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What Another Israeli Election Means for Netanyahu and Normalization

MIN READDec 29, 2020 | 20:18 GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz (left) attend a cabinet meeting in the Knesset on May 24, 2020.

(ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel’s new election season will empower Israeli nationalists and foreign policy hawks, straining relationships with its U.S. and European allies and potentially setting back normalization efforts with states such as Sudan, Morocco, Oman and Saudi Arabia. After failing to pass a national budget, Israel’s Knesset dissolved itself on Dec. 22, triggering yet another early ballot. Disputes over the length of the budget timeline helped catalyze long-standing tensions between the Israeli unity government’s primary political anchors, with Blue and White party head Benny Gantz accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party of trying to use the national budget to better position themself for future elections. Israel’s fourth general election in less than two years is now set for March 23. ...

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