Benjamin Netanyahu’s rivals were on the verge of separating him from power on Sunday after right-wing arsonist Naftali Bennett signaled that he would join a coalition government with centrist leader Yair Lapid.
Mr Bennett , the leader of the Yamina party, and Mr. Lapid are set to enter into a coalition agreement that brings together parties from across the political spectrum to oust Israel’s longest-serving and most controversial prime minister in 12 years of performance.
According to Israeli media reports, Bennett has, a former defense minister and modern Orthodox Jew, told the Yamina allies that he was ready to form a “change” government where he would serve as prime minister for two years before taking the reins to Mr. Lapid.
Mr Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, which he strongly denies, tried desperately on Sunday to remove the resulting koa lition by offering a power-sharing arrangement to Mr. Bennett and right-wing New Hope leader Gideon Saar.
“We are at a fateful moment for the security, character and future of Israel, if you leave personal considerations aside and take far-reaching and even unprecedented steps, “said Netanyahu in a video statement.
However, Mr. Saar has already rejected these overtures and maintained his support for the anti-Netanyahu coalition.
Even if the so-called “Change” coalition of Mr Bennett ousts Mr Netanyahu, the alliance has little in common other than its determination to end the Netanyahu dynasty.
It would also require external support from Arab MPs who speak out vehemently against Bennett’s broader political agenda, for example the annexation of parts of the West Bank, which the Palestinians al s claiming their own land.
Due to the fragility of the alliance, it would likely avoid controversial measures like expanding settlements and instead focus on revitalizing Israel’s post-coronavirus pandemic economy.
Mr Bennett should announce in a speech on Sunday evening their offer to become Israel’s next Prime Minister to end the worst political crisis in Israel’s modern history.
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The Jewish state has held four inconclusive elections since April 2019 and is expected to have a fifth this year when the coalition talks between Mr Lapid and Mr Bennett come to an end. </ At a meeting with Yamina MPs on Sunday, Bennett reportedly said he is "on the way to a government of change". In response to criticism of joining forces with Arab and left-wing parties, he has also insisted that this is the only way to avoid fifth elections.
Mr Lapid, the leader of the centrist party Yesh Atid, currently has holds a mandate to form a new government but must finalize his power-sharing agreement with Mr Bennett before Wednesday’s deadline.
If the coalition is sworn in, Bennett will become Israel’s first devout Prime Minister, an extraordinary surge in power since his entry into politics in 2006.
A self-made millionaire and former special forces command, the Yamina leader has spent much of his political career stepping out of the shadow of Mr. Netanyahu.
The 49- Year old was Diaspora Minister from 2013 to 2019 under Mr. Netanyahu and Secretary of Defense from 2019 to 2020.
Bennett is an outspoken B. e advocates the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and claims to be “more right” than his former mentor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial service for the fallen of Altalena at Nachalat Yitzhak Cemetery in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on May 26, 2021. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) via Getty Images)
On Sunday, Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party hit reports that Mr Bennett was ready to remove him from power by joining forces with a colorful alliance of centrists, leftists and the Arab United List / p> The power-sharing agreement would also include the blue-and-white faction led by Benny Gantz as well as the far-right Israel Beiteinu party.
“The only thing in common about Bennett is that his constituents and the Rest of right-wing voters will be deceived and the ‘principles’ he was talking about to be thrown in the trash in order to become prime minister at all costs, “Likud said in a statement.
Mr Bennett and Mr Lapid have already been Close to reaching an agreement earlier this month, but talks were suspended after the conflict broke out in Gaza.
Mr. Lapid at the time suggested that Mr. Netanyahu had constructed the conflict in the hopes that it would help him would e to hold on to power.
“If we had a government, security considerations would not be mixed with political considerations,” claimed Lapid in a post on Facebook. “Nobody would wonder why the fire always breaks out when it is most convenient for the prime minister.”