6 thoughts on “Israel 2019b results

  1. CNN says, “The political deadlock in Israel showed no signs of abating Thursday, as the country’s leaders warned of the possibility of a third election …” So my question is, are there any constitutional and/or normative limits here, or can it go on indefinitely? Specifically, does the constitution eliminate a minority government as an option?

  2. Basic Law 14:13:(d) When a Government has been formed, it shall present itself to the Knesset, shall announce the basic lines of its policy, its composition and the distribution of functions among the Ministers, and shall ask for an expression of confidence. The Government is constituted when the Knesset has expressed confidence in it, and the Ministers shall thereupon assume office.

    Basic Law 14:28:(b) An expression of no confidence in the Government will be by a decision adopted by the majority of the Members of Knesset to request that the President assign the task of forming a Government to a certain Knesset member who gave his written consent thereto.

    Basic Law The Knesset 28: Save as otherwise provided by Law, the Knesset shall pass its decisions by a majority of those participating in the voting – those abstaining not being reckoned as participating – and the voting procedure shall be prescribed by the Rules.

    While I assume the English version is probably not the authoritative version, it seems that it is possible for minority government. The requirement for a majority to support constructive no confidence is not explicitly stated in the requirement for the initial vote of confidence. It would require abstentions in the initial confidence vote.

    The question is, given Israeli history, would any party be willing to abstain from a confidence vote instead of seeking to join a coalition and vote for a government it would be a part of.

  3. It would not require a majority of 61, but it would require abstentions. The issue with the last time was that Bibi would have had a vote of 60 to 60, which does not show the confidence of the Knesset.

    The Joint List of majority-Arab parties is quite interested in participating in a coalition, but is unlikely to be accepted by the Zionist parties. However, I can see two potential governments which they’d be willing to support from outside (content in the knowledge that they would need at least some concessions to guarantee long-term support): Blue and White, Labor-Gesher, and the Democratic Union would form the base of that government, joined by either Yisrael Beiteinu or Shas.

    I can’t see Blue and White joining a coalition with a Bibi-led Likud, so if the Likud is unwilling to ditch Bibi, they would likely turn to one of these options. I imagine Aryeh Deri of Shas will be quite willing to join a coalition in order to preserve at least the status quo of Haredi benefits; he’s shown himself willing to govern with the left in the past. Lieberman would likely be less likely to govern with the support of Arabs, and Arabs less likely to support him, but he may compromise if he sees his kingmaker position vanishing, particularly given that Blue and White and the Likud actually don’t need him to form a majority government.

    Bibi’s right-wing (save Lieberman) + Blue and White (ideally without Yesh Atid) proposal is obviously a pipe dream, so the main question becomes whether the Likud and Blue and White can form an agreement. I imagine Gantz and co will see the unity government as the first option provided Bibi is sidelined so right now the ball is in the Likud’s court and Netanyahu’s true internal power will come to the test.

    • The Joint List actually is NOT interested in participating in a cabinet of Israel. Yes, Odeh made a statement, but it quickly became clear he was not speaking for all the parties, or probably even for his own. Subsequent statements have been explicit that they do not want collective cabinet responsibility.

      So the remark I made about this back in April stands: The Arab parties would be unlikely to accept an invitation to join a government if it were offered, which it won’t be.

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