EYEAFRICA TV: Jerusalem, Israel: Experts in Israel are not optimistic about the country’s third election in a year, fearing it may end up with the same results and difficulties as the previous two.
Israel will hold an election on March 2, 2020, its unprecedented third within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist rival Benny Gantz failed to form a coalition government before the final deadline.
Following neck-to-neck results in the national election in September, neither Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party nor Gantz’s centrist Blue White party managed to garner enough support for a coalition.
Gideon Rahat, director of the Political Reform Program at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), believes that the third election will not provide a solution for the political deadlock.
“The elections are all about Netanyahu, there is the pro-Netanyahu camp, there is the anti-Netanyahu camp, and in the middle there is a guy that try to bring the two camps together. Nobody succeeds in doing anything, so we are having third elections, and we are not sure that we wouldn’t end up with the same results and the same difficulty,” said Rahat in a Thursday interview in Jerusalem.
According to polls in Israel, a majority of the public believes that Netanyahu is to blame for the third election.
Tamar Hermann, academic director of the Center for Surveys at he IDI, said that since the public confidence in the government has hit the bottom, the situation would not be worse, and the third election would not yield dramatically different results.
“They will lose confidence in the system, but it is very difficult because they have already lost confidence in the system, so we will see what we call a ‘floor effect’. Actually, in the latest polls that we did, the number of people who trust the political parties is about 15 percent, of the Knesset is about 25 percent, a quarter, and the government, about 30 percent, so there is not much lower than that that one can get, so I suppose we are not going to see a political earthquake in Israel,” said Hermann.