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Netanyahu goes all out in battle against state budget

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will do whatever it takes politically to prevent the state budget from passing, thereby toppling the Bennett government.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before parliament votes to approve the new government, Jerusalem, June 13, 2021.

Israeli law considers the vote over the state budget as a vote of confidence in the government. Thus, with the 2021-22 budget scheduled to be voted on Nov. 4, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces one of his most critical junctures in the current era. A Knesset approval will cement the future of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government for at least two years, meaning that Netanyahu’s prospects of returning to power in the foreseeable future will shrink to almost nil. On the other hand, if Netanyahu comes up with some sort of political ploy or a miracle occurs and he is able to deprive the government of the majority it needs to pass the budget, the Knesset will be automatically dissolved. In such an eventuality, Netanyahu will be crowned in an instant, at least in the eyes of the public, as Israel’s next prime minister.

Netanyahu obviously knows this. His many followers do, too. His successor Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Gideon Saar are also well aware of the stakes. The budget vote is a decisive battle of historic proportions waged by a fragile but determined multiparty coalition against the most powerful politician ever to operate in Israel, a man without inhibitions capable of doing anything it takes to turn back his wheel of fortune and make another comeback, against all odds.

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