Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former ally on Sunday said he would seek to form a coalition government with opponents of Israeli leaders, an important step in ending the long-standing rule of the prime minister.
The dramatic announcement by Naftali Bennett, chief of the hard-wired Yamina party, set the stage for steps that could push Netanyahu and his prominent Likud party into opposition next week.
As Bennett and his new allies, led by opposition leader Yair Lapid, continue to face obstacles. But both sides appear to be serious about reaching an agreement and ending the disruption that has plunged the country into four elections in the past two years.
“I am fully committed to establishing a national unity government with my friend Yair Lapid, so that together with the Lord̵7;s will, we can save the country from the hangars and return Israel back to the way it was,” said Bennett.
The pair have until Wednesday to complete a deal, each expected to serve as prime minister for two years in a rotating deal, with Bennett holding a pre-party event, Lapid’s Yesh Atid said the negotiating team will. See you on the following Sunday.
Bennett, the former Netanyahu senior aide to the senior cabinet, shares the prime minister’s solid ideology. He is a former leader of the West Bank Settlement movement and is the leader of a small party with a religious and nationalistic base. But he had a tense and complicated relationship with a one-time mentor due to his personal differences.
Bennett said it was impossible after the halted March 23 elections to form a right-wing government favored by Netanyahu. He said another election would produce the same results and said it was time to end the cycle.
“Such a government can only succeed if we work together as a group,” he said. “The fulfillment of their dreams must be postponed. We will focus on what we can do instead of fighting all day for the impossible.”
If Bennett and Lapid and other partners are able to conclude a deal, it will end, at least for now, Netanyahu’s tenure as the most prominent figure in Israeli politics for the past three decades. Netanyahu has served as prime minister for the past 12 years and previously held in the late 1990s.
In a televised statement, Netanyahu said Bennett had betrayed the Israeli right-wing and urged nationalist politicians not to join in on what he called “the betrayal of Israel.” “Left-wing government”
“Such a government is detrimental to the security of Israel and also for the future of the state,” he said.
Even with the power of elections But Netanyahu also became a polarized figure as he was indicted for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in late 2019.The past four elections were seen as a referendum on governing suitability. Of Netanyahu and each time it ends In stasis
While he was on trial He used his office as a platform for his base rallies and fights with police, prosecutors and the media.
To form a government, the party leader must have a majority support of 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset or parliament. Since neither party controls the majority on its own, alliances are often made up of smaller alliances. Thirteen parties of various sizes are in the current parliament.
As the largest party leader, Netanyahu got the first opportunity from the country’s president to form a government. But he was unable to maintain a majority with his original religious and nationalist allies.
Netanyahu tried to court the small Islamic Arab party, but was thwarted by a small ultra-nationalist with an anti-racism agenda. Although the Arabs make up 20% of the Israeli population. But the Arab party had never been seated in the Israeli coalition government.
After Netanyahu failed to form a government, Lapid had four weeks to form a coalition. He has until Wednesday to complete the task.
Meanwhile, Bennett’s Yamina party controls just seven seats in parliament. But he became the dominant by providing the support needed to get the majority. If he is successful, his party will be the smallest to lead the Israeli government.
Lapid faces a tough challenge as there are so many parties in the Netanyahu resistance that don’t have much in common. They include a fierce left-wing party, a pair of right-wing nationalists, including Bennett’s Yamina, and likely the UAE Islamist.
Lapid’s work became even more difficult after that.On May 10, negotiations with his allies were suspended for the 11 days of the fight.
But with Wednesday’s deadline, talks are starting to go into high gear, Lapid has reached an agreement with three other parties. If he can conclude a deal with Bennett, the rest of the alliance is expected to fall sharply.
They will then have about a week to present their Coalition to Congress for a formal vote to be able to take office.
Johanan Planner, president of the Israel Democratic Institute, said Netanyahu would endeavor to undermine those efforts.
He said Netanyahu’s main strategy was to try to get the attention of a tough group in both Bennett and New Hope, another hard party led by a former Netanyahu confidant. To withdraw support for a new coalition The neglect of just one or two lawmakers could prevent Lapid from gathering the majority and forcing re-election.
“Anything could happen,” Plesner said. “I will wait for the final vote to pass.”
Although Lapid and Bennett were able to form a government. But Netanyahu is unlikely to go away, Plesner said.
Netanyahu was able to take on the leadership of the opposition, taking advantage of deep ideological differences between his opponents to break the coalition.
“History teaches us that it would be unwise to write him off,” he said.