A multi-colored government led by Bennet threatens the Netanyahu era

A multi-colored government led by Bennet threatens the Netanyahu era

Right, left and centrist parties finalize a rotating Executive to give a political turn in Israel

Netanyahu, during a public intervention last Wednesday, which could be his last as prime minister.  / afp

Naftali Bennet reversed this Sunday and decided to support Yair Lapid to generate a political change in Israel. “I am going to work with all my might with my friend Lapid to form a unity government. None of us will be able to comply with our entire ideology, but it will be a government of all […] I will not accept being part of a right-wing government led by Benyamin Netanyahu. We will have this Government of change or there will be fifth elections, “declared the former settler leader in a speech addressed to the nation.

Next Wednesday the term that the president, Reuven Rivlin, gave Lapid expires, 57, to form a new Executive and until then everything is possible in a country that has already held four elections in less than two years.

The leader of the small ultranationalist formation Yamina rectifies and, despite the fact that during the recent military operation in Gaza he assured that he would not support this option, he now accepts Lapid’s offer, whose first consequence will be that Netanyahu will lose power for the first time in twelve years, a political earthquake in the Jewish state. The second will be the formation of a rotating government in which Bennet will occupy the prime minister’s seat in the initial shift, to later cede it to Lapid.

Netanyahu, 71 years old, he waited to hear the intervention of Yamina’s leader to criticize his decision and regret that “he is only interested in being prime minister.” At the same time, he warned that this future unity government would be “a danger” to Israel’s security. “This is the scam of the century,” he added, citing past public promises Bennet made not to join Lapid. He also stated that a right-wing government was still possible. How will we look into the eyes of our enemies? What will they do in Iran and Gaza? What will they say in the corridors of the Government in Washington?

Trying to thwart the opposition agreement, Netanyahu He made a three-way counteroffer at the last minute to step aside in favor of another right-wing politician, Gideon Saar. Under that plan, Saar would serve as prime minister for 15 months, Netanyahu would return for two years, and Bennet would serve for the remainder of the term. However, Saar, a former Likud cabinet minister, quickly rejected the plan.

If the agreement for change achieves its objective, it will have in its ranks an ultra-nationalist prime minister along with ministers from the center and the Israeli left. It will also need the support of Arab deputies from the Islamist party or from the Joint List in order to reach 61 seats. Some equations that present a very unstable future.

Former Netanyahu protégé

Bennet, the son of American emigrants born in Haifa 49 years ago, is a successful entrepreneur in the tech startup world who made the leap into politics in 2006. A former protégé of Netanyahu in the Likud, he was quick to start his own projects, although always open to coalitions with his former boss in which he has held the ministries of Diaspora, Religious Services, Education and Defense.

The problem between them is not ideological, it is more one of management and personnel. The same thing that has happened to Netanyahu with other ex-protégés such as Avigdor Lieberman or Gideon Saar, who will also be part of the possible Government of change.

The settlers are thus taking a further step in their political project and are about to place whoever was the leader of their council at the head of the Executive of Israel. Bennet led the Yesha Council and one of the key points in his electoral program is the need to move from the occupation to the annexation of area C of the West Bank – after the Oslo accords the West Bank was divided into three parts, on paper the area A, under civilian and military control of the Palestinian National Authority [PNA], Area B led by the PNA and joint military control with Israel and C under exclusive military control and almost total civilian control of Israel].

“We must continue working in this direction to annex this area C and give it an Israeli identity, the same as we did with the Golan and East Jerusalem, areas that over the years the world has already understood that they are ours”, is one of the maxims that the ultranationalist leader repeats in each campaign. If this Government of change is consummated, he will have the opportunity to lead this project that Netanyahu himself could not carry out.

The various members of the new coalition would have little in common, other than a desire to end the twelve-year career of Netanyahu, Israel’s oldest leader., who faces legal proceedings on corruption charges that he denies. It would be a fragile alliance that would focus on the economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic, leaving aside issues on which members disagree, such as the role of religion in society and Palestinian aspirations to become a state. .

Israel has passed four legislative sessions in less than two years, none of which succeeded in separating Netanyahu from a stable government. After the last appointment with the polls on March 23, the president, Reuven Rivlin, gave Netanyahu, whose Likud party [right] finished in first position, the mandate to form an Executive. But the outgoing prime minister did not manage to gather the 61 necessary deputies, of the 120 of the camera, to return to govern.


Gaza, Iran, Washington


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