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Israel’s third election only intensified political chaos

Four days after the elections in Israel, all the different sides are still squabbling among themselves as if the election isn’t over yet.
Traffic moves past a Blue and White party election campaign poster, depicting party leader Benny Gantz, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Tel Aviv, Israel February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC243F9KEJJJ
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had less than a day of grace before learning that his great achievement — increasing the size of his Likud party and the right-wing ultra-Orthodox bloc by three seats — had come crashing down against the cement floor of reality. Once again, he found himself facing off against the man who spent a year keeping him from a fifth term as prime minister, Chairman of Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Liberman. While Liberman is not Netanyahu’s top rival, he holds the keys for Netanyahu reaching a majority coalition. And it looks like this time Liberman will do anything he can to “finish the job,” as he sees it, and “remove” Netanyahu from the prime minister’s office.

In the two days immediately following the election, Liberman kept his silence and held his cards close to his chest. By March 5, he was already back in the ring with a renewed vigor and all sorts of bad news for Netanyahu. At the end of a party meeting that he called, Liberman announced that Yisrael Beitenu had decided to advance two new laws, including one that would prevent any Knesset member under indictment from being tasked with forming a new government. Sources close to Liberman noted that he would recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz be tasked with forming the next government.

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