Bibi calls early election, for 9th of April.
Israel’s 2019 election: A battle of two Benjamins
It is beyond implausible that Avi Gabbay, the leader of the opposition Zionist Union, is going to win April’s elections. Tzipi Livni, the formal head of the opposition in the just-dissolved Knesset, certainly isn’t going to win either. Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid, has only a slightly better chance. Naftali Bennett, leader of the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home, knows his ambitions will have to wait a while longer. Moshe Ya’alon, the former chief of staff who is setting up his own party, could struggle even to clear the Knesset threshold if he runs alone, let alone become prime minister.
In short, we could save the Israeli economy the NIS 1.8 billion ($480 million) that somebody in the Treasury has computed the elections will cost us, spare ourselves 100 days of bickering and demagoguery, and just declare Benjamin Netanyahu the winner again right here and now. Were it not, that is, for another Benjamin.
Labor, under whatever name it competes, is unelectable so long as mainstream Israel sees no prospect of the Palestinians accepting viable terms for coexistence. Yesh Atid looks incapable of drawing enough support from center-right and center-left to challenge Netanyahu’s Likud. And nobody on the right comes close to rivaling Netanyahu’s popularity and political mastery.
Hopefully Bibi's last term of office.