Israel’s Government Set to Dissolve
The Israeli Knesset voted unanimously to dissolve itself on Wednesday. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had called for the dissolution on Monday night, saying it was difficult but ultimately “the right decision for Israel.” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will serve as prime minister until the next election. The coalition, formed last June in large part to unseat former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, balanced on an uneasy alliance between eight factions across the political spectrum. Having always been divided on key issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and state and religion issues, the government began to crumble when several members recently abandoned the coalition. The final straw likely involved laws concerning the rights of Israeli citizens living beyond the Green Line, the demarcation line set after Israel’s 1948 War for Independence that has been disputed in the decades since. Bennett said by dissolving parliament, he could keep these laws from expiring, which would have caused “grave security perils and constitutional chaos.”
A government formed to stop another coalition, with little else in common, does not bode well for long-term success. Bennett’s government achieved its initial goal, but once that was done, collapse was inevitable. Trying to create one accord among leaders with polarizing views was a strategy that was never going to last long. Unfortunately, this means Israelis have to head back to the polls this October for the fifth time in less than four years. It will likely be a volatile summer and fall for Israel as it navigates another political pickle.