Israel, the only Jewish nation on the planet, has long been a role model for modern-day democracies. In the middle eastern region that is known for some of the most prominent dictators, Israel has been a symbol of democratic ideas. Along with elections at regular intervals, the country has had suavely running parliaments until recently. In 2019, within a period of 6 months, Israel held two elections, still not providing a clear majority for any party or alliance.
The April 2019 election gave 35 seats each to Likud, the party in power and Blue and While, the principal opposition. Smaller parties held the balance of power. Netanyahu’s Likud Party failed to form a government — the first one in the history of Israel, due to discord over the ultra-Orthodox’s national service. The snap election that was held on 17th September 2019 even put Likud at the second position with 32 seats, while Blue and White (Centrist) and Joint List (an Arab party) getting 33 and 13 seats respectively. This was the second consecutive hung parliament.
You might be wondering where is Netanyahu in all these. Well, the Israeli PM has been accused of mass-scale corruption in the country, even facing charges in the Supreme Court. Since January 2017, he has been under investigation by the Israeli police in two interconnected cases — “Case 1000” and “Case 2000”. These cases involve some of the very serious crimes including fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. He is doing everything to stop his conviction by staying in power. He even dissolved the Knesset for the first time in history just to prevent Blue and While leader Benny Gantz being appointed as PM-designate.
Since Israel plays a key role in global geopolitics, being one of the major allies of the United States, it would be interesting to see how the country’s politics shape in the coming days. Although on 7th May, Israel’s High Court cleared Netanyahu’s way to form a new government, charges against him are still there to haunt him.