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Is this the end of the Netanyahu era?

Last Wednesday at 23:30 PM (Israeli time) Yair Lapid . informed, leader of the largest opposition party Yesh Atid, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he was successful in forming a new government. The new government would consist of eight parties and a narrow majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

Yair Lapid, who is set to become Israel's prime minister in the final two years of the term, was given the mandate from President Reuven Rivlin after incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to meet the deadline. The first two years of the term will be filled by Naftali Bennett, leader of the Yamina party, a party more extreme than Netanyahu's Likud party in many ways. But the coalition is anything but right-wing and conservative.

The coalition consists of the center party Yesh Atid (17 seats), the liberal Kah'ol Lavan (8 seats), the right-wing Yamina (7 seats), the left-wing socialist Labor (7 seats), the center-right Yisrael Beiteinu (7 seats) , the liberal Tikva Hadasha (6 seats), the left-wing Meretz (6 seats), and the fundamentalist Islamic Ra'am (4 seats).

The only thing that seems to hold this coalition together is their opposition to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In any other situation, this coalition would be unthinkable, but their distaste for Netanyahu seems united enough to inaugurate this coalition as the new Israeli government.

Yair Lapid informed the President half an hour before the deadline of forming the government, if Lapid missed this deadline it would go to the Knesset, where every MP, who gets a 61-seat majority, becomes the Prime Minister can become.

Series of elections

Benjamin Netanyahu has been the prime minister of Israel for the past twelve years, during this period he has implemented many reforms that have helped the economy and made Israel a superpower. In Israel he is called by supporters “King Bibi" mentioned. Until 2019, he seemed unbeatable. He worked out every political crisis he got into.

In 2015, opposition parties came close to removing Netanyahu from office, but he was still able to assemble at the last minute a new coalition that enjoyed a majority in the Knesset. In the 2019 election, it was a neck-and-neck relationship between Netanyahu and Kah'ol Lavan's Benny Gantz, a popular military man whose biggest point was the removal of Benjamin Netanyahu from office. Gantz came close, with Likud and Kah'ol Lavan both winning 35 seats in the election, while Likud was ahead by 20.000 votes.

When the April 2019 elections had no clear results and both Netanyahu and Gantz failed to form a government, new elections were called for September 2019. In that election, Benny Gantz took the lead with 33 seats and 40.000 more votes than Likud, who ended with 32 seats.

September 2019 was a repeat of April 2019, again no clear outcome and both Netanyahu and Gantz failed to form a majority government.

In March 2020 there were again elections, in these elections Likud again rose above Benny Gantz. Likud won 36 seats, four more than in September, and Kah'ol Lavan won 33 seats. This time, a Netanyahu-Gantz government was formed because it came right at the start of the Corona pandemic, and both Likud and Kah'ol Lavan thought the political struggle was less important than fighting the (then) unknown virus.

Again elections in Israel

This unity government spurred the implosion of Benny Gantz's party, whose primary goal was to remove Netanyahu from office, but now explicitly backs him and leaves him in office. In December 2020, Gantz and Netanyahu were unable to agree on a budget. Israeli law then requires the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections. They were held in March.

But these elections no longer saw the great clout of the alliance that Gantz had brought together, several parties that were part of the Kah'ol Lavan alliance went their separate ways again, including Yesh Atid of Yair Lapid. Netanyahu won 30 seats and the second party, Yesh Atid, got about half of those with 17 seats.

End Netanyahu?

Forming this coalition is not the end of the exercise for Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu. He is still trying to do everything he can to make the coalition fail, after all he only needs 1 or 2 rebels in the coalition to make the coalition fail. With the current seats, the coalition has 61 seats compared to the 59 remaining seats in the Knesset. If the coalition still fails, new elections will most likely be called, which would be the fifth in three years.

If the coalition succeeds, Benjamin Netanyahu, as leader of Likud, will take on the mantle of opposition leader. And with the very fragile coalition that has been forged there, it is not inconceivable that the government will fall prematurely. If this happens, Netanyahu will be prime minister of Israel again in no time.

Netanyahu has been defeated as prime minister before. After serving his first term from 1996 to 1999, he was defeated in the elections by Ehud Barak. But less than ten years later, he was back in the position he holds to this day.

Netanyahu accuses coalition of collaborating with 'deep state'

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stepped up attacks on Naftali Bennett, calling him a serial liar and accusing him of selling Israel by joining this coalition. Netanyahu said this to Channel 20. According to Netanyahu, the incoming government would be a danger to Israel and would cooperate with the 'deep state'.

“The Deep State is very deep in this government.” – Benjamin Netanyahu

Naftali Bennett has lied to the people and is a liar at heart. Bennett could never accept a government with the Islamist Ra'am and the left-wing Labor. The new government, Netanyahu says, is more dangerous than Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which led to Hamas taking over the Gaza Strip and carrying out violent attacks against Israel ever since.

“Bennett is selling the country. The coalition can only come together through stolen votes from the right given to the left.” – Benjamin Netanyahu

De Times of Israel wrote the following about the deep state comments:

Netanyahu, who had a famously close relationship with Trump, has alarmed some by adopting some of the language the former president used when he refused to hand over the US presidential election to Joe Biden — rhetoric seen as a direct cause. of the deadly Capitol uprising of January 6. Trump also claimed the election had been "stolen" and repeatedly repeated "deep state" conspiracies.

Confidence Motion

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin will present on Monday the statement by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid that he can form a government, kicking off the process of holding a confidence vote in the new government.

By law, the vote must take place within seven days of the announcement, and members of the emerging government pressured Levin to vote on Wednesday.

However, Wednesday's plenary agenda published by the Knesset contains no mention of an swearing-in for the new government, making it very likely that Levin will hold the vote on Monday, June 14.

Levin is said to have thought about scheduling the vote to approve the new "government of change" on Wednesday if there appears to be a reasonable chance of preventing the formation of the potential government.

But with the unity government pushing for an early date and apparently committed all their members to the coalition, that now seemed unlikely.

To be continued…

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