|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
November 7, 1997:
Benjamin Netanyahu tries to keep his coalition intact.
November 3, 1997:
An interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu .
September 4, 1997:
Suicide bombers threaten the peace process.
April 21, 1997:
Mr. Netanyahu faces a corruption charge.
May 30, 1996:
Benjamin Netanyahu is elected prime minister of Israel.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of the Middle East.
Zoe Sonnett of New York, NY, asks:
From my understanding, a vote of 61 out of the 120 seat Knesset is enough to call new elections of both Parliament and prime minister, while a vote of 80 is enough to call for a new election of only prime minister. As it seems that a vote of 80 is very unlikely at this point, are the Members of Knesset willing to dissolve the government altogether and run for re-election themselves?
Dr. Amos Perlmutter, professor of government at American University, answers:It is correct that 61 of the 120 will dissolve the Knesset, but to depose the prime minister you need 80 votes. Netanyahu would be only glad to dissolve the Knesset, and you are right that it is very unlikely mainly because new members of Knesset are unwilling to hold new elections as they fear they will not be re-elected.
Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, professor of political science at Hebrew University and visiting scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, answers:
They are not, which is the main reason for Netanyahu's precarious survival. You hear, however, the contention that if 61 Knesset members will make up their minds about bringing Netanyahu down, another 19 will quickly join them in order to make sure that the Knesset is not dissolved and that Israelis would only elect prime minister.