Fresno, California 2021-05-30 18:16:01 –
A dramatic announcement by Naftali Bennett, the leader of the small hardline Yamina party, prepared for a series of steps that could push Netanyahu and his dominant Likud party to the opposition the following week.
Bennett and his new partner, led by opposition leader Yair Lapid, are still facing some obstacles, but they have reached an agreement to end the deadlock that has plunged into four elections in the last two years. Seems to be serious about it.
“I will do my best to establish the Government of National Unity with my friend Yair Lapid, and God will be happy to save the country from the predicament and bring Israel back into its orbit. “I will,” Bennett said.
By Wednesday, the two will have to complete the contract, each taking turns serving as prime minister for two years, with Bennett as prime minister first. Rapid’s Yesh Atid party member said the negotiating team would meet later on Sunday.
Former Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chief aide and senior ministerial official, Bennett, shares the prime minister’s hard-line ideology. He is a former leader of the Settlement movement in the West Bank and leads a small party based on religious and nationalist Jews. However, there are individual differences from the former mentors, and they have built a tense and complicated relationship.
Bennett said there was no feasible way to establish a right-wing government backed by Netanyahu after a stalemate in the March 23 general election. He said the same result would be achieved in the next election and that it was time to end the cycle.
“Such a government will only succeed if we work together as a group,” he said. He said everyone “needs to put off realizing some of their dreams. Instead of fighting the impossible all day, focus on what they can do.”
If Benjamin, Rapid, and other partners can conclude the deal, Netanyahu, the most dominant figure in Israeli politics in the last three decades, will end his record tenure, at least for the foreseeable future. He has served as Prime Minister for the past 12 years and also held his previous term in the late 1990s.
In his statement on television, Netanyahu accused Bennett of betraying Israel’s right wing and urged nationalist politicians not to participate in what he called the “leftist regime.”
“Such a government is dangerous to Israel’s security and to the future of the nation,” he said.
Since being charged with fraud, back office, and bribery in late 2019, Netanyahu has become a polarized person despite his election advantage. A dead end.
Netanyahu is desperate to maintain power during the trial. He has rallyed bases in his office and has furiously protested police, prosecutors and the media.
To establish a government, the leader must secure 120 seats in Knesset, a majority of 61 seats in parliament. Coalitions are usually built with smaller partners, as no single party controls the majority. The current parliament has 13 political parties of various sizes.
As leader of the largest party, Netanyahu was given the first opportunity to form a coalition from the country’s leading president, but he could secure a majority with traditional religious and nationalist allies. I could not do it.
Netanyahu also tried to appeal to a small Islamist Arab party, but was thwarted by a small transnational party with a racist anti-Arab plan. Arabs make up about 20% of Israel’s population. However, Arab political parties have never joined the Israeli coalition.
After Netanyahu failed to establish a government, Rapid was given four weeks to form a coalition. He must complete the task by Wednesday.
Bennett’s Yamina Party, which controls only seven seats in parliament, has emerged as a kind of kingmaker by providing the support needed to secure a majority. If he succeeds, his party will be the smallest party to lead the Israeli government.
Given that the anti-Netanyahu block has a wide range of political parties that have little in common, Rapid was already facing a difficult challenge. Among them are a dovish left-wing party, a pair of right-wing nationalist parties, including Bennett’s Yamina, and perhaps a unified Muslim Arab list.
Rapid’s mission became even more difficult after the outbreak of a war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on May 10. His coalition negotiations were suspended during the 11-day battle.
However, as the deadline approached on Wednesday, negotiations began in earnest. Lapid has reached a coalition agreement with three other organizations so far. If he confirms a deal with Bennett, the remaining partners are expected to reach an agreement soon.
Then, in about a week, they submit the coalition to Congress, hold a formal vote of confidence, and allow it to take office.
Johannan Presner, president of the Israeli Institute for Democracy, said Netanyahu would try to undermine these efforts to the end.
According to him, Netanyahu’s main strategy is to urge hardliners, both Bennett’s party and New Hope, another hardline party led by former Netanyahu’s best friend, to withdraw support for the new coalition. If only one or two lawmakers leave, it could prevent Rapid from gathering a majority and force another election.
“Something might happen,” Presner said. “I wait for the final vote to pass.”
Even if Rapid and Bennett put the government together, Netanyahu is unlikely to disappear, Presner said.
Netanyahu may remain the leader of the opposition and try to take advantage of the deep ideological differences of the opposition to break the coalition.
“History tells us that it’s unwise to ignore him.”
Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All copyrighted.
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