On Sunday, the parliament of Israel narrowly approved a new coalition government, ending the prolonged historic twelve-year rule of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sending him into the opposition. A former partner of Netanyahu turned rival and became prime minister after 60-59 vote. Moreover, promising to try to rebuild a divided country, Naftali Bennet will head over a delicate and diverse coalition of eight parties with intense ideological differences.
However, the seventy-one-year-old Netanyahu clarifies that he has no intention of leaving the political stage. If it intended them to be in the opposition, they would do it with their backs straight until they collapse the new dangerous government and return to lead the country. The vote in the parliament ended a 2-year-round of political paralysis in which the nation held four deadlocked elections.
Furthermore, those votes mainly focused on the disruptive rule of Netanyahu and his fitness to remain prime minister while on trial for corruption charges. The former prime minister is an international statesman to his supporters, exclusively capable of heading the nation through several security challenges. However, to his critics, Netanyahu has become an oppressive and polarizing leader who used divide-and-rule tactics to worsen the several gaps in Israeli society.
Those rifts include tensions between Arabs and Jews and within the Jewish majority between his nationalist and religious base and his more dovish and secular opponents. Several protestors were watching the vote on a large screen outside the Knesset exploded into applause when the new administration approved. On the other hand, a huge number of people, several waving Israeli flags, celebrated in central Rabin Square of Tel Aviv.
United States President Congratulated the New Government
Joe Bide, the President of the United States, immediately congratulated the Bennett government. Biden stated that he looks ahead to working with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen each and every aspect of the enduring and close relationship between the two countries. Further, he said that his government was fully devoted to working with the Israeli new administration to advance security, peace, and stability for Israelis, the people of Palestine, and people across the wider region.
President Biden has wished Prime Minister Bennett well: “Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America.. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations.”
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) June 13, 2021
Bennett’s office thanked Biden during a phone call with Biden for his warm wishes and long-lasting commitment to the security of Israel. The White House said that both leaders agreed to consult deeply on all issues related to regional security, including the role of Iran. Moreover, the U.S. president said that his government aims to collaborate with the Israeli administration on advancing security matters, peace, and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis.
Three of the eight political parties in the new Israeli government, including Yamina of Bennett, are led by ex-Netanyahu allies who share his assertive ideology but had personal disputes with him. Bennett, forty-nine, is an ex-chief of staff to Netanyahu whose small party, Likud, is popular with West Bank settlers and religious Jews. As he addressed the harsh debate, he frequently interrupted and shouted down by supporters of Netanyahu.
New Israeli Cabinet
Bennett and the new Israeli Cabinet recited a prayer for new starting and said it was time to restore rifts. Similarly, the Israeli citizens are all looking to the new government, and the burden of proof is upon them. Bennett faces a tough test keeping a narrow coalition from the political right.
The latest coalition of the government, including a small Islamist group that is making history as for the first time the Arab party to sit in the coalition, settle on slight beyond their opposition to the former prime minister. In addition, they are possibly to chase a modest agenda that aims to reduce tensions with the Palestinian Muslims and maintain a friendly relationship with the United States without beginning any major initiatives.
The Arab citizens of Israel makeup almost twenty percent of the population but suffer from poverty, discrimination, and job opportunities. Furthermore, the former prime minister usually tried to portray Arab political leaders as supporters, though he also courted the same Arab party in an unsuccessful effort to remain in power after March twenty-three elections.
Bennett Opposed to Restore the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Agreement
Bennett, the newly-elected Israeli prime minister, also opposes the establishment of the Palestinian state and made little mention of the Palestinian people beyond threatening a solid response to violence. In addition, he vowed, just like Netanyahu, to oppose United States-led efforts to reestablish the global nuclear deal with Iran.
The prime minister says that Israel will not allow Iran to make it a nuclear power. Israel is not a partner to the pact and will maintain complete freedom to act. However, he also thanked the American president for his support of Israel.
Bennett vowed to take a different approach than the former prime minister, who alienated much of the Democratic Party via his aggressive relationship with then U.S.-President Barack Obama and close relations with former President Donald Trump. Israeli prime minister said that his government would make an effort to develop and extending relations with their friends in both political parties – bipartisan.
On the other hand, Netanyahu accused Bennett of leaving the right-wing electorate of Israel and joining weak left-wingers to become the Israeli prime minister. Further, he said Bennett didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the Islamic Republic of Iran or pressure from the United States to make concessions to the Palestinian people.
The president of the Israel Democracy Institute, Yohanan Plesner, said the new administration would possibly be more stable than it appears. Each political party in the alliance will want to prove that it can deliver. And for this purpose, they need time and achievements. Still, the former prime minister will continue to cast a shadow.
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