Israel’s opposition parties have joined forces to form a minority government that could oust the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and suspend the country’s fifth general election in two years.
The self-proclaimed “government of change” must now present its plans to President Reuven Rivlin. If he approves the proposal, the 120-member Knesset will have to vote on it, which will take at least a week.
“Four elections have already harmed the state. “Israel’s political crisis is unprecedented in the world,” said Natalie Bennett, who heads the pro-settlement Yamina party in a statement on Sunday evening. “I am going to work hard to form a government with my friend Yair Lapid,” he added, referring to center-right leader Yesh Atid.
The 57-member minority government will need the support of the four-member Islamist party Ra’am to cross the 61-seat threshold to form a government.
If Netanyahu manages to persuade at least one member of the right-wing coalition to leave, he could overthrow the narrow majority aimed at his opponents.
“Bennett has been a forger of the century,” Netanyahu said, following Bennett’s speech. “His empty words moved voices from right to left. “The only thing he cares about is being prime minister.”
If the opposition succeeds, the government will initially be headed by Netanyahu’s one-time ally Bennett. The party has only six seats in the Knesset, losing the support of one member who refused to join the new coalition.
He was to part ways with Lapid, a former TV presenter with 17 seats on Yesh Atid. The rest of the coalition consists of a constellation of parties stretching from the far left Meretz to the right-wing New Hope.
But the coalition depends on the support of Mansour Abbas, who heads Ram. In return for its support, the party seeks to maintain a conservative Muslim lifestyle, to finance more police, hospitals, and civilian resources for the predominantly Arab cities in northern Israel.
In the last 25 months, Israel has held four deadlocked elections, giving one short-term coalition that Netanyahu ended in December 2020, when he launched the world’s fastest coronavirus vaccine program, hoping it would help him win further victories. election But the March polls were invalid.
Lapid’s Bennett talks on forming a new administration were called off earlier this month after an 11-day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas erupted. The violence exacerbated some of the Arab-Jewish community clashes in Israel, sparked riots along the occupied Jordan River, and killed nearly 250 people in the Gaza Strip.
If he succeeds in forming a government, the new coalition will end the reign of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who has ruled the Jewish state since 2009 after three years in office in the 1990s.
Netanyahu would appear in jail just as the trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the Jerusalem District Court evaporated. He denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning his government have been made more than once.
As prime minister, Netanyahu has attacked courts, prosecutors and police investigators, accusing them of bias. As an opposition leader, his influence would have been much diminished.
Bennett & Lapid will fight to form an ideologically dissident coalition of right-wing, center-left factions that depend on the support of the Arab Party. In his speech, Bennett emphasized his credentials, describing himself as the immediate head of the Council of Jewish Settlements on the occupied Jordan River, which the international community considers illegal.
“This is not a government that will take back parts of the land of Israel. “If necessary, it will be able to start a war,” he said.
Ram has split from other Israeli Arab parties, which have only once supported the minority government, offering its support to any coalition that takes its demands seriously and seeks to influence the country’s entrenched policies.
Netanyahu on Sunday nominated Bennett’s other former ally, Gideon Saar, who heads the ousted Likud faction of separatists, as a tripartite prime minister seeking to form his own government.
Saar would serve 15 months as head of the Jewish state, Netanyahu two years, and Bennett the rest of the five-year term. However, Saar campaigned with a promise not to oust Netanyahu, rejecting the bloc’s offer to keep him in power.
“We are at a crucial moment for Israel’s security, character and future, when you put aside any personal considerations, go far, even unprecedented steps,” Netanyahu said before rejecting the offer.