Netanyahu May Dissolve Israel’s Parliament as Political Disputes Grow

Netanyahu-Barak Row Centers on DM Seeking to Join Likud

From the moment Israel’s fractured far-right coalition government came together, people have been wondering how long it would last. It seems the end is just about here, with some officials saying the currently recessed parliament, the Knesset, may not meet again.

Instead, they say, Netanyahu will dissolve the Knesset before it reconvenes one week form Monday, setting the stage for elections some time in February. The move is a function of both the growing budget crisis in Israel and the rise of several high profile political disputes.

The most surprising dispute, that between Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak, was the result of a failed attempt by Barak to push his way into Netanyahu’s Likud Party, which involved him demanding very high ranking spots on their election list for himself and his remaining political allies.

At the last election, Barak was the leader of the center-left Labor Party, but his hawkish tendencies and cushy relationship with the far-right coalition government eventually split the party, with Barak and a few aides forming the Independence Party, whose ill-defined “centrist” platform seemed to begin and end with seeking a top cabinet spot for Barak.

Ultimately, Independence may not survive the new election, with early polls suggesting Barak would be lucky enough to get a single seat for himself next time around. With his plan to join the right-wing Likud apparently not working too well either, his political future remains murky.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of