World leaders in Israel for Holocaust forum but domestic political uncertainty looms large

More than 40 world leaders will attend the fifth World Holocaust Forum today in Jerusalem amid ongoing deadlock in Israeli

world holocaust forum

Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

More than 40 world leaders will attend the fifth World Holocaust Forum today in Jerusalem amid ongoing deadlock in Israeli domestic politics.

Although the purpose of today’s forum is remembering the victims of the Holocaust and combatting anti-Semitism, the failure of both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition to form a majority government since April 2019 will be evident. A number of world leaders slated to meet with Netanyahu, including French President Emmanuel Macron, will also meet with Gantz for the sake of balance in an election period.

Netanyahu’s uncertain political standing undermines Israel’s ability to manoeuvre diplomatically. Political deadlock means, for example, that countries like France with complete economic and research-related agreements with Israel cannot get them signed due to the caretaker status of the Netanyahu government.

Political instability in Israel is expected to continue beyond the March 2 general elections. Although polling shows Gantz’s Blue and White coalition is slightly leading Netanyahu’s Likud party, neither is projected to gain enough seats to create a majority government.

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