In Brief: Labor to back bill to dissolve Knesset and bring down government

Amir Peretz. Photo: עט הזמיר, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Labor is to vote to bring down the government of which it is a member in a no-confidence motion that will be debated in the Knesset tomorrow.
The fate of Benjamin Netanyahu’s “unity government” – which Labor joined with its centrist Blue and White allies earlier this year – appears to be hanging in the balance, with speculation rife that the country is heading for new elections. It would be the fourth time in just under 18 months that Israeli voters have been forced to go to the polls. Israeli media reports suggest that Blue and White will join Labor and the opposition parties to vote against the government. The preliminary vote tomorrow will be followed by a Knesset committee vote and three further votes by the Israeli parliament.
“It is not possible to continue to have a government in which the most permanent thing is uncertainty,” Labor leader Amir Peretz (pictured) tweeted of the party’s decision to back the no-confidence motion.
The coalition has been teetering in recent weeks as the deadline for passing a budget approaches. The coalition agreement requires the government to pass a two-year budget covering 2020 and 2021. But Netanyahu has reneged on that pledge and wants to pass only a budget covering 2020. If no budget is passed by 23 December, the government will fall. Many suspect Netanyahu of deliberately engineering the crisis to prevent defence minister Benny Gantz from assuming the premiership. Gantz, the leader of Blue and White, is due to become prime minister under the coalition’s “rotation agreement” next November. However, if the government collapses for any reason other than a failure to pass the budget, Gantz would automatically take the reins and become caretaker prime minister. Read full article