It’s poll no 5 for Israel in October

WEAKENED Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has found it impossible to carry on... and Israel’s Knesset will be dissolved on Wednesday.

That means the country will go to the polls for the FIFTH time in under four years to elect a new government.

And that has split fed-up Israelis right down the middle.

Many are dismayed by the collapse of the government — not least because they fear that a new general election on October 25 could produce another weak, insipid, unworkable coalition.

And that could mean yet ANOTHER trip to the polling booths soon afterwards.

They blame Israel’s complex method of proportional representation... and look enviously at the first-past-the-post system which produces strong governments for other countries.

Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid will step up to the top job until polling day, premier Naftali Bennett faces oblivion with a question mark over his future in politics — and old warrior Benjamin Netanyahu, now leader of the Opposition and on trial for corruption, is confident of an amazing political comeback.

In the meantime, here’s a sample of how perplexed Israelis have been stunned by developments:

“I am happy that we are going to elections — I hope Netanyahu will be elected again,” said Yael, a new immigrant from Paris, reflecting the views of many. “I think he is more action-oriented than everyone else.”

But others are nauseated by such regular trips to the polling station.

“I opted out in one of the past four elections because I’m so exhausted with it all,” explained Sharon, a New Jersey native who emigrated to Israel with her family when she was six years old.

Jack, an American who is currently visiting family in Israel, said: “You don’t know what you’re going to get in yet another election — how does that look to the rest of the world?”

When asked how the cycle of election after election could be broken, Jack said: “You need to cut down on the number of political parties, but then again Israel is the Jewish state so religion needs to have a say. But to what point?”

Voter David Levine admits that the present voting system has passed its sell-by date.

He said: “If there’s something that would actually work, then I would support it.

“But I’m not just going to push for a change that anybody wants to make — it has to be done very carefully.”

However, some voters took issue with the politicians themselves more than the system.

“I am going to vote, but I think that the government is making fun of its citizens by having so many elections,” said Jo, a lone soldier from Nice, France.

“How can we trust our vote to make a difference if there have been so many elections in the past couple of years?

“It can’t even be counted as a democracy. The government act like children — they can’t agree on a solution to help the country.”

Another soldier, Itamar, believes that a complete restructuring of the Knesset will be most effective in addressing the needs of Israeli citizens.

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