The fragile Israeli government coalition seems to be headed towards a breakup that could force early elections against a security turmoil backdrop in the country. Disputes over legislation and a breakdown in the peace talks with the Palestinians have led to this fractious condition.
With not much to gain by a vote that would arrive two years ahead of time, the country’s leading politicians could pull back from their course that few seem to enjoy.
However, the attacks over the past few days suggest another ugly campaign could be at hand sooner than later.
If that were to happen, it would be likely for now that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister would return for his fourth term.
Despite his sagging popularity amidst economic problems and the increasing isolation globally, his opposition, which is much divided, lacks a figure that is unifying and credible.
Under the political system in Israel, the leader is the parliament member who is able to show a majority supporting his agenda in the house with 120 members.
Netanyahu’s present coalition is a diverse array of parties. The coalition includes Yesh Atid a centrist party, which came to power with the promise of economic relief to the struggling Israeli middle class; Jews Home, which is a hard line group identified closely with the settlement movement in the West Bank; Hatnuah, which has a platform for gaining peace with Palestinians; Yisrael Beitenu the nationalist party that wants to redraw the borders of Israel and rid it of a number of Arab citizens.
With a lack of common ground, the factions have started to fight over a number of issues, including the country’s budget, the collapse of the peace talks that had been brokered by the U.S. construction of Jewish settlements and the way to best confront an increase of Palestinian attacks inside Jerusalem.
Last week the differences came to a head when Netanyahu pushed through a measure defining the country as “the Jewish state.”
Although the Declaration of Independence of 1958 does that, critics said that enshrining it into the law would undermine the democratic character of the country, enrage the Arab minority of the country and enable future legislation that is illiberal.