What’s going on in Israel? Why is it so hard to establish a government?

Why wasn’t Netanyahu able to establish a government this time?

Israel does not have the form of government the United States has, where you vote for a presidential candidate. In their form of government, you’re actually voting for one party among others running for seats in the 120-member Knesset legislature. To be in power requires 61 mandates. The problem is, Israel has dozens of parties.

Imagine if the US had dozens of parties rather than just the Democrats and Republicans and you were voting to have a majority of parties form a governing coalition. That’s why it’s so complicated. Prime Minister Netanyahu is the longest- serving prime minister in Israel’s history, surviving four elections in the past two years.

The reasons are quite complicated, but I’ll try to simplify them. Number one, to form a government each coalition wants something depending upon the number of votes they have. Maybe they want a cabinet position, such as the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Defense, or maybe they want to be prime minister and have rotating prime ministers. Or maybe they want funding for their particular causes. Every party has its own agenda, and every party is different.

So now Yair Lapid, chairman of the center-left Yesh Atid (There’s a future) Party, will attempt to form a government. Like Netanyahu, he’ll have 28 days to do it. If not, instead of a fifth inconclusive election, President Moshe Rivlin will probably throw the election back to the Knesset to resolve.

Mike Evans is the executive editor of Jerusalem World News. He is the founder of the Friends of Zion heritage Center in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Prayer Team, and the largest pro-Israel Facebook site in the world. Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, with 108 published books, whose articles have been published in newspapers throughout the world.