Israel Split As Politics Return To Normal

Things are awry in Israel’s politics, with new pressure mounting on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the country’s war with Hamas continues to rage on.

Just this week, a centrist bloc of the country’s unity government that was formed around Benny Gantz, a former defense minister of Israel, has now broken up.

Many people believe that this break up is a sign of potential positioning as a possible election looms in the next few months, even though it’s significantly ahead of the October 2026 due date.

Normal rules of politics in Israel have basically been suspended over the last few months, but this could throw a wrench into that.

On Tuesday, one of Netanyahu’s former top officials, Gideon Saar, said that he would be ending the partnership with Gantz and forming his own center-right bloc in Israel’s parliament.

Back in October, those two men joined the right-wing coalition of Netanyahu’s government as part of an emergency government of national unity after the terrorist organization Hamas attacked Israel early that month.

It’s very likely, according to a report from Fox News, that this shift in coalitions won’t have much of a major effect in Israeli politics, as they tend to happen quite often. It’s also possible that Saar could claim a seat of his own in the war cabinet.

Other analysts have said that this break-up signals that politics will return to what they have normally looked like before the war.

Amit Segal, who’s a columnist for news outlet N12, wrote:

“Alongside the ongoing political disagreements, the move is evidence of a growing split in Israeli politics after Oct. 7: the return of the right-wing versus center-left.”

Gantz has been a big favorite to become the next prime minister of Israel. He made surprise trips to both London and Washington in recent weeks, without getting Netanyahu’s approval first.

In a speech that he gave to parliament this week, Gantz said:

“We can’t ignore the fact that there are challenges in the government’s conduct.”

He also called for unity in Israel and urged all parties to “do what’s right for Israel. When the war ends, we’ll hold elections and all candidates can explain what they offer and what they’ve done for the country during this difficult time.”

A few days after this announcement was made, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that new elections should be held in Israel, as he said that the government under Netanyahu is an “obstacle to peace.”

Schumer, who is the highest-ranking Jewish official in the history of the U.S., urged Israel to do better,” in referring to all the casualties of Palestinian civilians that have happened during Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza.

In remarks he made on the Senate floor this week, Schumer said Israel “must make some significant course corrections.” He continued:

“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”