Israeli Parliament Dissolves, New Elections Scheduled For January

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got what he wanted on Monday night when the Israeli Parliament, also known as the Knesset, voted to dissolve itself and schedule new elections for the end of January. The Israeli Knesset had almost passed a similar bill 5 months ago when Israel’s largest political party, Kadima, decided to change its position within the Knesset and join Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

This time there will be no last minute deals to save the government; elections are scheduled for January 22, 2013.

The motion to dissolve the government passed by a 100-0 vote. Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech on the floor of the Knesset late Monday evening telling those present, “This time it’s final. We are going to elections.”

Netanyahu gave a speech asking the public to trust him and re-elect him in January. He listed the accomplishments that his government can take credit for including a booming economy, increasing the defenses of the Southern border, and building Israel’s first cyber-defense force. Netanyahu also took a swipe at former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he said:

“We didn’t initiate any unnecessary wars. There were no wars at all in my seven years as prime minister. The reason there were no wars is because we showed strength.”

According to some polls, Olmert would have a chance at capturing the Prime Minister’s office if he decided to return to politics.

Netanyahu also laid out his policy goals should he be reelected. One of the primary focuses will be on planning and construction reform. Netanyahu said:

“In the current term, my coalition partners and the opposition prevented the reform, which would have helped solve the housing crisis, from passing,”

Unmentioned in his speech was the threat facing Israel by Iran and their pursuit of nuclear weapons.