Israel Votes in Fourth Election in Two Years, Deeply Divided by Netanyahu

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Israel Votes in Fourth Election in Two Years, Deeply Divided by Netanyahu” – below is their description.

Israelis head to voting stations on Tuesday in an all-too-familiar ritual that could deepen the country’s political impasse.

Polls show neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor any of his rivals securely forming a coalition after the fourth election in two years. The nation is fiercely divided over his leadership, which has been tested by graft charges against him and a coronavirus outbreak curbed but not quelled by the world’s most aggressive vaccination campaign.

With 13 parties in serious contention to enter parliament, Israel’s political system has become more fragmented and personalized, allowing extremists on both right and left to punch above their weight, said Yedidia Stern, president of the Jewish People Policy Institute, a research center.

“The likelihood is that even if a coalition is formed after the election, it will be vulnerable and fragile, and its chances of surviving over time are not good,” Stern said in a pre-election statement.

Israel has been engulfed by political turmoil as regional and global turbulence mounts. Tensions with Iran and its proxies flared repeatedly, and while the Israeli economy weathered the coronavirus better than many others, risks are piling up.

Joblessness, including furloughs, is towering at 18%. The national budget hasn’t been updated since March 2019, impeding key policy action like improving outdated infrastructure. And the government is watching warily as U.S. President Joe Biden works to rejoin the Iran nuclear accord and reset relations with the Palestinians that foundered during Donald Trump’s era.

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