Israel’s opposition alliance disbands months before election


Israel’s centre-left opposition alliance has broken up in a dramatic realignment of the country’s political battleground just months from a general election. Avi Gabbay, the leader of a coalition of opposition parties, made the unexpected announcement live on television that he would no longer partner with veteran politician Tzipi Livni, even as she sat expressionless next to him. It was not clear if Livni had been told of the move.

The now-defunct Zionist Union alliance, composed of Gabbay’s Labour and Livni’s Hatnuah parties, finished with the second highest number of seats in the last election in 2015. With support from the more affluent districts around Tel Aviv and from liberal voters, the partnering had focused on unseating Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud, but failed. It has since tumbled in opinion polls and Gabbay, who took over as leader in 2017, has had an uneasy relationship with Livni, a former foreign minister.(theguardian)…[+]