Opposition leaders struggled to complete talks to form a coalition government before midnight on Wednesday, delaying efforts to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ending one. two years of political stalemate Which has left Israel without a stable government or state budget.
If a deal is reached in time, and if parliament ratifies it in a vote of confidence in the coming days, it will bring down the curtain on Mr. Netanyahu’s premiership – if perhaps only for an intermission. He has been the country’s longest-serving prime minister, 12 years in a row and 15 years in total, and has defined contemporary Israel more than any other recent leader.
Failure to meet the deadline will make it more likely that Israel will soon face its fifth national elections in just two years.
Even if it does form, the new coalition will be an unusual and strange alliance between eight political parties, from a wide variety of ideologies, from left to right, which analysts struggle to last a full term. Will happen. In a harbinger of ensuing tensions, talks came to a halt on Wednesday after disagreements over whether a hard-right lawmaker and proponent of judicial changes, opposed by the left, should be allowed to join a committee to appoint new judges. will be allowed. She eventually agreed to share the work with a left-wing MP.
For their part, some left-wing and centrist ministers are expected to anger their right-wing coalition partners by focusing on police reform or halting settlement expansion.
The coalition’s success also rests on the support of a smaller Arab party, the RAM, which has refused to commit to a deal without assuring more resources and rights for Israel’s Arab minorities, including housing law reform. who are potential hard-right coalition partners. considered unacceptable.
While some analysts say that the Constructive Alliance reflects the breadth and complexity of contemporary Israeli society, others say that its members are too inconsistent for its compact, and see it as the embodiment of Israel’s political incompetence.
Coalition to be headed by 2023 Naftali Bennett, a former settler leader and standard bearer for the religious authority, which opposes a Palestinian state and wants Israel to annex much of the occupied West Bank. He is a former aide of Mr Netanyahu who is often described as more right-wing than the prime minister.
If the government lasts a full term, it will be led between 2023 and 2025 by Yair Lapid, a centrist former television host who is considered a standard bearer for secular Israelis.
Naftali Bennett, who is set to become the next Prime Minister of Israel, is a former high-tech entrepreneur best known for insisted that should never be A full Palestinian state and that Israel should annex most of the occupied West Bank.
Mr. Bennett, 49, the freely wealthy son of United States immigrants, first entered Israel’s parliament eight years ago and is relatively unknown and inexperienced on the international stage. This has left much of the world – and many Israelis – wondering what kind of leader he might be.
The former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Mr Bennett is often described as more right-wing than his old boss. Shifting between seemingly conflicting coalitions, Mr. Bennett has been called an extremist and an opportunist. Allies say he is merely a pragmatist, less ideological than he appears to be, and a lack of Mr Netanyahu’s propensity to downplay opponents.
In a measure of Mr. Bennett’s genius, he has now accomplished a feat that is extraordinary even by the complex standards of Israeli politics. Even though her party Yamina has won just seven out of 120 seats in parliament, she has cemented herself to the top post.
Mr. Bennett subsequently took advantage of his modest but decisive electoral weight. inconclusive march election, Israel’s fourth in two years. He entered coalition talks as the kingmaker, and appears set to emerge as the crown-bearer.
Mr Bennett has long championed West Bank settlers and once headed a council representing them, although he is not a settler himself. He is religiously observant – he will be the first prime minister to wear the kipa – but he will lead a governing coalition that is largely secular.
He will lead a precarious coalition that spans Israel’s fractal political spectrum from left to right, and relies on the support of a small Arab, Islamist party – much of which opposes his views on compromise and annexation. That coalition proposes to paper over its differences on Israeli-Palestinian relations by focusing on domestic affairs.
Mr Bennett has explained his motives for working closely with such ideological opponents as a last resort to end the political deadlock that has crippled Israel.
