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Photo: Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Less than two months after his biggest-ever electoral victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed in a desperate bid to form a new government. The Knesset has now voted to hold a new election on Sept. 17.

Why it matters: This is a huge political defeat for Netanyahu. It's the first time since the founding of Israel that a prime minister has missed the deadline to form a coalition after winning an election. Netanyahu opted for new elections before Israel's president offered one of Netanyahu's political rivals an opportunity to form a government.

Context: New elections will prevent Netanyahu from passing laws giving himself immunity from three pending indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

  • Netanyahu's plans to pass legislation allowing politicians to override Supreme Court rulings will also be hampered.

What to watch: The new elections in Israel will also further complicate the Trump administration's plans to launch its long-awaited Middle East peace plan. The White House hoped to have a new Israeli government in place before rolling out the first phase of the plan next month in Bahrain.

  • Jared Kushner, who is leading the White House peace team, arrived earlier this evening in Jerusalem with special envoy Jason Greenblatt and the State Department's Iran envoy, Brian Hook. They met tonight with Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer and are scheduled to meet Netanyahu tomorrow.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

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