Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant and Jerry Gordon bring back Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) to discuss important developments in a tumultuous do-over election. Discussions between Gantz of Blue White Alliance and PM Netanyahu of Likud right wing coalition are at a critical impasse with the possibility that Netanyahu might hand in his mandate from President Rivlin. All hinges on critical meeting on October 2nd between Gantz and Netanyahu. The Arab Joint List with 10 mandates ironically endorsed Gantz, a former IDF Chief of Staff. Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu with 8 mandates wants a national secular unity government without Netanyahu leading Likud and right wing religious parties. Liberman is trying to position himself as leader of the secular nationalists to emerge as a possible future PM. Could the do-over election result in other Likud leading political figures contesting for party leadership as rotating PM.
Diker of the JCPA thinks both the April election and September do-over have been a referendum on the character of Netanyahu. Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister faces hearings in October on corruption charges. Netanyahu has petitioned for open televised hearings on the charges.
Some pundists contend that Israel cannot afford a third election which is estimated to cost upwards of one billion shekels in lost production time and lost revenues to the Israeli economy from time off, additional electoral voting processing and security costs.
Diker is the Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). He is a former Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress. He is the editor and co-author of Defeating Denormalization—Shared Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives on a New Path to Peace, (2018).