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In third round of Israeli vote, Netanyahu and Gantz must expand electorate Quoting: [link to forward.com (secure)]
Dana Weiss | February 24, 2020 (less than fiddy)
It was supposed to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s big day,
perhaps the push he needed to win the third round of Israel’s endless national election.
But the Jan. 28 announcement seems hardly to have made a ripple in the political map
as Israelis head back to the ballot boxes on March 2, for the third time in 11 months.
Recent polls all show the situation is virtually identical to September’s outcome:
A deadlock capable of sending Israel to a mind-blowing fourth election.
With Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges slated to start
shortly after the election, the stakes seem even higher and the situation more surreal.
Once, Israeli politicians dreamed of leading the largest party in the Knesset (Parliament).
Winning the most seats = was the ticket to forming a viable coalition and becoming prime minister.
However, in recent years – and especially now – winning the most seats
is not enough — it’s all about the size of your ‘block,’ the term used to describe
the parties loyal to you before the start of coalition negotiations.
Netanyahu’s block, including his Likud Party and the religious Zionist
and Haredi parties, is expected to win roughly 54 Knesset seats.
These parties have pledged to sit with no one other than Netanyahu as prime minister.
Opposing him, and polling at 53 seats, is the block defined mainly
by its desire to end Netanyahu’s reign and led by Benny Gantz, the former military chief,
and his new Blue & White Party; it includes the merged Meretz
and Labor parties and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu faction.
All have promised not to sit in a Netanyahu-led government.
The remaining 13 seats seem likely to land with the Joint List,
the voice of Israel’s Arab citizens, who say they will
not join a government led either by Gantz or Netanyahu.
Maybe they should have Bernie Sanders cast the deciding vote.
They should ditch apartheid and become a republic instead.
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