The Knesset members have decided on Thursday morning: Israel’s next election (the fifth in two years) will take place on November 1, 2022, that’s 124 days from today. In Hebrew, that’s the 7th of Marcheshvan, 5783, the same day Israel starts saying v’ten tal u’matar l’bracha in the Amidah prayers, in case you’ll need a reminder.
Why they need such a long time we don’t know, most European countries get it done in a month or so, and four months is a record even for Israel which usually takes about three. Anyway, attempts by the opposition to set the election on October 25 failed after the Joint Arab List supported the coalition, and so the final vote of the Knesset, 57 yeas vs 47 nays, was won with the collaboration of both Arab factions.
“Peace for our time,” as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain put it on September 30, 1938, having signed the Munich Agreement with you know who.
After the law to dissolve the Knesset was approved in three readings, Yair Lapid will become the 14th (interim) prime minister of the State of Israel at midnight, Thursday. His first visit after the vote was to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem where he made a promise to his father that he would always keep Israel strong.
שר החוץ וראש הממשלה הנכנס, יאיר לפיד באוהל יזכור ביד ושם: "מיד אחרי ההצבעה נסעתי ליד ושם כדי להבטיח לאבא שתמיד אשמור על ישראל חזקה, שתדע להגן על עצמה ולהבטיח את שלום ילדיה" pic.twitter.com/t6QhPGl73f
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) June 30, 2022
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu who spoke from the podium before the vote said about the former government: “They promised change, talked about healing, experimented, and the experiment failed.” He added: “This is what happens when you take a fake right-wing with an extreme left, mix it with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Joint Arab List, that’s what you get.”
Ra’am Chairman Mansour Abbas heckled Netanyahu: “This government was formed thanks to our cooperation with you.” Abbas was referring to the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu hosted him at his official residence on Balfour Street (Abbas says five times) to try and coax him to join his coalition government. The only reason Netanyahu couldn’t complete the shidduch was the uncompromising resistance of Religious Zionism Chairman Bezalel Smotrich.
Abbas said from the podium: “This was the first time that an Arab party was a partner in a coalition government. It allowed all of us to present a moral and political alternative that proved it’s possible to work together. There were no fights between the parties except for a few MKs who didn’t get what was at stake. I sincerely hope that the public will give this coalition another mandate to continue after the election. We’ve only just begun.”
A little scary…