For the moment, it seems Israel is heading for a rainbow coalition government minus Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s opponents – which range from the right-wing to the left are said to have reached a power-sharing agreement and are set to form the government in the next ten days. Leading the crusade to dethrone Benjamin Netanyahu is Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, who is said to have agreed to serve as Prime Minister until September 2023, after which the top post will go to Yair Lapid, head of left-leaning party Yesh Atid.
If this flagrant government, consisting of the farthest proponents of both sides of the ideological spectrum is indeed able to form a government in Israel, it is expected that their coalition will collapse within a few months. Yamina leader Naftali Bennett is a staunch right-wing ideologue. He rejects Palestinian statehood as a matter of principle, believes Israel has already given up too much biblical ground and therefore aims to expand Israeli hegemony to roughly 60 per cent of the West Bank.
Yesh Atid and its leader – Yair Lapid, meanwhile, are known leftists. They believe in the redundant clamour of a “two-state solution” and are staunch proponents of liberalism and secularism. Additionally, they are mere ‘liberal’ supporters of Zionism. Although the party claims to be a ‘centrist’ one, the realities of its ideology are out for all to judge.
For the first two years of Naftali Bennett’s prime ministership, Yesh Atid will exercise massive control over him. He will not be allowed to take independent decisions, will have to tone down his nationalistic rhetoric and will always have to watch his back – as one ‘right’ move will result in the government collapsing. The government will be very fragile, abide religiously by the ceasefire signed with Hamas and will place its stability and continuity over Israel’s national interests.
Naftali Bennet – the expected Israeli Prime Minister in the next ten days entered politics in 2006 and served as chief of staff for Benjamin Netanyahu until 2008. Bennett was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1990. He served in the Sayeret Matkal and Maglan commando units as a company commander. Bennett also served in the Israeli security zone in Lebanon during the 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict. He took part in many operations, including Operation Grapes of Wrath.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu is not at all happy with Naftali Bennet’s enthusiasm to lead a “left-wing government”. In a video statement shot in front of a beach in Caesarea, Netanyahu claimed Naftali Bennett had refused to sign an agreement reached between their parties and was dead set on breaking promises to voters in order to form a “left-wing” government.
He said, “Naftali Bennett is running to the Left…This goes against all their principles and promises and everything necessary to guarantee the future of our state.” In a purported offer shared by sources from within Netanyahu’s Likud party, Bennet was offered the post of the Prime Minister for the last 1.5 years of the government’s four-year term; the post of defence minister; appointing him as deputy prime minister and having him serve as acting prime minister in case Netanyahu has a medical issue or travels abroad, and granting another two unspecified “senior” ministerial posts to Bennett’s party.
Netanyahu has called the coalition looking to form the government as a “left wing” one since it includes the centre-left and left-wing Labor and Meretz parties respectively, and would be reliant on the support of at least one of the majority-Arab parties. Netanyahu is therefore outraged because for whatever time the new government will survive, it will create a mess out of the Jewish nation.
The only ray of hope which remains right now is the fact that the said government will very soon collapse.