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Is The Political End of Netanyahu Near? Rival Parties Propose “Unity Coalition” to Oust Him

Is The Political End of Netanyahu Near? Rival Parties Propose “Unity Coalition” to Oust Him

Netanyahu dismisses proposed alliance as “scam of the century,” accuses rightwing rivals of betraying mandate by forming “government of the Left.” 

Two months after the Israeli election re-run, the fourth in two years, the prospect of forming the next government has been mired in uncertainty with opposition parties floating the idea of a “unity coalition” aimed at ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Naftali Bennett, the leader of the rightwing Yamina party, announced on Sunday that he is joining hands with Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party to form a majority government, ending Prime Minister Netanyahu’s twelve-year reign.

Prime Minister Netanyahu dismissed the proposed alliance as “the scam of the century,” accusing his rightwing rival Bennett of betraying his mandate by making the way for a “government of the Left.”

Netanyahu had fallen short of a clear majority in the March 23 election, the fourth inconclusive vote in two years. His Likud-led rightwing alliance secured 52 seats in a 120-member Knesset, nine short of the desired threshold.

The Israeli TV channel i24News reported the move towards a right-center “unity coalition”:

Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday he decided to join the so-called “change government” led by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid.

“It’s my intention to do my utmost in order to form a national unity government along with my friend Yair Lapid, so that, God willing, together we can save the country from a crisis and return Israel to its course,” Bennett said.

The emerging coalition aims to end the rule of the Israel’s longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, earlier on Sunday offered Bennett to become part of a three-way power-sharing agreement in a last-ditch attempt to forestall the joining of forces between the centrist Lapid and the hard-right Bennett.

In a televised address, Bennett dismissed Netanyahu’s allegations that the emerging government would be a “left-wing” one, saying it would, in fact, be “slightly more to the right” than the last coalition Netanyahu was able to put together, citing a number of politicians associated with the Yesha Council and other Jewish settler groups expected to enter it.

Bennett, who served as country’s defense minister under Netanyahu between 2019-20, was widely regarded as the kingmaker after getting seven seats in the May general election.

Going by Bennett’s statement, he appears to have reached a power-sharing agreement with centrist politician Lapid, who has been tapped by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to come up with a parliamentary majority by Wednesday. Lapid, who’s Yesh Atid won 17 seats, was entrusted with this task after Netanyahu’s deadline to prove a majority in the Knesset expired earlier this month.

The Israeli news channel Arutz Sheva reported the make-up of the proposed Bennett-led government:

According to the [agreement], Bennett will serve as prime minister until September 2023, with Lapid taking over as head of state from until November 2025. Until then, Lapid will be the foreign minister and alternate prime minister.

Benny Gantz is expected to remain defense minister, Avigdor Liberman will be finance minister, Gideon Sa’ar will be justice minister, Ayelet Shaked will be interior minister, Labor chief Merav Michaeli will serve as transportation minister, Meretz’ Nitzan Horowitz will be appointed health minister, Yifat Shasha-Bitton will be education minister, and Labor’s Omer Bar-Lev will serve as public security minister.

Considering Netanyahu’s political acumen and electoral support, it would be premature to rule him out as a power player in the next Israeli government.

Given the divergent political views represented by this new coalition made up of rightwing and centrist parties, the next prime minister may have a hard time keeping the allies together.

The Times of Israel noted the fragile nature of the proposed coalition:

With Bennett on board, and indeed set to serve first as prime minister in a tentative rotation agreement between them, Lapid and his improbable mix of anti-Netanyahu partners from across the political spectrum would appear to have enough Knesset support to oust Netanyahu. However, the possibility of lawmakers defecting or absenting themselves, combined with Israel’s fast-shifting current affairs, means that uncertainty will prevail until the Knesset approves a new government, with a vote on that not expected for several more days. The nascent coalition apparently has the support of 61 MKs in the 120-seat Knesset, so even a single defection could deprive it of a majority.

The efforts to form the next Israeli government come in the backdrop of the recently ended eleven-day conflict with the Gaza-based Hamas. The Islamist terror group and its allies fired over 4500 rockets at Israeli civilians during the hostilities.


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If there are any criticisms or scandals, of course Netanyahu‘s rivals will try to defeat him. Human nature. In the US, we usually have A president from one party for 4-8 years, and then it switches to the other party.

Israel is destroying itself in front of our eyes.

BIbi is the incredible strong leader they have needed and will need even more going forward


    HImmanuelson in reply to gonzotx. | May 30, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Eh, this isn’t Israel destroying itself. Israel has been around far longer than Bibi and did fine without him much of the time.

    Israel needs a government and effectively hasn’t had one in years now.

    If this one doesn’t work out, there will be another one soon enough.

