Third Israeli Election Likely Over Impasse?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Netanyahu's Likud finished second to Gantz/Lapid's Blue and White party in September 17 rerun elections.
President Rivlin broke precedent by choosing Netanyahu to form a coalition government, showing partisanship in breach of his mandate to serve interests of the state, not favoritism of one party over another.
Through Saturday, things are deadlocked, Netanyahu unable to cobble together a 61-seat ruling coalition. Likud won 32 seats, barely more than 26% of the vote, one less than Blue and White.
Reportedly on Friday, Gantz rejected Netanyahu's demand to form a Likud-led unity government with Blue and White and two religious fundamentalist parties, leaving him in power as prime minister.
A Blue and White statement said the following:
"It is clear that the stance taken in setting these two preconditions is aimed at dragging the state of Israel into a third round of elections, in line with the interests of the prime minister."
Netanyahu has two key objectives — remaining prime minister, along with avoiding indictment and prosecution on fraud, bribery, and breach of trust charges, following an early October hearing.
Failure on both counts will likely end his political career and personal freedom, leaving office defrocked and disgraced.
His key reelection strategy was and remains keeping Israel safe from nonexistent threats — none from Palestinians, Syria, or Lebanon's Hezbollah except in self-defense if attacked.
Countless billions of dollars given national security interests in the West and Israel is a hoax for their self-enrichment, along with mass deception about barbarians at the gate, requiring a strong national defense against them.
On Sunday, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu will likely tell Rivlin he's unable to form coalition governance, according to unnamed Likud party sources.
In its latest edition, Haaretz said Netanyahu may tell Rivlin "he is giving up efforts to build a government within a few days if (Blue and White's) negotiation team remains adamant in its refusal to accept a plan proposed by Rivlin as a basic guideline for talks" — leaving Netanyahu empowered as prime minister Gantz rejects.
On Friday, negotiations between representatives of both parties broke down with no agreement. Further talks scheduled for Sunday aren't likely to fare better.
A Blue and White statement said Likud negotiators demanded B & W "agree to a government with Netanyahu at the helm as prime minister" head of minority rule.
B & W rejected the demand, explaining the Likud team knew in advance its diktat was unacceptable, showing its "intention to send Israel to a third election, as the prime minister desires" — a way for him to stay in power with things unresolved.
His reported strategy involves heading coalition rule, seeking Knesset legislation granting him immunity from prosecution, along with another measure, preventing Israel's Supreme Court from overturning it.
Rivlin is likely to give Gantz a mandate to form a new government if Netanyahu fails. Far-right Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu is the wild card.
Its eight seats can swing things for either major party. He remains neutral, refusing to join a Netanyahu coalition with religious fundamentalist parties.
Nor will he ally with Gantz as long as Joint (Arab) List is part of his ruling coalition — even though Arab MKs are powerless, having no say over Israeli policies.
As of Sunday, things are at impasse, another election next year most likely unless a party allied with Netanyahu or Gantz breaks ranks, shifting allegiance in return for control over one or more key ministries.
Wanting Netanyahu's toxic grip on Israel ended, Haaretz editors said the following:
"Netanyahu and his proxies' absurd attempts at posturing concern to heal the wounds of the people are a cynical smoke screen, behind which lies the fear of another election."
"Gantz and the rest of the opposition members must not fall into this wretched trap."
"They must remember exactly why they received 57 Knesset seats: to end the insanity, deceit and confusion of the Netanyahu era."
No matter who heads Israeli coalition rule, conditions for Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens remain intolerable — terrorized by apartheid viciousness, notably in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and especially in besieged Gaza.
In the week following Israel's September 17 elections, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported the following Israeli abuses:
"Israeli forces wounded 125 (nonviolent) Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank" — including dozens of children, two women, two paramedics and a journalist.
"Israel carried out 110 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting(s) in many incidents" — 124 Palestinians threatening no one arrested, including 14 children.
"Israeli forces raided the office of ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in Ramallah and sized a number of laptop(s) and other equipment" — the third such unlawful incident this year alone.
The IDF conducted three belligerent cross-border incursions into Gaza, terrorizing residents, making arrests.
In the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli forces stole a construction vehicle, destroyed a residential house, destroyed the foundation and retaining wall of another home, along with walls of a third residence.
"Israeli settlers carried out 6 attacks (on) Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank," said the PCHR.
An Al-Haq documentary calls Gaza "uninhabitable." The PCHR said intolerable Strip conditions continue, suffocating illegal siege in its "14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods and ongoing isolation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world," adding:
The West Bank "is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians' movement is restricted and others are arrested."
Militarized occupation maintains virtual open-air imprisonment for millions of persecuted Palestinians, terrorized Gazans suffering most.
Since Israel's 1948 creation, the world community failed to hold it accountable for high crimes of war and against humanity too grievous to ignore.
Horrendous Palestinian victimization continues with no resolution of their suffering under brutalizing conditions, aiming to break their will to resist.
It hasn't happened in over 70 years, over 53 years under apartheid occupation. Nor is it likely ahead.
Palestinians continue struggling for their soul to end decades ruthless/illegal Israeli occupation.
A Final Comment
On Sunday, the Jerusalem Post reported that Netanyahu and Gantz will meet again "on Wednesday evening in a last-ditch attempt to form a unity government," adding:
A Likud spokesman said Sunday morning talks with Likud and B&W negotiating teams ended "without any progress."
There's little chance of agreement ahead because Netanyahu won't bend on relinquishing his grip on Israel as prime minister.
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