Netanyahu Knows Next Elections will be His Last Chance3 min read
No one in the Likud party has any knowledge of whether a bill for dissolving the Knesset will be brought to the floor on the coming Wednesday. This move would mean that there will be another round of elections held in Israel. The final decision of conducting the vote will depend on Yariv Levin, the chair of the Likud faction and leader of the opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu does not Want Elections
The general consensus is that the opposition leader is not interested in holding elections right now, even though he has made several statements to the contrary. This is because he is well aware that if he cannot form a government after the next elections, his party would no longer support him. Since he has been unsuccessful before, he does not want to take that risk.
A source close to the opposition leader said that Netanyahu was aware of this situation, due to which he was not willing to take the risk of losing the support of his party. The source further said that he had wanted to form a government with the existing Knesset, as it would have been ideal. However, this does not seem likely, especially with people like Gideon Sa’ar, the Justice Minister, who have refused to join any government with him in it.
The source also added that the ongoing corruption trial against the former premier would also have an impact on the considerations of the leader. According to the source, Netanyahu is thinking about his place in history, the trial and about his own legacy. He needs to become the premier during the trial in order to have better control of the country and for improving his status, even he does end up signing a plea deal.
A Satellite Party
Netanyahu is apparently considering the option of forming a satellite party, which can help bring in voters who may not support the Likud party, but will be able to join him after election when a coalition has to be formed. In this way, he will be able to get the 61-seat majority that he needs in the Knesset. One person he is considering is AmichaiChikli, who had been elected as an MK of the Yamina party in the current Knesset.
However, after the 2021 elections, he rebelled against his party right away and had voted against the current government since then. Back in April, the party finally kicked him about and labeled him a defector, which comes with political ramifications.
Oddly enough, Netanyahu interests are currently aligned with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, as neither of them want the Knesset to be dissolved and elections to be held. If Likud does decide to bring the vote for Knesset dissolution and they cannot get enough votes to pass it, then they will not be able to bring it up again for the next six months. It will have to pass through three readings before it comes into effect and needs a majority of the 120 seats in the Knesset.