Israel’s Politics Enter New Phase of Uncertainty

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The failure to form a government and indictments against the prime minister raise questions about the country’s democracy.

JERUSALEM – ON THURSDAY Israel reached yet another milestone in the political deadlock that has prevented the formation of a new government after unprecedented back-to-back elections.

The Knesset, the country’s parliament, has now entered a never-before used grace period, in which its 120 members have 21 days to find among themselves someone supported by an absolute majority who is willing to try to form a governing coalition. If they can’t, there will be a third round of elections, testing the patience of the citizens and the resiliency of this 71-year-old democracy.

Add to this the attorney general’s same day indictment of acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and Netanyahu’s pledge to stay in the government – and many are shaking their heads in disbelief and very unsure of what will come next.

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