Israeli opposition leaders have been locked in a last-minute frenzy of talks to overthrow a minority government that could end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year-old Jewish state.
In: unlikely coalition, which spans the political spectrum from the far-left Meretz party to the extremist nationalist Yamina, anchored by centrist Yesh Atid, has already won 57 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. It also needs the support of the four-member Islamist Ra’am party to cross the 61-seat threshold to form a government.
The self-proclaimed “government of change” has until Wednesday to persuade President Reuven Rivlin that they can vote in parliament to replace Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
Netanyahu could be replaced by former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, whose party has only six seats after the departure of one member who will not support the coalition. Bennett could serve in the rotating prime ministership with Yesh Atid leader and former TV presenter Yair Lapid, who joined the coalition during weeks of negotiations.
Bennett, 49, who was once Netanyahu’s chief of staff, spent Sunday night with Lapid, providing possible government portfolios as right-wing protesters gathered around the homes of his other Yamina leaders.
Aliet Shaked, Bennett’s political ally’s possible Minister of Justice, received additional protection from the police after threats from the right, prompting Netanyahu to stage street protests, calling Yamina a traitor to the Zionist cause.
The constant threat of violence against Netanyahu’s rivals was the main reason for his removal as prime minister, Lapid said on Tuesday. He added that he, Bennett, Shaked, the Attorney General, the prosecutors who are prosecuting Netanyahu for corruption, as well as several journalists, were in police custody.
“We have all been threatened with violence and murder,” Lapid told an opposition meeting, where he acknowledged that the coalition was facing “many obstacles”. If successful, Lapid continued, “it will be calmer, ministers will go to work without motivation [hatred]”without lying, without constantly trying to instill fear.”
Netanyahu called the opposition bloc a “fraud of the century” and said it would make Israel weaker.
“What will be [this government] “How can we look into the eyes of our enemies?” he said Sunday night. “What are they going to do in Iran and Gaza?” What will they say in the halls of the Washington government? ”
Bennett is ideologically opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state, having previously clashed with Netanyahu over it. coming down stronger on Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.
He lobbied in Israel to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank, and advocated the expansion of Jewish settlements, which most of the international community considers illegal.
Bennett vowed to deliver a speech to Nicone Netanyahu’s party Likud on Sunday night. “This is not a government that will give parts of the land of Israel,” he said, using a biblical reference to territories that Israel controls but where Palestinians are seeking a homeland.
At the same time, Netanyahu has stepped up efforts to oust one coalition member who would rule with a single-seat majority if the Islamist party remains on the council.
“Even in Lapid’s left-wing opposition government, there are loyal Israelis,” Netanyahu’s team said overnight in his calls to his opposition. “They are being informed of the dangers facing Israel [that this government poses]»
Netanyahu’s attacks on Bennett’s credentials put pressure on Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas to reconsider his policies in support of the Zionist government in exchange for material benefits for Israel’s Muslim minority community, including more money for police, hospital for individuals. Amenities:
Abbas broke away from other Arab parties in Israel, trying to make himself king in 2019. After four closed elections in April. Although both Bennett and Netanyahu have publicly boasted of a right-wing policy that’s stopping Israeli Palestinians, Abbas remains silent.
“He has to think twice about what he is going to do,” said a member of the Arab League who does not want to be part of the coalition. “You’re replacing Netanyahu with Bennett, do you think that’s good?”
If Bennett և Lapid succeeds in forming a coalition, the Knesset will probably vote in the middle of next week to appoint a government. If they fail, Israel faces a fifth election in two years.