Israel?s Do-Over Election: D?j? Vu or a Chance for Change?


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Avigdor Liberman
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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/world/middleeast/israel-election.html
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Summary

Determined to deprive his rivals of a chance to form a government, Mr. Netanyahu orchestrated the swift dissolution of the newly elected Parliament, leading to Tuesday’s vote.Mr. Liberman’s defection from the right-wing religious axis and his refusal to join a government with ultra-Orthodox parties has thrust Israel’s secular-religious divide to the fore.Under Israel’s electoral system of proportional representation, no single party has ever won enough votes for an outright majority in Parliament. “I think we need to give a chance to a new leader.”Like last time, the main contest is between Mr. Netanyahu, 69, and Benny Gantz, 60, a soft-spoken, reserved former military chief of staff and leader of the Blue and White party, named for the colors of the Israeli flag.In Israel’s parliamentary democracy, people vote for a party, not a person. Instead Mr. Liberman says his party will support a candidate willing to form a broad government of national unity.Both Blue and White and Mr. Liberman have said they aim to forge a coalition that excludes the ultra-Orthodox parties, ending years of what many Israelis view as political extortion by small and midsize sectorial parties in return for their support.Blue and White says it wants to form a unity government, which would normally involve joining forces with Likud.

As said here by BY ISABEL KERSHNER