The leader of the Israeli opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, led a fierce opposition in the Knesset, aiming to topple the ruling coalition and return to power, which raises questions about his chances and whether he will be able to return to power?
To this end, Netanyahu used unconventional methods that included machinations, and worked to attract members of the ruling coalition parties and lure them into positions if he returned to power.
The most prominent thing that Netanyahu followed was his refusal to vote in favor of important laws, justifying that he would pass them when he returns to power.
In an unprecedented move, the Netanyahu camp voted against extending the West Bank Emergency Regulations Law, which treats settlers as citizens of Israel, and has been extended every five years since 1967.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett used his government's failure to extend the law as a main reason for his decision to dissolve the Knesset, after indicating that it would expire at the end of this month.
The Netanyahu camp's decision not to vote in favor of the settlers' law was a tactical move that proved to be effective.
Some Arab representatives also had a role in bringing down the government, represented by their refusal to vote for this law, but on national grounds because it is racist and anti-Palestinian. These representatives are Mazen Ghaneim from the United Arab List, Ghaida Rinawi Zoabi from the left-wing Meretz party, and Ibtisam Mara’na from the Labor Party. The moderate, 3 members of the United Arab List abstained from voting.
Previous Knesset session (Reuters)
Voting and fate
The Netanyahu camp - which includes Likud, Religious Zionism, Shas and United Torah Judaism, all of which are right-wing parties - has insisted that the law not be passed, even if its effectiveness expires at the end of this month, and in the event of a vote against this law, it will not be extended.
With this insistence, Netanyahu guaranteed two things, the first is that the dissolution of parliament will automatically extend the emergency regulations law, and the second is that early elections may open the way again for him to head the government.
Representative Ghanem asserts that the strong opposition from Netanyahu was the main reason for the downfall of the government.
In this regard, he says, "The government consisted of 62 members, but 3 of them, who are from the right-wing Yamina party headed by Bennett, left the coalition and joined the opposition."
He adds that for this reason, there was no future for this government, and there was no doubt that there was strong opposition headed by Netanyahu (...) and it was clear to everyone that this country was going to a fifth election.
The Likud was able to win over a member of the right-wing Yamina party, Idit Silman, and an MP from the same party, Amichai Chikli.
Likud had contacts with right-wing MK Uri Auerbach, who announced last week that he would stop supporting the government for its failure to extend the Emergency Regulations Act.
Israeli media, including the broadcaster, said that Netanyahu focused on Yamina party members for months to push them to defect from the government.
Representative Ghanayem returned to say that Bennett was unable to control his house, as he reached the prime ministership with 7 members, while today he has only 4 members, "and from here the problem began."
He added, "Many members of his Yamina party took guarantees that they would be on the Likud (party) list in the upcoming elections, and some of them were promised ministerial portfolios and positions," and continued, "For these reasons, they left Bennett, and went from right to right, that is, to the Likud party."
Ghanem Bennett demanded that the United Arab List not be held responsible for what happened, adding that "he must hold himself, hold his party members responsible, and then accuse others."
Netanyahu welcomed Bennett's decision to dissolve the Knesset, and said in a tweet on Twitter Monday evening that this is an evening of great news for millions of Israelis.
"After a year of resolute campaigning against the Knesset, it is clear to everyone that the most miserable government in the country's history has come to an end," he said, adding that it was time for an Israeli national government to be formed.
Bennett used his government's failure to extend the law as a main reason for his decision to dissolve the Knesset (Reuters)
Attitudes and polls
Public opinion polls in Israel indicate that Netanyahu's camp and the opposition camp are still unable to collect 61 votes in the next Knesset in favor of forming a government.
Representatives from the government announced their intention to prevent Netanyahu, who is being tried on suspicion of corruption, from returning to power.
"The goal in the upcoming elections is clear: to prevent Netanyahu from returning to power and enslaving the state for his personal interests," Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, leader of the right-wing New Hope party, wrote in a tweet.
As for Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, he wrote in a tweet, "Today's elections are the result of machinations, lies and sabotage by one man, his name is Netanyahu, and the main goal in the upcoming elections is to prevent him from returning to power."
hypotheses and fears
However, observers put forward the hypothesis of reversing the dissolution of the Knesset, and the formation of a right-wing government headed by Netanyahu, made up of right-wing parties (from the government and the opposition).
Observers say that the right may prefer union with each other, rather than entering into the cycle of elections, knowing that the upcoming elections will be the fifth within 3 and a half years.
In this regard, Ghaneim says, "The only fear is that the right-wing bloc (before implementing the decision to dissolve the Knesset) and if it does bloc, the most right-wing government in the history of Israel will be formed."
He added that the right-wing members of the Knesset, whether in the government or the opposition, make up 80 out of 120 members, and the fear is that they will ally with each other under the Likud banner, and in this case they will form the most right-wing government.
The MP from the United Arab List expressed his fear that Netanyahu could persuade more members of the right to support him, thus forming a government.