Israel heads to fourth election in two years over budget crisis
December 23, 2020 - Israel’s governing coalition collapsed after just seven months, sending the election-fatigued country to its fourth vote in two years. The ballot will take place on March 23 and feature a new challenger.
Netanyahu, who is used to labelling his opponents as weak leftists, finds himself confronted by a trio of disgruntled former aides who share his hard-line ideology, led by a popular lawmaker who recently broke away from the prime minister’s Likud party.
Whether Netanyahu can fend off these challengers or not, the country is almost certain to be led by a right-wing politician opposed to concessions to the Palestinians, complicating hopes of the incoming Biden administration to restart peace talks.
The prospects of Israel’s centre-left bloc appear worse than in previous contests because its leader, Defence Minister Benny Gantz, entered into the ill-fated alliance with Netanyahu. Gantz has lost the support of much of his disappointed base, and the bloc has been left leaderless.