The government officially submitted to the Knesset Monday a bill for elections on September 4, immediately after the summer vacation and less than two weeks before the Rosh HaShanah holiday.
Ironically, the government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been one of the most stable in recent years, but the sudden storm over the law concerning draft exemptions for hareidi religious youth provided an opportunity to exploit favorable polls.
Unlike previous elections, this campaign will last only four months, a relief for many voters who quickly become tired of political party jingles. The relatively short period also might be in Netanyahu’s favor because it gives the new party formed by Yair Lapid less time to organize.
Globes reported Monday that Lapid is trying to recruit two of Israel’s wealthiest business people, Teva Pharmaceuticals’ outgoing CEO Shlomo Yanai and recently retired Bank Leumi CEO Galia Maor.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet Monday his government’s achievements were brought about amid political stability but added, “It is no secret that…there is a loosening of the coalition stability…that results in blackmail and populism , which damage our principles, security, economy and society."
Mainstream media already is trying to paint the Likud party as being led by "”extremists,” which was the term Israel Broadcasting Authority's flagship radio station used Monday to describe Likud Knesset Members who support a Jewish presence throughout Judea and Samaria.
The opposition parties said that the government has failed to provide “social justice,” but the growing economy may make it a difficult area for an attack on the outgoing coalition.
The issue of Judea and Samaria provides an easier and more definable target for mainstream media and opposition leaders, who have argued that developing Judea and Samaria for Jews has taken funds away from social programs.
They also have charge that ‘settlements” have created a stumbling block in the “peace process,” but even foreign media have shown frustration at the Palestinian Authority for rejecting any compromise and insisting on all of its territorial and political demands to be met.