Israel is about to conduct an unprecedented third national election in less than a year, and officials worried that it still won’t produce a government have reportedly already determined the date of a fourth election.
Writing for the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, leading Israeli political commentator Amit Segal revealed:
“While the ballots for the third election were being printed, the Central Election Committee was quietly already setting the date for the fourth election. According to the committee, that date is September 8, 2020. So very skeptical [of Israel’s ability to elect a government]. But so very realistic.”
Indeed, with less than three weeks to go before the March 2 election, polls show that the results will be much the same as the previous two elections.
“Blue and White” will win 36 seats, Likud 34, the Joint Arab List 13, Shas 8, Yemina (the bloc of right-wing parties) 8, Labor-Meretz 8, United Torah Judaism 7, Yisrael Beiteinu 6.
That will once again make “Blue and White” the largest party, but unable to form a majority coalition, since together the center-left factions will control just 44 out of 120 Knesset seats.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right will once again fare somewhat better, but with a combined 57 mandates will still be short of a majority.
Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu has vowed not to sit in a Netanyahu government beholden to the ultra-Orthodox parties, but he also can’t boost “Blue and White” enough to help them form a stable government.
In other words, Israel’s Central Election Committee seems to acting quite pragmatically. The question is, will a fourth election be enough?