Israel to Hold New Election After Netanyahu Fails to Build Coalition
Israel's parliament voted Thursday to dissolve itself after long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.
The lawmakers voted 74 to 45 to end the current session of parliament and hold new elections on September 17. This marks the first time that Israel will have two elections within the same year.
Netanyahu's Likud Party won 35 seats in parliament in the first election on April 9. But that was far less than the number needed for a majority in the 120-seat parliament.
Netanyahu was given until Wednesday night to form a government. He was hoping to form a coalition made up of Likud, ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and another group led by former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.
But negotiations collapsed when Netanyahu and the Jewish parties refused to agree to Lieberman's demand. The former minister wants the government to require ultra-Orthodox Jews to sign up for military service. Most Israelis over the age of 18 are required to do so.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews consider required military service a violation of their religious beliefs. Their rejection of military service angers other Israeli Jews.
After the parliamentary vote, Netanyahu said, "We will run a sharp, clear election campaign, which will bring us victory. We will win, and the public will win."
The Blue and White alliance of Benny Gantz narrowly lost to Likud in April. He would have likely been given a chance to form a government if parliament had not been dissolved. Gantz accused Netanyahu of being more concerned about his own political future than about what is good for the country.
Netanyahu and his supporters had expected the return to power would come easily. Netanyahu allies in Likud had already begun working on a bill aimed at granting him legal protection from corruption charges he is facing.
Netanyahu also was looking to push legislation to limit the power of Israel's Supreme Court and create a path for him to serve several more years in office.
Netanyahu first served as prime minister in the late 1990s. He returned to power in 2009, and has led the country for the past 10 years. In July, he is set to overtake Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, as the longest-serving prime minister.
The new election gives Gantz and other anti-Netanyahu forces in Israel another chance to defeat the longtime leader. The vote may make it more difficult for Netanyahu to pass bills aimed at protecting himself legally.
Even if Netanyahu wins in September, it is unlikely he would be able to form a government and win enough support for an immunity deal before a possible indictment. That would force him to stand trial and, in turn, put pressure on him to step down.
Israel's political problems could affect United States efforts for a Mideast peace deal. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans for a conference next month in Bahrain. At that meeting, the administration was planning to release what it calls the first step of its peace plan. U.S. officials had promised to release the plan only after the Israeli election.
I'm Caty Weaver.
1.Prime Minister 总理；首相
The Prime Minister was speaking ahead of today's meeting.
2.made up of 由...组成
The shoreline was made up of a jumble of huge boulders.
3.peace deal 和平协议
They are likely to be well disposed to an offer of a separate peace deal.
4.in turn 转而；轮流
In the city squares the neon lights flashed in turn.
5.That would force him to stand trial and, in turn, put pressure on him to step down.
put pressure on 向...施加压力
He may have put pressure on her to agree.
They put pressure on the Government to change its intransigent stance.
6.That would force him to stand trial and, in turn, put pressure on him to step down.
step down 辞职；下台
How many kings step down from their thrones?
The president need not step down so long as the elections are held under international supervision.
但是内塔尼亚胡和犹太政党拒绝同意利伯曼的条件后，谈判破裂 。这位前部长希望政府要求极端正统派的犹太人参军，大多数年满18岁的以色列人必须服兵役 。
极端正统派犹太人认为要求服兵役有悖他们的宗教信仰 。他们拒绝服兵役惹怒了其他以色列犹太人 。
内塔尼亚胡在议会投票后表示：“我们将进行一场激烈、明确的竞选活动，这将会为我们带来胜利 。我们会胜选，公众也会获胜 。”
4月份，本尼·甘茨的蓝白党以微弱劣势惜败利库德集团 。如果议会没有解散，他很可能有机会组建政府 。甘茨指责内塔尼亚胡更关心自己的政治前途，罔顾国家利益 。
内塔尼亚胡和他的支持者曾预计，再次执政“轻而易举” 。内塔尼亚胡所在利库德集团的盟友已经开始起草一项法案，旨在为面临腐败指控的他提供法律保护 。
20世纪90年代，内塔尼亚胡首次担任总理，他于2009年重新掌权，并在过去10年间一直领导着这个国家 。今年7月，他将超越以色列国父本-古里安，成为任期最久的总理 。
新选举为甘茨以及其它反内塔尼亚胡势力提供了推翻这位长期领导人的机会 。这次投票可能会使内塔尼亚胡更难通过旨在合法保护自身的法案 。
即使内塔尼亚胡在9月获胜，他也不太可能组建政府，并在可能的起诉之前为豁免自己赢得足够的支持 。届时他将被迫出庭受审，进而导致自己被赶下台 。
以色列的政局变化可能会影响美国为实现中东和平协议所做的努力 。美国总统特朗普领导的政府宣布了下个月在巴林举行会议的计划 。美国政府打算在会议上公布其所谓“和平计划”的第一步 。美国官员曾承诺，以色列大选结束后才会公布该计划 。