Israel is going to elections —again – Knesset votes to dissolve itself
The Knesset voted Wednesday night to dissolve itself less than a month after it was sworn in after Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition, sending Israel to a new election.
It’s the first time in Israel’s history that a general election has failed to produce a government.
At the heart of Netanyhu’s failed attempt to build a coalition after the April 9 elections was legislation to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army. Israel Beiteinu’s Avigdor Liberman, without whom Netanyahu can’t form a coalition, refused to back down on the bill’s terms.
Liberman wrote on his Facebook page that Likud holds responsibility for the repeat election because of its refusal to vote on the bill to draft the ultra-Orthodox.
Heading into the plenum to vote, Liberman said Israel was holding fresh elections due to the Likud party’s refusal to vote on the original version of a bill to draft Haredi men, which he had insisted on and the ultra-Orthodox parties refused to consider.
Of the 120 lawmakers that make up the Knesset, 74 voted in favor of dissolving parliament, and 45 voted against.
According to the law, the prime minister had until 11:59 pm Wednesday to notify the president regarding the formation of a coalition and if not, the task of forming a government could be given to another MK. Netanyhu’s determination to prevent such a situation is behind the call for fresh elections.
“Liberman drags an entire country to another six months of elections after he dragged them for the second time already”, PM Netanyahu said following the vote.
The resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and his Israel Beiteinu party in November, due to the inadequate military response to attacks from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, left the coalition with a fragile majority of 61 members, which led to the April 9th elections.