Faced with an unprecedented political blockade, Israel is wandering towards third elections in one year

Former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, unable to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a unity government, gave up forming a cabinet.

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For the third time in less than a year, Israeli political parties, unable to overcome their divisions, are moving towards a new legislative election. This statement, desperate for voters, was expressed Wednesday, September 20, by the man who opened the deep crisis of Israeli democracy, the former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.

His resignation, in the fall of 2018, opened an election cycle that now seems endless. A first poll in April 2019, then a second in September, did not allow Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to form a majority of government without his former ally, who stubbornly refuses to join the ranks.

Read also In Israel, Benny Gantz fails to form a government

Lieberman pleads for union government

On Wednesday, Lieberman detailed on television long and painful weeks of negotiations between the parties, which lead to nothing. With eight seats out of 120 in Parliament, this lay ultra-nationalist has ruled out joining Netanyahu and his allies, the ultra-Orthodox religious parties. He also refused to support a minority government led by former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, with the support of Israeli Arab parties.

Referring back to back, with words of great violence, these religious and Arab formations that he judges all "Zionist"Mr. Lieberman repeated his mantra: there is no other issue than a government of union led by these two men. But they can not get along. "There were no substantive divisions, they were above all personal," lamented Lieberman, who claimed to have refused a deputy prime minister's seat, before concluding: At least for now, it looks like we're going to another election. "

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This dialogue of the deaf stumbles on one point: Mr. Netanyahu, after his defeat in the September elections, said he was in favor of a unity government. But he demands to be the first to lead it, before handing over to Mr. Gantz on a date that remains undetermined. While justice could announce on Sunday its possible indictment for acts of corruption, fraud and breach of trust, Mr. Netanyahu, in power since 2009, intends at all costs to keep his position, in order to face his judges in position of strength.

His religious and ultranationalist allies support him in this survival exercise. Mr. Gantz, meanwhile, refuses to sit under the authority of an accused prime minister. Mistrust prevails between the two men: the formation of Mr. Gantz, Blue White (center right), openly doubts that his rival agrees to honor a possible agreement, to leave the place.


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