Israel is bogged down in political crisis

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — After another failure in the Netanyahu-Gantz talks, the Israeli president asked parliament on Thursday to find an elected official who can move political lines in the hope of establishing a government in Israel and ending more of a year of political crisis, reports AFP news agency.

After the legislative elections of March 2, the third in less than a year which were finally to decide between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, President Reuven Rivlin had entrusted the latter with the task of forming the next government .

And in the midst of a new coronavirus pandemic, Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Kahol Lavan (“Blue-White”) party, had caused surprise by paving the way for a government of “unity and urgency” with Benjamin Netanyahu, accused. for corruption. However, he had previously sworn not to share power with him, until he had resolved his problems with the law.

The hope of a government agreement was thus on the horizon for many Israelis, others however accusing Mr. Gantz, former chief of the army staff, of having given up arms.

But on Monday evening, Mr. Gantz’s term ended without agreement despite intense negotiations. The president gave the two men a final ultimatum, which ended Tuesday through Wednesday night, again to no avail.

“I do not see the possibility of forming a government and that I entrust its formation (…) to the Knesset”, the parliament, wrote Thursday Mr. Rivlin.

– Judicial question –

Parliament, of which Mr. Gantz was recently elected president, will now have three weeks to propose an elected representative with enough support to try to form a government, whereas the two rival camps say to continue their talks for a possible union. .

But who says government of union, says sharing of ministerial portfolios. However, with a Prime Minister about to be tried for corruption and embezzlement in a series of cases, Benny Gantz’s troops want “total control” over judicial appointments, said Jonathan Rynhold, professor in the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University.

According to him, Mr. Netanyahu wants to ensure, in the event of a rotation in power with Mr. Gantz, that he could remain in government, because if he were “simple” minister during the period during which Mr. Gantz is Prime Minister , he would be forced to resign because of his indictment.

The negotiations also stumble over Mr. Netanyahu’s fear that the Supreme Court will declare him unfit to govern because of his indictment and that the entire mandate of the Prime Minister will fall to Benny Gantz.

A scenario against which he would have sought to protect himself by asking for guarantees that Mr. Gantz would have refused him, according to analysts.

Another potential subject of dissension: the Defense portfolio. Mr. Gantz and his sidekick Gaby Ashkenazi – both former army chiefs – express doubts about Israel’s rapid annexation of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank by Mr. Netanyahu.

– Fourth election? –

Many analysts question the real intentions of Mr. Netanyahu to share power with Mr. Gantz.

Raised by very favorable opinion polls that support his management of the pandemic, the Prime Minister could delay to raise the stakes in the event of power sharing, try to rally a few deputies in order to obtain a majority or even give up his arms for new elections knowing however that its renewed popularity could by then erode.

Whatever Mr. Netanyahu’s real intentions are, “the wait is fine with him,” said Gideon Rahat, professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Union government or election, these are really the two options”, underlines Mr. Rynhold, for whom Benjamin Netanyahu evaluates all the scenarios according to his political survival, in order to avoid “prison”.

Faced with this crisis, the new opposition leader Yaïr Lapid, former partner of Benny Gantz, proposed a singular solution: “freeze the political process for six months”.

“Enough of politics! The creation of a corrupt government would be a national catastrophe while the idea of ​​a fourth election is (…) completely detached from reality” of the Israelis in times of coronavirus.

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