Middle East Eye / July 23, 2020
This week, Benjamin Netanyahu has eyed up a general election in November amid his ongoing corruption trial, the coronavirus pandemic and continuing protests.
If the poll goes ahead, it would be the country’s fourth election in less than two years.
Israel went to the ballot box in April and September 2019, and again in March 2020 after indecisive results.
According to two polls conducted by Maariv newspaper, Netanyahu’s Likud party will still have the lion’s share of seats in the Knesset, though it will lose some to the up and coming Yesh Atid-Telem alliance, founded by Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon after the breaking apart of Blue and White.
Maariv’s poll shows that Likud will win 32 seats out of 120 seats in the Knesset, followed by the centrist Yesh Atid-Telem with 18 seats, and the Arab Joint List that represents Palestinians inside Israel with 12 seats.
The ultra-Orthodox party of Shas will win 10 seats, with the Blue and White alliance down to 9 seats. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu will win 9 seats, United Torah Judaism will get 8 seats and Meretz only 7 seats.
These Knesset seat allocations will likely produce a government similar to the current one, with Netanyahu as the prime minister.
On Thursday, an angry Israel President Reuvin Rivlin told cabinet ministers to “stop the talk about holding an early election”.