Election fails to unseat Netanyahu; legislation might: Israel Update


March 6, 2020


Final Israeli election results show that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party secured 36 seats, while the Blue and White party netted just 33. However, the Netanyahu bloc—which includes the Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Yamina parties—wound up with only 58 seats and fell short of reaching a majority. The Likud demanded a recount of Monday’s election and filed a lawsuit on Thursday that intends to force a rechecking of all polling station protocols. While the centrist Blue and White, the right-wing secularist Yisrael Beytenu, the left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz, and the predominantly Arab Joint List parties—combined—have a parliamentary majority with 62 seats, it is considered highly unlikely they will coalesce to form a government.


One election report suggests Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party will recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that Benny Gantz be tasked with forming a government. This report was presented on the same day Lieberman announced that his party would support legislation prohibiting a member of Knesset facing indictment from forming a government, as well as limiting the tenure of any prime minister to two terms. The legislation is clearly aimed at Netanyahu, who has served four terms as prime minister and has been charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three criminal cases, all of which are slated to begin sometime in March.


As of Friday, the Israel Health Ministry has confirmed 21 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus. Between 50,000 and 80,000 Israelis are currently reported to be in self-quarantine. Foreigners from a number of European and Asian countries have or will be banned from entering the country. Large events, such as concerts and sporting matches, have also been canceled due to a series of expanding directives issued by the Health Ministry.


The Israel Police announced Thursday that it had begun a crackdown on citizens who are violating quarantine restrictions. Through a statement, the police said they had opened eight criminal investigations against Israelis who have either violated home quarantine rules or misled Health Ministry inspectors. According to some reports, those who violate the state directives could face up to seven years in prison. Israel was the first country to urge its citizens to refrain from international travel—entirely because of the outbreak. On the same day of the police announcement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting to deal with the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 outbreak. Netanyahu announced that a government emergency fund would be created to help companies that have been hurt by the spiraling health crisis.



Shabbat Shalom,



Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


P.S. If you or a friend would like to get our own, up-to-the-minute Israel Update, you can sign up here; when asked for "interests" click "weekly Israel Update."


'Look Beyond the Veil,' Says Israel's First Hijab-Wearing Lawmaker


The Likud Demands Liberman Probe After Push for Netanyahu Ouster


PA Locks Down Bethlehem as Coronavirus Suspected In City


Fate of March of the Living Unclear as Poland Gets First Case of COVID-19


Watch: Israel’s 2020 Eurovision Contest Song Features Four Languages

JCRC Upcoming Events.jpg
We Need to Talk - Hassan-Nahoum Darawshe - March 2020 2.jpg

Join the community on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:00 PM, at the Mayerson JCC to hear from two diverse voices on the difficult topic of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel: an Israeli-Arab thought leader on this issue, and a Jewish government official from Israel’s conservative Likud party. For more information and to register, click here.  

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 9.14.36 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 9.13.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 9.16.58 AM.png


 Follow the Jewish

Community Relations

Council on Facebook  




• Follow director Jackie

Congedo and the JCRC

on Twitter




• Visit our website for

more information and



About Us

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Contact Us

Jackie Congedo, Director 

Jewish Community Relations Council 

513-985-1501 | jcongedo@jfedcin.org


© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.