Bloomberg: Netanyahu is under siege and could end up in the next elections
Gwen Ackerman, Bloomberg News, writes that time may run out for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who may end up in the next election.
According to opinion polls, Netanyahu does not appear to be in a better position to form a government after the September 17 elections than he did after his failure last May and his call for a surprise re-vote.
It points to a close race between the right-wing Likud and the blue-and-white center coalition led by Benny Gantz.Netanyahu may again find himself at the mercy of his former ally Avigdor Lieberman, whose refusal to join the Netanyahu government after the last election led to the collapse of coalition talks and the call for a second vote.
According to the writer that the party "Yisrael Beiteinu" led by Lieberman emerged stronger in this confrontation, and seems determined to double its strength to ten of the 120 seats in parliament.
Without Lieberman's tough backing, Netanyahu has a bumpy road to form a government, and if a deadlock emerges to build another coalition, he may be pressured to resign. The author hinted that Lieberman urged Likud last week to get rid of Netanyahu if he chose to form a coalition and fail again.
Netanyahu has weakened his failure to form a government, he writes, as he tries to counter what he says are unfounded allegations of graft by his left-wing opponents, who were unable to unseat him from office.
The author added that Netanyahu may have a way out of his predicament, and there was speculation that he could offer the rotation of the premiership with Lieberman, an option that the latter did not rule out. He may also be able to persuade Reuven Hazan, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University, to persuade the center-left Labor party or its defectors to join his government. Moreover, it can form a legal government as long as it is able to pass laws.