After a little over one year of gridlock and bickering, on December 2 2014 Prime Minister Netanyahu fired his Minister of Finance Yair Lapid
and his Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni and on December 3 called for new elections as soon as possible. New elections will be held on March 17 2015. In a televised speech on Tuesday December 2 Netanyahu stated that "frequent elections are not a good thing, but a government with no governability that includes ministers who are working against it from the inside, is much worse." Offering scathing criticism of Lapid and Livni and stating that they "harshly attacked" him,
Netanyahu claimed that from the very begining that this "was a contrarian government" that was "forced on [him]."
The cabinet disagreed over controversial topics such as the defense budget, a tax break for first time home-buyers and new settlements. After long negotiations a state budget that left neither side satisfied was approved on September 24, 2014, deepening the rift between Netanyahu and Lapid. The announcement by Netanyahu of new settlement construction immediately following Operation Protective Edge was criticized by Livni, who considers the settlements as "a burden," and the cause for the failure of peace talks.
Perhaps the principal catalyst of the dissolution of the 33rd government was Netanyahu's controversial 2014 Jewish nation-state bill, which among other things would have removed Arabic as one of Israel's official languages. The bill was opposed by Livni and Lapidbut approved by the rest of the cabinet. Livni and Lapid, along with international critics argued that enshrining in law Israel's place as a Jewish state would have discriminatory consequences for Israel's Arab citizens who comprise 20% of Israel's population. Former Israeli President Shimon Peres stated that this bill would "destroy Israel’s democratic status at home and abroad." As of January 2015 the bill has been introduced to the Knesset by MK Avi Ditcher of the Kadima Party, but it is still in it's very early stages and has not yet had a preliminary reading.
On December 3 after a preliminary reading, the Knesset
approved a measure that disolved the Knesset. This legislation gives the Knesset three to five months to prepare for new elections, scheduled for March 17 2015. The Knesset officially voted to disolve itself on Monday December 8.
Tzipi Livni and her Hatnuah party joined forces with Issac Herzog and the Labor party to run on a joint ticket in the March 2015 elections. The two leaders agreed on a rotation system, should they be victorious, in which Herzog would serve as Prime Minister for the first two years of the term, followed by Livni.