing, religious parties. Also causing considerable difficulty for the incumbent, five-term leader is his determination to include in all coalition agreements a commitment by the respective parties to support legislation that will shield sitting prime ministers from being indicted in criminal investigations – a demand that doesn’t sit well even with long-time supporters.

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