Israel 'change' coalition poised to end Netanyahu era

Pablo Tucker
June 14, 2021

"If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this unsafe government and return to lead the country", he said.

Naftali Bennett, a right-wing Jewish nationalist and former tech millionaire, was to take over at the helm of the eight-party bloc, united only by their shared disdain for the hawkish right-wing leader known as Bibi.

His supporters have hailed him as a strong defender of Israel who has been tough on arch foe Iran, but also struck a series of historic normalisation deals with several Arab nations past year.

Under a coalition deal, Bennett will be replaced as prime minister by centrist Yair Lapid, 57, in 2023.The new government, formed after an inconclusive March 23 election, plans largely to avoid sweeping moves on hot-button worldwide issues such as policy toward the Palestinians, and to focus on domestic reforms. His supporters are angered by what they see as Israel turning its back on a leader dedicated to its security and a bulwark against global pressure for any steps that could lead to a Palestinian state, even as he clinched diplomatic deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.


"I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations", he said in a statement after a G7 meeting in England wrapped up. In August 2023 Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid takes over for the following two years.

Being ousted from the top job will leave Netanyahu more exposed to his legal woes, because it denies him the chance to push through parliament changes to basic laws that could give him immunity.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a message of congratulations, adding that Ottawa "remains steadfast in its commitment to a two-state solution, with Israelis and Palestinians living in peace, security, and dignity - without fear and with their human rights respected". "I look forward to working with you to strengthen the ties between our two nations".

European Council president Charles Michel also tweeted his congratulations.


Their patchwork coalition of parties commands only a razor-thin majority in parliament, 61 of the Knesset's 120 seats, and will still have to contend with Netanyahu - who is sure to be a combative head of the opposition.

He accused Bennett of "fraud" for siding with rivals. Those votes focused largely on Netanyahu's divisive rule and his fitness to remain in office while on trial for corruption charges.

The "March of the Flags" is now slated for Tuesday, and the agitation surrounding it could represent a key initial test for a new coalition government.

Those major policy changes were a hammer blow to Palestinian leaders, as it became clear that the Trump Administration would proudly and openly favour Israel for the next four years.


"It's still a colonising and occupying power that we must resist".

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