Israel To Have Its 25th Parliamentary Elections In October
The one-year-old rotation government of the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, and the Israeli Politician and Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid, which was formed in June 2021, was all dissolved in June 2022. Israel is expected to hold its fifth parliamentary elections next October.
Theoretically, the Israeli Parliament consists of 120 members and is elected for 4 years. And because of the diversity of political; ethnic; and religious orientations in Israel, coalition governments are usually the norm; where no party has ever won the majority of votes to form a government on its own.
And because of this diversity among and within the different parties, and in attempts to create stability in Israeli domestic politics, the electoral threshold for a party to be allocated a seat in the Knesset has changed over the years. Up until 1988, the threshold was 1%, and then it became 1.5% until 2003. Later in 2003, it was raised to 2% until March 2014. Afterward, on March 11, 2014, the Knesset raised the threshold to 3.25%. and in 2018, Netanyahu attempted to lower the threshold to 2.75%. However, this was not applied until now.
However, this did not make things better. On the contrary, a closer look at the Israeli elections’ dates shows that this high threshold still left Israeli domestic politics unstable. For instance, in 2014, the government was dissolved because of some disputes over the budget, which resulted in new parliamentary elections on March 17, 2015.
Besides, in 2019 alone, elections were held twice: once in April and then in September. Both elections were held due to the failure of establishing a coalition government, thanks to the disputes among members. Then, a few months later, on March 2, 2020, new legislative elections were held to elect members of the 23rd Knesset. And a year later, the 24th government was established, which was meant to die in June 2022.
When asked about the reasons, the answers again revolved around the successive failed attempts to “stabilize” the coalition. Yet, this time, despite the frustration of the right-wing Jewish nationalists of the coalition with Arab parties, the disputes were over the extension of regulations to implement Israeli Criminal Law over the West Bank settlements. And because of Naftali Bennett’s desire for the law’s extension, and since there is no way to take it forwards without the Knesset’s majority approval, Bennett and Lapid took the decision to dissolve the Knesset. This would guarantee the extension of the Criminal Law over the West Bank settlements automatically before their expiry date.
As a result, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he, along with his political allies, would most probably create a new government; headed by the Likud Party. In fact, the Likud party has been dominating the political scene in Israeli domestic politics since 1977. And since then, it played a major role in disturbing the peace process with its explicit stance of non-recognition of Palestinian rights.
The next elections might bring further discrimination against Palestinians if Netanyahu and the Likud party came to power. In June 2022, Netanyahu promised the Jewish settlers that he would “restore the national pride to the citizens of Israel, reduce taxes and expand peace agreements”, although it has never been the case before. On May 15, 2021, Netanyahu gave a green card for the Israeli police to commit brutal violence against Palestinians, who are in Israel; Gaza; the West Bank; or East Jerusalem. This political backing added to the list of brutal crimes against Palestinians that, if International Law is strictly applied, should put Netanyahu in front of the International Criminal Court for immediate trial.
And with the Ibrahimi Mosque’s and Aqsa Mosque’s violations, and the daily war crimes against Palestinians, the coming elections might turn into a real nightmare for all Palestinians.