Israel: Netanyahu cornered, his opponents close to a government agreement

The fate of Mr. Netanyahu, who holds the record for longevity in his post in Israel, will be known on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. local time, a deadline given by law to opposition leader Yair Lapid to announce whether he is succeeded or failed in forming a government team.

After 11 days of war between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas and an end to political negotiations in Israel, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the radical right, changed the situation on Sunday by announcing his rallying to the unity government that the centrist Lapid, Mr. Netanyahu’s rival, is trying to mount urgently.

Leader of the Israeli Yemina Party, Naftali Bennett, arrives at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to make a political statement in Jerusalem on May 30, 2021.

Photo : Getty Images / YONATAN SINDEL

At the head of the Yesh Atid party (There is a future, in French), Mr. Lapid was tasked by President Reuven Rivlin in early May with building a majority of coalitions to get Israel out of two years of political crisis. , the longest in the country’s history.

Mr Lapid said on Monday that there was still a lot of obstacles the establishment of a coalition likely to push Mr. Netanyahu towards the exit. But the teams of centrist Lapid and the radical right of Naftali Bennett continue to negotiate the terms of a perilous alliance to establish what they call a government of change.

If he succeeds, the leader of the Yesh Atid party will have seven days to distribute the various portfolios and obtain a vote of confidence from Parliament. In a week, the state of Israel may find itself in a new era, he added to members of his party and reporters in Parliament in Jerusalem.

According to Mr. Bennett’s Yamina party, negotiations resume Monday between teams of MM. Lapid and Bennett in an attempt to formalize their alliance.

And Yair Lapid is due to speak at 2:30 p.m. local time from the Knesset and Parliament to take stock of these developments, his party announced.

But nothing is over yet.

Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition and chairman of the Israeli Yesh Atid party.

Photo : Getty Images / GIL COHEN-MAGEN

Mr. Lapid still has four deputies to rally to reach the figure of 61 out of the 120 parliamentarians required to form a coalition, without counting on possible last-minute maneuvers by Mr. Netanyahou, leader of Likud, decided to hang on in power after 12 years of continuous rule.

Nothing is done until it is done, even if they [Lapid et Bennett] are in a better position, Bibi [surnom de M. Nétanyahou] always one lap ahead, he’s not gone yet, warns Jonathan Rynhold, professor of political science at Bar Ilan University.

After the Bennett-Lapid rally, Mr. Netanyahu warned against a danger to the security of the State of Israel and spoke scam of the century.

The [Nétanyahou] can do nothing more for this country, supported a resident of Tel Aviv, who supported Benyamin Netanyahu until the last elections, and who now says she is very much in favor of this unity government.

The daily right Maariv now speaks of a rupture, with a Benyamin Netanyahu more than ever cornered. Naftali Bennett suddenly appeared as a prime minister, and Benjamin Netanyahu became an opposition leader, notes columnist Ben Caspit.

The Prime Minister in danger had tried everything on Sunday, proposing a perilous formula: a right block, with Mr. Bennett and Gideon Saar, leader of a small right-wing party, on the principle of a three-way rotation.

Both parties declined, with Mr. Bennett accusing Mr. Netanyahu of seeking to take […] the whole country with him in his last personal battle.

On Sunday evening, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the home of Yamina party number two Ayelet Shaked to protest the alliance, which is seen as a treason by the most virulent supporters of Mr. Netanyahu.

A parliament spokesperson confirmed to theAFPFrance Media Agency what reinforced security measures were taken for the personal protection of Ms. Shaked and Mr. Bennett.

Yaïr Lapid has so far obtained the support of 57 deputies, from the left, from the center, from two right-wing parties and from the Yamina party. It has yet to garner four supports and is counting for this on the Israeli Arab parties, which have not yet taken a clear position.

The left makes compromises far from easy, when it gives me to me […] the role of prime ministerMr. Bennett, close to the Israeli settlers, said on Sunday.

According to Israeli media, there is an agreement that he will take over as head of government for the first two years, before handing over to Mr. Lapid.

End of the Netanyahu era?

This scenario would mark the end of a political era, which began 25 years ago with the election of Benjamin Netanyahu against Shimon Peres, the architect of the Oslo Accords on Palestinian autonomy. Mr. Netanyahu thus governed for the first time from 1996 to 1999. Returning to power in 2009, Mr. Netanyahu has not left it since.

Judged for corruption in three cases, he is the first Israeli head of government to face criminal prosecution during his tenure. And they could catch up with him if he loses his immunity granted in the state of the law, by his status as prime minister.

If by late Wednesday evening the anti-Netanyahu camp fails to form a government, 61 deputies may ask the president to again instruct a parliamentarian to do so.

Or, the scenario most feared by voters already called to vote four times in less than two years: a return to the polls.

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