Israel's Parliament voted to dissolve itself after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to establish a right-wing nationalist government.
But his victory is far from certain and, even if he wins, he could still face a shaky government.
Two of the prime minister's chief opponents have joined forces to counter the move.
The controversial appointment comes two months after Netanyahu clinched re-election, in part by reassuring right-wing voters
Israel has existed before Netanyahu and it will exist after him. He does not represent the best, most humane, moral and creative aspects of Israel.
The damning consequences Netanyahu's new government will inflict on the country are as certain as night following day. Israel, which has been led astray by Netanyahu for so long, is fast approaching a new precipice unlike any other it has faced in years past.
Most Israelis now believe that they need to choose between security and democracy, and the Israeli electorate has spoken clearly: It prefers security. As a result, Netanyahu is about to form the most extreme right-wing government in Israeli history without a centrist party that serves as a fig leaf and provides international legitimacy.
The results were a surprise due to the fact that pre-election polls published on Friday showed the Zionist Union in the lead
The Times of Israel notes that while Secretary of State George C. Marshall did indeed oppose recognizing Israel at the time
The general climate of fear and hopelessness concerning developments in the Middle East serves Netanyahu, the master of fear, phenomenally well. And the center-left has not had the energy and the political will to come up with alternatives that would require creative thinking.
The Israeli general election, scheduled for March 17, can be fateful for the Israeli Arabs. If they want equal distribution of resources to improve their socioeconomic conditions, fully integrate into Israeli society, and contribute constructively to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, they must now fully exercise their right to vote and not squander this historic opportunity.
Over the past few weeks I have been called anti-Semitic, a Nazi lover, a self-hating Jew, a disgrace to "my people" and worse, all because I despise the war mongering, self-promoting Netanyahu and his policy of continuing to build settlements.
The international law blog Opinio Juris pointed to one thin silver lining in this dark cloud in a Saturday post. Kevin Jon
The Obama administration would have to challenge the Israeli government's hard line toward the Palestinians in order for the peace process to be successful. Unfortunately, the White House apparently had no interest in doing so.
Netanyahu has always liked to think of himself as a daring leader a la Churchill. He is about to find out that it takes more than cigars and grand rhetoric to actually become a great leader.