Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Israel To Go To New Elections As Netanyahu Dissolves Knesset


Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu has called for the Israeli government to be dissolved in order to go to early elections.The vote will likely be held in late January or early February, with the earliest date being January 15th, 90 days from the opening of the next Knesset session on November 15th.

The chief reason is that elements of Netanyahu's coalition disagree on elements of a new budget.

So far,Israel has largely avoided the global financial slowdown but it must cut its budget by $4.3 billion to stay within the fiscal limits established by Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel back in August of this year.Where the cuts are going to come from is the chief matter of disagreement, although the fact that the campaign will come at the height of speculation and discussion over Iran's nuclear threat means that national security will also be an issue.

Netanyahu said that he has reached the conclusion that a responsible state budget cannot be passed.

"An election year is approaching, and in such years it is difficult for parties to put the national interest ahead of the party's interest," he said. "The consequence could… massively increase the deficit, which can impair our economy… I won't let that happen here."

Interestingly enough, the consensus among Israel's political parties both left and right was that the Prime Minister had made the right decision, and early elections were indispensable.

The key dissenter within Netanyahu's coalition over the new proposed budget is said to be Eli Yishai, Israel's interior minister and head of the Shas Party, who objected to a series of budget cuts.

Labor Chairwoman Yachimovich responded to the announcement with class warfare rhetoric that sounds like it was copied from a certain U.S. president's re-election campaign:

"The public must remember that Netanyhau is going to election so he could pass a harsh budget following election – a budget that may harm the lives of almost every citizen in the country, except the richest. The public must choose one of two approaches – Netanyahu's and mine. The election will determine whether we will have a violent jungle economy or a fair economy and social justice. The Labor party is ready for election, both ideologically and strategically."

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