On your marks…

It looks like we are heading for elections:

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The main headline in Israel HaYom this morning (above) is ‘On the way to elections.’

It follows a meeting between Netanyahu and Lapid that ended ‘in an explosion’ as the paper puts it. Apparently Netanyahu made demands of Lapid, including to drop Lapid’s controversial affordable housing plan – a key part of Lapid’s party mainfesto, sometimes described as the flagship policy. Given that was not likely to be a demand that was met, what was Netanyahu’s aim?

It is suggested Netanyahu is trying to get the haredi parties on his side for the next coalition. ¬†Their price – essentially undoing the work to broaden the burden of national service – is unlikely to go down well with many of the voters on the center and left of the political spectrum. If they can align their voting intentions, perhaps the next government will be free of Netanyahu and the haredi parties? Unless Netanyahu can somehow put together his new coalition now, by ditching Yesh Atid and Lapid and swapping in the religious parties. In other words, was Netanyahu’s demand cover for the fact he is pretending to prepare for elections, while actually preparing a new coalition? It’s unlikely, but people tell me all sorts of unlikely things happen in Israeli politics.

In sporting terms, all to play for.

Here are some links to decent reportage by the Times of Israel (here and here) and the Jerusalem Post (here).