JERUSALEM, Israel – Israelis are again facing uncertainty when it comes to their government. After Tuesday’s announcement of the ruling coalition’s collapse, the country faces two scenarios: either October elections or a new government within days.
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is scheduled to vote Monday to dissolve the government and pursue elections in October. As former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told CBN News, however, that may not be the only outcome.
“I would advise of our audience to be patient till next Monday. Because I have seen a lot of things happen in Israeli politics and I recall when I was in the Knesset, we already voted to [dissolve] the government, and then, the next day we were able to form a new government. So it’s not over yet," said Danon.
One reason is that former prime minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is talking with current Knesset members.
“There are individual members of the Knesset that can break away from their party and we’re seeing that in Yamina. That’s what brought down the government in the first place. It’s Naftali Bennett's co-members of parliament [who] abandoned him. So if that happens and Netanyahu could put together 61 [seats in Israel's 120-seat parliament], it’s still possible that Israel can avoid elections," said CBN News Senior Editor John Waage.
“I think there are a number of members of Knesset that understand it will be better for the country and better for their political careers because otherwise, they will not be able to get back to the Knesset," said Danon. "So, the only option for them to stay involved is for them to actually form a new government within the existing Knesset.”
Another reason for that is the ongoing threat of Iran. Danon explained that several months without a stable government would pose a greater danger to Israel.
“If we can avoid elections, that is the right thing to do because our enemies are looking and they would probably try and take advantage of the situation here in Israel and I would advise them not to challenge us," said Danon. “When it comes to our security, we [won't] accept any acts of aggression.
Given Monday's scheduled vote in the Knesset, it’s likely Israelis will know by then if they have a new government or will look at their fifth election in the last three and a half years.