Israel History Since 2010

In September 2010, direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians took place in Washington after mediation by US President B.Obama . The main points of contention remained unchanged: the refugees’ right of return, the status of Jerusalem, the borders between Israel and the West Bank and the construction of Jewish settlements. As B. Netanyahu was unable to enforce the extension of a ten-month settlement freeze beyond September 26, 2010 in his ruling coalition, the Palestinians withdrew from the negotiations in November 2010.

Disputes over direction prompted Defense Minister E. Barak to leave the Labor Party in January 2011 and to found a new parliamentary group (Atzmaut; German »independence«). Four other Labor Ministers followed him. They kept all of their government offices. The remaining three Labor Ministers left the cabinet. The background to the split was the growing dissatisfaction of the left wing of the party with the slow peace process. In February 2012, the Supreme Court declared the previous exemption for strictly religious Jews in military service to be illegal. The resulting necessary conscription reform led to tensions in the governing coalition. On 8 May 2012, the von Schaul Mofas (* 1948) Kadima introduced the government. This avoided early elections for the time being. However, the new cabinet of national unity failed to agree on a reform of conscription. As early as July 17, 2012, Kadima therefore announced its withdrawal from the government. As a result, the Knesset decided to dissolve itself on October 15, 2012 in order to enable new elections.

According to aceinland, the early elections for the 19th Knesset took place on January 22nd, 2013. The legal alliance of Likud and Israel Beitenu became the strongest parliamentary force and won 31 seats despite a considerable loss of votes compared to the last elections. The party »There is a future« of the former TV presenter Jair Lapid , which appeared for the first time, immediately took second place with 19 seats, ahead of the Labor Party, which was able to win 15 seats. B. Netanyahu formed a center-right government made up of the Likud-Beitenu alliance, the “There Is a Future” party, the “Jewish Home” settler party and the Hatnua. The new cabinet was sworn in on March 18, 2013. On March 20, 2013, US President B. visited Obama for the first timeIsrael. Through US mediation, direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were resumed in 2013. On March 12, 2014, the Knesset decided to gradually introduce compulsory military service for the devout Jewish men who had previously been exempted from it. In the run-up to the vote, there had been mass demonstrations against this project. After Fatah and Hamas announced that they would again form a joint government, Israel suspended peace talks with the Palestinians in April 2014. On June 10, 2014, R. Rivlin (Likud) was elected tenth President of Israel by Parliament in the second ballot.

After massive rocket attacks on southern Israel, the conflict with Hamas and Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip escalated again. For the third time since 2008, the Israeli army conducted a large-scale military operation. The military clashes lasted from 8 July 2014 to 26 August 2014. Egypt brokered a ceasefire again. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers lost their lives, as well as four Israeli civilians and one foreign civilian. Large parts of the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure were destroyed.

Against the background of disputes within the governing coalition over the 2015 budget and a bill to define Israel as the »nation state of the Jewish people«, Prime Minister B. Netanyahu spoke out in favor of early elections and dismissed Finance Minister J. Lapid and Justice Minister T. Livni . In order to enable new elections on March 17th, 2015, the Israeli parliament voted for its dissolution on December 8th, 2014 with a majority. Contrary to the forecasts, B. Netanyahu’sLikud led in these elections to the strongest parliamentary force by winning 30 seats in front of the alliance »Zionist Union« made up of the Labor Party and Hatnua (24 seats). The Arab “Common List” came third with 13 seats. After difficult negotiations, B. Netanyahu formed a religious-national coalition in early May 2015 from the parties Likud, Kulanu, Jewish home, Shas and United Torah Judaism. In doing so, he secured a majority of 61 of the 120 parliamentary seats.

From autumn 2015 onwards, knife attacks by citizens of Arab origin and Palestinians from the West Bank increased, fueling concerns about a third intifada, a violent Palestinian popular uprising. At the end of May 2016, the Israeli Beitenu party joined the ruling coalition, which was able to expand its majority in parliament. A. Lieberman became Secretary of Defense. B. Netanyahu received foreign policy support for his government’s stance on the status of Jerusalem in May 2018 by moving the American embassy (May 14) and the Guatemalan embassy (May 16) from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Prime Minister B. Netanyahu had brought the parliamentary elections forward by a few months to April 9, 2019 in view of the corruption allegations made against him in three cases. The Likud under B. Netanyahu’s leadership was tied with the blue-and-white electoral list, led by the former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (* 1959), each with 35 seats. Both campaigners announced their victory on election evening. B. Netanyahu wanted a new government with the small right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties. The formation of a coalition failed until the statutory deadline on May 29, 2019, because Avigdor Lieberman (* 1958; Israel Beitanu), former foreign and defense minister, refused to sign a draft of conscription for ultra-Orthodox Israelis. In a process for the first time in Israeli history, B. Netanyahu dissolved the Knesset six weeks after the election.

In the elections on September 17, 2019, none of the political camps achieved a majority. The incumbent Prime Minister B. Netanyahu initially received the mandate to form a government and failed for the second time in a row. President R. Rivlin then gave the mandate to B. Gantz , who initially tried to form a grand coalition of blue-white and Likud. The attempt was unsuccessful because Netanyahu wanted to involve the bloc of right-wing and religious parties. As a further variant, a minority government under blue and white with left-liberal parliamentary groups and support for the Arab League was under discussion. This variant was also unsuccessful. Gantz announced the mandate on November 20, 2019 Rivlin back.

In September, October and November 2019, Israel was the target of sustained rocket attacks from Syria and the Occupied Territories. The Israeli air force bombed the house of Baha Abu al-Ata (* 1977), leader of the Islamic Jihad, who commanded the north of Gaza and was supported by Iran.

The judgment of the ECJ in November 2019, according to which exported products from Israeli settlements must be labeled as such, was criticized many times as discriminatory. The US sided with Israel. The construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is “not per se incompatible with international law,” said US Secretary of State M. Pompeo .

In March 2020, Netanyahu was able to win the third election within a year, but he did not achieve a clear majority in this election either. The subsequent government coalition, which Netanyahu formed as the leader of the conservative Likud party with the liberal blue-white party, failed again after a few months in a dispute over a new budget.

The election campaign for the fourth election (March 2021) within two years was dominated by two topics: The successful fight against COVID-19 through a rapid vaccination campaign and a trial against Netanyahu , who was on trial for corruption as the incumbent Prime Minister. Israel made international headlines, especially with its vaccination campaign. Israel was the first country in the world to vaccinate a large part of its population and to take the first steps back to normal after the Corona crisis. Israel benefited from the extensive digitization of the health system. By releasing patient data to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer a sufficient amount of vaccine could also be guaranteed.

In May 2021, the Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine escalated again. After Israel was attacked by the radical Islamic Hamas on May 10, 2021, there were mutual heavy air strikes for eleven days. Previously there had been clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. After mediation by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi , a ceasefire was reached on May 21, 2021.

The election in March 2021 again failed to bring a clear majority. N. Bennett from the ultra-right Jamina party and the liberal J. Lapid from the party “There is a future” were able to mobilize eight parties as an alliance against Netanyahu in June 2021 and replace him as prime minister. The alliance was confirmed in parliament on June 13, 2021. The new Prime Minister was N. Bennett , who is to be replaced by J. Lapir after two years.

Israel History Since 2010