Israel holds fourth election in two years

Israelis went to the polls for a fourth time in two years on March 23. Some hope it is a chance to get rid of the man who has held the post of prime minister for the past 12. For weeks, protesters have taken to the streets on Saturdays to demonstrate against Benjamin Netanyahu.

Shortly after the election, his trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust will resume. Netanyahu denies the charges and is hoping Israel’s successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign could keep him in power, but the economy has suffered and his early handling of the pandemic provoked discontent.

The past three elections have pitted his right-wing party against Benny Gantz, the former army chief-of-staff and his centrist party. But not this time.

When Gantz agreed to join a unity government in April, he did so to end months of political stalemate. The failure to get a national budget passed by the parliament forced an unprecedented fourth election.

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