“Unity” Government Fails in Israel, New Elections Slated for March

Head of Blue and White party Benny Gantz speaks at the annual international Municipal Innovation Conference in Tel Aviv, on February February 20, 2020. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** מדבר ישראל שלטון מקומי חדשנות בני גנץ כחול לבן

The State of Israel is now looking forward to an unprecedented fourth general election in the space of two years after a bill that would have avoided the dissolution of Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, failed to pass on Monday night. The legislation would have avoided a December 23 national budget deadline by extending the deadline to January 5.

The bill failed by a 49-47 vote, with four members of the Blue and White/Likud Party ruling coalition voting against keeping the current Knesset operating. The failure of the bill assures a new general election in Israel on March 23 of next year. It also signals the end of the “Unity” government formed under the leadership of the Likud Party’s Benjamin Netanyahu and the Blue and White Party’s Benny Gantz.

Likud member Gideon Saar speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, on

After the bill failed, one member of the Knesset (MK) announced that she was leaving the Likud Party to join the New Hope Party formed by another former Likud member, Gideon Sa’ar, earlier this month. MK Michal Shir announced her defection shorty after the vote on Twitter.

“I am at peace with my decision to do the least I can to end this embarrassing show of a stuck and conflicted government which is holding an entire country hostage for political seats, and therefore I will resign from the Knesset and join ‘New Hope’ led by Gideon Sa’ar,” Shir wrote.