    You can lead a horse to water…

    Hitler had nothing on the Jewish liberals being the greatest threat to the survival of the Jewish people.

    Milhouse in reply to gonzotx. | May 30, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Bibi is not the leader they have needed. He’s shown that he has no red lines, and will sell anything and everything just to hang on to his own position. There is a solid right-wing majority in the Knesset, and a strong right-wing government could easily have been put together if only Likud were lead by anyone but Bibi. The reason he was unable to do it is because nobody trusts him.

    Lieberman, Saar, and Bennett are all to Netanyahu’s right, but Lieberman and Saar refuse to serve with Bibi because he stabbed them in the back once too often.

    Even Lapid is no left-winger. He’s generally right of center, but his problem is that he’s an empty person; he has no personal qualities at all, no principles, no experience, no intellect, all he’s got is that he’s telegenic and a narcissist.

    This proposed government does have true leftists such as Michaeli, Horowitz, Nissenkern, and Gantz is something of a leftist too.

    But once Netanyahu’s out of office I think it’s likely that Likud members will abandon him and a new leader of the right can emerge, who will be able to form a majority.

I smell Xiden

Bibi don’t go.

Even the opposition in Israel is not going to give in to Hamas and Hezbollah

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | May 30, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    As Bennett said, the new government will be more right wing than the current one, which includes hard leftists in key positions. Netanyahu has tried hard to redefine “right” as supporting him and “left” as opposing him, but it’s not true. It’s never been true.

Forget ‘right wing, ‘left wing’ – for Israel, Bibi was akin to Trump and Menachem Begin COMBINED.

Bibi is the man who stuck it to that rat obama, and who built the industrial and military powerhouse that Israell is today – not to mention Tel Aviv being the hottest nightspot in the WORLD, where fashionable Hollywood leftist idiots wind up hanging out at.

The likes of Bibi won’t be seen for generations.

    Milhouse in reply to | May 31, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Bibi is the one who gave away Hevron in the first place. All the problem in Hevron for the last 20 years are his fault.

    Bibi is the one who stayed in Sharon’s government just long enough to make sure the Gaza withdrawal happened, and then immediately pulled out and made himself the head of the opposition to it.

    Bibi is the one who caved to Clinton at Wye; thankfully Arafat rejected the dangerous concessions he made, because he thought he could get more. Bibi is the one who did not stand up to 0bama, and repeatedly froze and obstructed construction of Jewish homes. Bibi is the one who caved to the High Court and destroyed Jewish homes over and over, and then reneged on his promise to legalize and rebuild them. Bibi has a long history of talking tough and then completely caving when put under pressure.

    Bibi is the one who, in order to stay in office, has put leftists in charge of the economy and refused to reform the judiciary. And now he has caused the current crisis, with four useless elections and the prospect of a fifth, because he can’t accept the fact that at least half the country wants him gone. The voters’ wishes seem clear: They want a right-wing government, but not his. He could have solved the crisis after the first election by resigning. Or after the second, the third, or the fourth. But he won’t do that because he puts his own career ahead of everything else. Après lui le déluge.

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      If anyone’s got an argument to make against this, go ahead and make it. If not, what are you disagreeing with? Your delusions and hero-worship of Netanyahu are just contrary to fact.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2021 at 2:06 am

      Would Tzipi Livni have been better?

Seems to me that Israel might be in the process of changing its leadership through its constitutional and democratic methods.

Please inform me of any of its neighbors who can make the same claim.

    Milhouse in reply to GL. | May 31, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Though it’s all a sham, so long as the so-called “Attorney General” holds all the real power. So long as the government must obey his orders and can’t fire him, and he’s accountable only to the High Court, which has a self-perpetuating leftist majority and is accountable to nobody, it won’t matter who makes up the official government. Israel will not be a democratic republic until some future knesset summons up the courage to bring the judicial and legal establishment to heel.

      mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2021 at 11:25 am


      Surely the courts have to work within the law? I mean there is a limit to what the court can do with reference to giving injunctions/court orders etc. I would have thought the gov could in principle just write a law that overrides the courts views? Of course a functional gov would be necessary for that. For clarity I don’t know much about the Israeli system so this is framed as a question not as an assertion. All I know is it doesn’t have a written constitution per se.

Why do I feel like Netanyahu sold out the Trump US who help them greatly . Oh well, looks like Israel is a goner.

Yair Lapid ranks among the politicians outside of the United States I like the least over his Holocaust revisionism.

He claims his family was killed in Aushwitz by Poland and Germany and openly defends the term “Polish Deathcamps”.

Ironically Germans absolutely detest revisionism that lets them off the hook for their crimes, it’s ashame Lapid might become PM.