|A MAJORITY OF ONE?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces his most serious crisis to date.
January 22, 1998
in this forum:
Was Foreign Minister Levy's resignation political posturing? How much can the U.S. actually achieve in the peace process? What are the chances that the prime minister will use the divisiveness of redeployment to dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections himself? Are the Members of Knesset willing to dissolve the government altogether and run for re-election themselves? Isn't it possible that Mr. Netanyahu will survive this crisis as well? Viewer Comments
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Tom Herbst of San Francisco, CA, asks:
As it appears that Mr. Netanyahu faces the next to impossible task of appeasing all parties on the issue of redeployment, what are the chances that he will use the divisiveness of the issue to dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections himself?
Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, professor of political science at Hebrew University and visiting scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, answers:It all depends on one question, Netanyahu's perception of his vulnerability as a prime minister and his chances of getting reelected in case he calls for early elections. It appears that he is presently certain of his immediate survival, which means that he will not opt for new elections. But given his record of unexpected blunders and mistakes, a surprise decision to go for early elections remains a real possibility.
Dr. Amos Perlmutter, professor of government at American University, answers:
Netanyahu, like all Israeli prime ministers, faces the impossible. Dissolving the Knesset, holding new elections, will not bring an end to divisiveness but will enhance it.