Naftali Bennett, a hard-line right-wing leader in Israel, has agreed to form a coalition government, announcing a major step towards ending Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.
Israel far-right Yamina party and moderate party Yesh Atid confirmed on Sunday (May 30th) that the two were working to form a coalition government. If both parties succeed in doing so, they will oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-line hardline nationalist Likud party for the first time since 2009.
Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina party, announced at a news conference that he would form a coalition government with Yair Lipid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid.
He said, “I will do everything to form a national unity government with my friend Yair Lapid.”
Naftali Bennett said he had made the decision in order to prevent Israel from holding a general election for the fifth time in two years. Naftali Bennett has been a supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu in the past and agrees with his Jewish nationalist views, but says he is unlikely to form a coalition government.
Benjamin Netanyahu says Naftali Bennett has deceived the country’s hard-line right. He said Bennett had promised in the past not to form a government with Lipid and that he was committing “the biggest fraud of the century”.
Netanyahu reacted strongly by saying that Naphtali should not be involved in forming a “left-wing government” in Israel. “Such a government is a threat not only to Israel’s security but also to the future of the state,” he said.
What does this possible political alliance mean for Israeli politics?
If the alliance between Naftali Bennett and Lipid also fails to form a government and new elections are held, then Netanyahu is more likely to benefit. But if the two leaders agree to form a government, the two leaders will serve as prime ministers for two years, according to a consensus formula.
During a press conference on Sunday, Naftali Bennett stressed the need for a diverse cabinet and did not mention policies towards the Arab Palestinians living in Israel or differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat President Conte’s government.
In Israel, no party has won a majority in four general elections in the last two years. The situation was similar in the March 23 election, after which Netanyahu made great efforts to form a government. Even they
Also talked to a small Islamist Arab party but failed to form a government.
The Israeli president then invited Yair Lipid, leader of the opposition Yash Itteid party, to form a government. This party is very popular among secular and middle-class voters.
In the March election, Yesh Atid’s party came in second with 17 seats, followed by Netanyahu’s Likud party with 30 seats.
The 57-year-old former journalist has also served as finance minister, but the coalition government fell due to strained relations with Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister who has been serving for 15 years.
According to the international news agency, Netanyahu is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases.
Case 1,000: Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of receiving gifts such as cigars and bottles of champagne from powerful businessmen in exchange for favours
Case 2,000: Fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of offering to help improve the circulation of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot for positive coverage
Case 4,000: Bribery, fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of promoting regulatory decisions favourable to the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage by Mr Elovitch’s Walla news site