It’s Official: Israel Will Head to the Polls for 4th Time in 2 Years
Israel’s parliament officially dispersed at midnight on Tuesday after failing to pass a budget, sending the country to its fourth election cycle in less than two years. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused to pass a budget for months, hoping to use it as a loophole to break for snap elections at a convenient time instead of passing the reins of government to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz in November, as the two agreed. Yet the early election, scheduled for March 23, may prove to be costly for the veteran politician, as several challengers from his own camp seem to pose a viable threat to the throne and promise to outflank the prime minister from the right. Gantz, meanwhile, seems headed for the exits, and will in all likelihood not return to parliament, barely two years after entering politics with a bang. Recent polls show that Netanyahu, while slightly gaining seats in some surveys, faces an uphill battle in forming a coalition, as the number of seats netted by those parties vowing not to join his government consistently tops those on the prime minister’s side.