We call this format a Timesaver Guide to Israel’s Coming Elections. This will be a usual feature on Rosner’s Domain until next Election Day, March 2, 2020. We hope to make it short, factual, devoid of election hype.
Two weeks to go, no change.
Likud Campaign: Focuses on Blue and White Gantz’ future dependence on the Arab party. Mathematically speaking, Likud has a point. For more on Gantz’ options, read this.
Gantz says: I do not need Arab support, nor am I asking for it. He also vows not to form a coalition with Likud as long as Netanyahu is the head of the party.
Netanyahu Trial: The panel of three judges was appointed.
Preferred coalition: According to recent polls, a plurality of the public wants a unity government.
Developments to Watch
Another Election? The fourth-election chatter seems to intensify. Getting used to the idea as an acceptable possibility is the first step on the round to a September 2020 election. According to one poll, 28% of the public (a plurality) believe that a fourth election is the likeliest outcome of the third election. 40% of the voters say the chance of having fourth election is “high”.
The Blocs and Their Meaning
The basic picture is simple and unchanged: Netanyahu does not have the votes to form a right-religious coalition, and his rivals have the votes to block Netanyahu but not the votes to form a coalition.
And here is what a Gantz coalition might look like. There are three basic options. A minority coalition of him, Lieberman (Israel Beitenu) and Labor-Meretz, supported from the outside by the Arab Joint List (this is what Likud propaganda is focused on).
A successful attempt to lure the Haredi parties away from the right-religious bloc and form a coalition with them and Labor-Meretz. This will not be an easy feat, and for now, still does not give Gantz a needed majority (unless Lieberman completely changes his anti-Haredi tune and decides to join such coalition).
A unity government with Likud (this gives him a comfortable majority with or without other parties). For this, Gantz must wait for Likud to let Netanyahu go (and remember that just a few months ago Netanyahu defeated a rival in a primary battle).
Shmuel Rosner is senior political editor. His book, #IsraeliJudaism, Portrait of a Cultural Revolution (with Prof. Camil Fuchs) is available on Amazon.