“After the spectacular collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to build a coalition threw Israel into an unprecedented do-over election, Israeli public attention on Thursday was glued to two politicians,” the New York Times reports.
“One was Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister for the last 10 years, but the other was not Benny Gantz, his main challenger in the election last month. Instead, the first day of the new election campaign was dominated by Mr. Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of a small ultranationalist party and former coalition partner who has become anathema to Mr. Netanyahu.”
“That divide, between the ultrareligious right and the secular right, has for the moment eclipsed the old left-right divide in Israel. It proved to be Mr. Netanyahu’s undoing on Wednesday, his deadline to form a governing coalition, and could be critical in the next election, scheduled for Sept. 17.”