- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces the prospect of facing a national vote for the second time in a year after his efforts to create a new governing coalition broke down Thursday amid feuding by his right-wing negotiating partners.

Mr. Netanyahu vowed to win September 17’s new elections after the Knesset voted 74-45 late Wednesday evening to dissolve itself in the face of the failure of the coalition talks.

Just six weeks ago, Mr. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud party were celebrating what appeared to be a smashing victory clearing the way for a fifth term for the prime minister, but the coalition talks snagged on the issue of preserving a military draft exemption for young Orthodox Jewish men.

The collapse of the government is also a blow to the Trump administration, which now faces months of turmoil and indecision in Jerusalem as Mr. Trump prepares to unveil a major new Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and tries to rally allies in the region against an increasingly assertive Iran.

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