Netanyahu or Gantz: The tragic dilemma facing Israel’s Palestinian citizens

Members of the Joint List party sit next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as he began cross-party talks on 22 September over who should form a new government. (photo: Reuters)
The Joint List’s recommendation of Gantz as prime minister dramatically alters the traditional political stance of Arabs in Israel

By Orly Noy  | Middle East Eye | Sept 24, 2019

The degree of chaos in the Israeli political landscape today is indicated by the status of Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, who has proposed among other things the “transfer” of Arab citizens out of Israel entirely.

Many people were hoping that the mid-September election in Israel would resolve the political mess that followed the previous election in April when neither of the two leading candidates for prime minister – Benny Gantz of the Blue and White alliance and Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud – garnered enough votes to form a government.

But that hope was quickly dashed within a few days when the votes were counted. The political blocs headed by both candidates fell short of securing the 61 seats required for a parliamentary majority.

Chaotic landscape
On the right, the bloc headed by Netanyahu won 55 seats. It included Likud, Shas and the ultra-Orthodox Torah Judaism party as well as the far-right Yamina party headed by Ayelet Shaked. The centre-left bloc, headed by Benny Gantz, which includes Blue and White, the Joint List, Labor and the Democratic Union, secured 57 seats.

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