The Israeli Government is standing by to be dissolved as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid look to propose a bill that would dissolve Parliament and enable general election towards the end of the year.
In a statement released today by the Prime Minister’s office, the country’s senior leadership decided to take this action “after attempts to stabilize the coalition had been exhausted.”
According to the bill, if passed, Bennett would hand control of what would essentially be a “temporary government” to Lapid in a “caretaker” capacity until after elections later this year.
Breaking News: Israeli coalition lawmakers will dissolve Parliament, the government announced, ushering in Israel’s fifth election in three years.https://t.co/7v56pn8DGc
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 20, 2022
The head of a centrist party and Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, “I think the government did very good work over the past year. It’s a shame the country has to be dragged into elections. But we will continue to function as a temporary government as much as possible.”
The current administration was born of an eight-party coalition that reflects a broad political spectrum, including Israel’s Arab Party — a first in the Government’s history. In spite of the unprecedented bipartisan cooperation however, major issues have become tumultuous in recent weeks, grinding Parliament to a stand-still.
State and religious issues including Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Palestinian statehood have caused splintering within the eight-party coalition. Recently, not only has legislation become unpassable, but several members from multiple parties have either quit, or threatened to do so.
US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Israel next month. Should the bill to dissolve the Israeli Government pass, Lapid would represent Israel as Prime Minster instead of Bennett. Tom Nides, Biden’s ambassador, was quoted as saying that the visit will take place and go as planned regardless of the outcome of the legislation.
According to opinion polls, the general election at the end of the year would likely favor Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader. This likely means that the largest single party in Israel’s government would be the Likud party, the nation’s center-right to right-wing political party.