“The political crisis in Israel is unprecedented on a global scale,” he said in a televised speech on Sunday. “We may end up with a fifth, sixth, even 10th election, breaking down the country’s walls brick-by-brick until our house comes upon us. Or we can stop the madness and take responsibility. “
Naftali Bennett, who leads a small right-wing party, and Yair Lapid, the centrist leader of the Israeli opposition, have joined the army To try to forge a diverse coalition to oust Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
Spanning Israel’s fractal political spectrum from left to right, and relying on the support of a smaller Arab, Islamist party, the proposed coalition, dubbed a “change government” by supporters, could signal a profound change for Israel. is. Its leaders have resolved to end the cycle of divisive politics and inconclusive elections.
But if they form a coalition by the midnight deadline and topple Mr. Netanyahu, how much of a change will his “change of government” make when some parties vie for something other than an opposition to Israel’s longest-serving leader? agree?
Mr Bennett, whose party won seven seats in parliament, is often described as on the right compared to Mr Netanyahu. While Mr. Netanyahu debunks the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Bennett, a religiously observant champion of ghettoism in the occupied West Bank, openly rejects the concept of a sovereign Palestinian state. and advocate it. West Bank region.
Nevertheless, although the coalition will consist of several parties that disagree on both of those issues, they have agreed to allow Mr. Bennet to become the first prime minister.
If a coalition deal goes through, Mr. Bennett will be replaced for the second half of a four-year term by Mr. Lapid, who advocates for secular, middle-class Israelis and whose party won 17 seats.
Accepting the first turn in rotation, Mr. Lapido, who has been branded as a dangerous leftist by his opponents, paved the way for other right-wing politicians to join the new anti-Netanyahu coalition.
In a measure of the conspiracy behind this political change, Mr. Bennett pledged before the election that he would not enable any form of Lapid government or any government dependent on an Islamic party called Ram.
The coalition will stand or fall on cooperation between eight parties – seven in government and Ram voted to support it – with differing ideologies and on many issues, clashing agendas.
In a televised address on Sunday night, Mr Bennett said he was committed to promoting national unity.
“Two thousand years ago, there was a Jewish state that fell here because of internal conflicts,” he said. “It won’t happen again. Not in my mind.”
Opposition leader Jair Lapid has until midnight on Wednesday to inform President Reuven Rivlin that he has managed to form a viable coalition. If he makes that announcement, he has up to seven days to present the government to Parliament for a vote of confidence.
Even after the deadline expired on Wednesday, some differences within the coalition were being resolved. And with the fate of the new coalition relying on a narrow margin and hanging on every single vote, its allies were racing to complete the deal, knowing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies were on the lookout for potential defectors.
The coalition, left to right, is mainly united by opposition from Mr Netanyahu.
Israel has held four parliamentary elections in two years, all of them inconclusive, leaving it without a stable government or state budget. If the opposition fails to form the government today, it could lead to another election.
“There are still a lot of obstacles in the way of the formation of the new government,” Mr Lapid, leader of the centrist party, said on Monday. “Maybe that’s a good thing because we have to put them away together. This is our first test.”
One of the most unexpected kingmakers in the race to announce a new government is Mansour Abbas, the leader of the small Arab party known by its Hebrew acronym. Window, with four seats in the current parliament.
Although Ram is unlikely to play a formal role in the Lapid-Bennet coalition government, the government will rely on Rama’s support to pass a trust vote and be able to control parliament. Some Arab lawmakers played a similar role in the 1990s by supporting Yitzhak Rabin’s government from outside.
For decades, Arab parties have not been directly involved in Israeli governments. They have been mostly abandoned by other parties, and are set to join a government that oversees military actions in the Palestinian territories and Israel.
But after decades of political marginalization, many Palestinian citizens, who make up a fifth of Israel’s population, are calling for full integration.
Since the election of Ram March, Netanyahu has been willing to use his gains to work with both the pro- and adversary camps and to secure concessions for the Arab people. The party has refused to commit to a deal unless it is assured of more resources and rights for Israel’s Arab minority, including housing law reforms that potential hard-right coalition partners accept. do not.
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