Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog has called for new elections because it took Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two months to put together a coalition government that he said will cost the taxpayers an additional $250 million.
He told a meeting of the Zionist Union, the merged parties of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah parties, that it would be best to go again to the polls and let the people decide if they really want what they got.
He reiterated that not only will he not join Prime Minister Netanyahu in a national unity government, but he also will do everything he can to topple the new government.
His call for a new election should not be dismissed so quickly.
There is no question that if elections were held today, the Hareidi parties would retain at least the 13 seats they now have in the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties. They probably would win a couple of more from those who made the mistake of voting for Eli Yishai’s Yachad party, which failed to get enough votes to enter the Knesset.
There also is no question that the Likud would lose at least four seats that Netanyahu grabbed from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) in his last-minute blitz. Considering how the Prime Minister mistreated Bayit Yehudi in forming the new coalition, the party’s current strength of eight MKs likely would rise to more than 12 because it would also win back one or two seats that voters gave to the failed Yachad party.
Kulanu, led by Moshe Kachlon, would probably take a couple of seats from the Likud and a couple from Yair Lapid, who has succeeded in proving to voters there is nothing but air inside a windbag.
On the left, Livni is a dead duck, and Labor is not going to get any more votes than it now has unless they take them from Meretz, and vice-versa..
Yisrael Beiteinu also would not win any more than it now has and could even be headed for oblivion.
The Arabs would return with more or less the same 12 seats they now have.
The bottom line is that if Herzog wants new elections, let him have them.
The result will be a stronger national-religious government.
And then Herzog can call for a third round of elections, and a fourth, unit he finally figures it out that he represents a diminishing minority.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu