Israel’s Government Collapses (Again)

Israel’s governing coalition collapsed, forcing a new general election for the fifth time in three years.


Israel’s governing coalition collapsed, forcing a new general election for the fifth time in three years.

  • Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his most important coalition ally Yair Lapid, the foreign minister, decided to dissolve the Knesset next week and call an early election due in the fall. 
  • Bennett will also step aside as prime minister and be replaced by Foreign Minister Lapid on an interim basis. 
  • Lapid vowed to make the most of his interim premiership, promising to “tackle the cost of living, wage the campaign against Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and stand against the forces threatening to turn Israel into a non-democratic country.” 
  • Since June 2021, Bennett has governed Israel at the head of a fragile, unwieldy 8-party coalition of parties that span the Israeli political spectrum. 
  • The coalition began to unravel two months ago as objections from right-wing hardliners to Bennett’s “perceived moderation” grew louder and defections stripped the coalition of its parliamentary majority.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times wrote the dissolution “throws a political lifeline to Benjamin Netanyahu” and ends “weeks of paralysis caused by the defection of two-right wing government lawmakers and frequent rebellions by three others.” 
  • The Guardian contextualized the coming election, writing it comes as “Israel is dealing with the aftermath of one of the deadliest waves of Palestinian terrorist attacks in years, clashes at Jerusalem’s holy sites, and an escalation in tensions with Iran.” 
  • CNN noted the short-lived coalition was the first in Israeli history to include an Arab nationalist party led by Mansour Abbas. It is unclear whether the Arab party will remain aligned with Bennett and Lapid after the coming election.


  • Fox News noted the call for new elections came just one month before President Joe Biden is expected to visit the Middle Eastern country and could mean “Biden’s Middle East foreign policy victory” – a hoped-for Saudi-Israeli normalization deal – “will likely have to wait.” 
  • The New York Post identified the primary cause behind the decision to dissolve the Knesset was “the looming expiration of laws that grant West Bank settlers special legal status,” which would have led to “grave security perils and constitutional chaos.” The laws remain in effect until the election. 
  • The Wall Street Journal reported former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party leads the polls ahead of the election, but four consecutive deadlocked elections have demonstrated the difficulty Netanyahu faces in forming a government of his own.

Return to Freespoke

© Dominic Moore, 2022