Elections vary in every country, but across the globe, they are always a big deal. In Israel, there is quite a fiasco built up because of the amount of political conflict between the two major parties, the Kahol Lavan and the Likud party.
Kahol Lavan is a new party that was built from a merger between two centrist parties: Benny Gantz’s Hosen Leyisrael and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid. The party’s political views are middle left, and it is currently the top contender to take over the position of prime minister after the election. Kachol Lavan has the potential to outperform the Likud party, providing the sitting prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, with a serious electoral challenge. In addition, the Kahol Lavan party has the support of Gabi Ashkenazi, an influential former IDF chief of staff, which has the potential to draw votes away from Likud and other right-wing parties.
The opposition to Kachol Lavan is the Likud-Liberalim Leumi, which means Unity-National Liberals, but it is more commonly known as Likud. This party is a right-wing Israeli political party that was formed in September of 1973 by Menahem Begin. The Likud has been in power ever since it was formed, whether in coalitions or standing alone. The current leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, is having trouble with capturing the publics’ attention in order to get reelected. In addition to this, Netanyahu faces charges against him for the corruption of the government, and he faces the risk of being incarcerated. However, Netanyahu has managed to run the state for the past 10 years, and despite any adversity, he has confronted in those years, he has successfully gotten reelected over and over again.
The main trouble in this year’s elections is that there has been a tie for the past few months. Even after countless polls and reelections, it is still not clear as to who won the elections. Normally, when this occurs, the two top reigning parties form a coalition and agree on an interchanging two-year term for each leader of the party in order for each party to get a chance to govern the country. This seems like the logical solution in the case with Netanyahu and Gantz. However, it’s not that easy. It seems like neither party wants to meet up in order to discuss a coalition. With the deadline fast approaching to form a coalition, Netanyahu hasn’t met with anyone in order to discuss a solution for the twelfth day in a row. The prime minister’s last negotiating meeting was with Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman on October 3, and the last time he met with Blue and White was on September 27, before Gantz’s party canceled a meeting with the Likud team set for October 1.
Even though it doesn’t look good for either party, the situation is especially of concern for Netanyahu. Gantz claimed that he was open to the coalition and unity of the government if and only if the Likud party dumped Netanyahu. This is the fight of Netanyahu’s political life, as well as his personal one, because, if he loses, he will have no way to protect himself from imminent indictments on corruption and bribery charges. A defeat in coalition negotiations for Netanyahu will not only be the end of his political career; it could be the end of his freedom.
Students on the Hillel campus seem to share one opinion: Netanyahu either gets his things together and acts, or he leaves. Amit Miara from 10th grade says,
“I don’t think that he will win because a lot of people have begun to believe that he is not good for Israel and he won’t bring anything good. Many people don’t want to work with him anymore. If he doesn’t have the majority then he won’t be able to be the prime minister, which means another election.”
Eithan Yisrael from 10th grade adds on by stating,
“I think that the disorganized mess with the elections could distract the country from what really matters and possibly make them disregard many priorities in order to focus on the elections. And personally? I don’t think the coalitions will work. The best thing that could happen for the Kahol Lavan party is re-election because it would end up favoring them and Netanyahu would lose. However, if they weren’t to re-elect, they need to reach an agreement because they are being disgraced from serious dilemmas that have to be dealt with at the moment rather than focusing on the election.”
There is no clear end in sight for the election crisis, but the future of the state of Israel seems to lie in Netanyahu’s ability to form a coalition.