Likud is Rapidly Disintegrating; Netanyahu Called ‘Political Pig’ by Former Justice Minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The fourth Israeli election within two years promises to be different than the previous three elections.

The next election is tentatively scheduled for March 2021. It followed the collapse of the government coalition erstwhile headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after it failed to reach a budget agreement.

The Netanyahu/Benny Gantz coalition was on its way to collapse anyway, as both leaders of the Likud and Blue and White respectively agreed on very little since they announced their ‘emergency government’ on March 26.

Gantz’s own ‘centrist’ had a shaky start as well. As soon as an agreement to form a government was announced, Gantz’s allies, Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Moshe Ya’alon of Telem, pulled out, leaving Gantz at a great disadvantage.

But Gantz’s is not the only party that fragmented as a result. The Likud’s second strong man, Gideon Sa’ar, defected on December 17, forming a new party, New Hope. By doing so, Sa’ar took with him other disgruntled Likud members and a large and growing constituency. But it doesn’t end here.

“Some Likud lawmakers are calling for party primaries to shake up Benjamin Netanyahu’s party slate ahead of the March elections,” Times of Israel reported today.

Members of Knesset, Nir Barkat, Eli Cohen and Shlomo Karhi, “express support for the move in interviews with Army Radio,” according to the Israeli paper.

An internal vote is needed to “restore the trust of its voters,” Karhi said. Cohen, on the other hand, indicated that the decision will be made next week.

When Sa’ar quit the Likud earlier this month to form his own party, in a move akin to late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s forming of Kadima in 2005, other Likud MKs, such as Michal Shir and Sharren Haskel, joined him.

The forthcoming elections also promise to be the most divisive yet if compared to the previous three. While the nature of Israel’s political discourse is often quite contentious, the degree of belligerency is already at all times high.

Quoting Israel’s former Justice Minister Haim Ramon, Israeli media said that Ramon described Netanyahu as a “political pig.”

Ramon’s comments were made in an interview with Israel’s Radio 103FM on Tuesday. The former minister served as the representative of the Blue and White coalition negotiation with the Likud. He fully blamed Netanyahu for the collapse of the government.

“You want to know why we are going to elections? Benjamin Netanyahu, a political pig,” Ramon had said. Later, he apologized for his comments, according to The Times of Israel.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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