Israel heads for early elections as governing coalition collapses

Sheera Frenkel reports: Less than two years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed his new government, Israel could be heading back to the polls this winter.

Netanyahu said Monday that it is “impossible to manage the country” with the current coalition, claiming that his own ministers were undermining him. The final break came after a fiery showdown between Netanyahu and Yair Lapid, Israel’s finance minister and head of the centrist Yesh Atid party.

Netanyahu was seeking to gain Lapid’s support for a number of contentious bills, chief among them a bill to declare Israel a “Jewish State.” While Israel’s Declaration of Independence already describes Israel as a Jewish State, the new bill is being touted by Netanyahu as necessary to establishing Israel’s national identity.

Critics say it is an unnecessary bill that will infuriate the country’s Palestinian citizens and fuel anti-democratic legislation. [Continue reading…]

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