World News: Israel Election Cliffhanger Has Bibi and Benny Deadlocked

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The results of the September 17 elections in Israel are a statistical tie. Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are tied within the margin of error constituting a tie. Each leader is now looking to make a deal with minority vote-getting Avigdor Liberman to form a coalition government with the needed 61-Knesset seat minimum.

 Weighing in on the likely outcome and its consequences is David Rubin, former Shiloh, Israel, and author of "Trump and the Jews."  

Q:This election appears to be Groundhog's day all over again. Last April there was virtually a tie between Prime Minister Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz but the two were unwilling to form a governing coalition due to ideological and personal differences. 


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A: Netanyahu is center-right and Gantz is center-left. But the key player here again is Avigdor Liberman who refused to budge last time, forcing Netanyahu to call for snap elections. The world is waiting to see if he budges this time

Q: Can you explain to our viewers/listeners the difference between the Israeli form of government and the U.S. government? 

A: Of course. Israel has a rather unwieldy parliamentary system with a whole bunch of smaller parties. It's a system in which the leader of the most popular party must form a majority coalition by appealing to smaller parties that will join his coalition. Of the smaller parties, Liberman's was a 'major minority.'

Q: What are Netanyahu's options in cutting a deal with Liberman? 


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A: He and Liberman have had a very shaky relationship in the past and if he were to cut a deal with Liberman, it would likely involve secularizing the government, cutting out the religious factions and requiring the Ultra-Orthodox to be included in mandatory military service. Also, while Liberman is considerably more conservative than Netanyahu, he is willing to coalesce with the Arab bloc that largely views Jews as their enemy, in order to oust Netanyahu.

Q: What are likely options for governing coalitions? Couldn't Liberman kiss and makeup, cut a deal, and join Netanyahu? 

A: If Liberman joins a Netanyahu government, the coalition would be more aggressive against Iran and the terrorist organizations and might declare Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank), as well. However, if Netanyahu has to bring in a left-wing party to make a majority coalition, there would be constant dissension within the coalition.


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You have a new book out. Where can people get a copy of your book, "Trump and the Jews"? They may go to Amazon.com and simply type in the words, "Trump and the Jews".

 

Bio: David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh Israel, is the author of the book, "Trump and the Jews". Rubin is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children's Fund, established after he and his then three-year-old son were wounded in a terror attack. He can be found at www.DavidRubinIsrael.com or at http://www.ShilohIsraelChildren.org

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