Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni today, amid ongoing fighting over the Jewish statehood bill, and is expected to soon dissolve parliament and call for new elections.
Israel’s coalition has been strained for virtually its entire two-year history, with disputes over settlements, budgets, and the peace process all threatening to derail it. Ultimately, it was the debate over the Jewish statehood bill that did it, with Livni complaining that the effort to change Israel’s Basic Law undermined the nation’s balance as a Jewish and democratic state.
The next Israeli election is not yet scheduled but is expected to be at some point in early March, as opposed to its initially scheduled 2017. The current polling shows the ruling Likud Party gaining seats and Lapid and Livni both losing seats, but Moshe Kahlon’s Likud splitoff remains a wildcard in the equation, as it is expected to gain considerable seats, and it is unclear which side he will favor for building a coalition.