With his time as head of the Israeli government hanging by a thread, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopted on his social media a strategy to fight the opposition bloc that could end his 12-year term.
This Thursday (3), in posts on Twitter, Bibi, as it is called, declared that “all lawmakers elected by right-wing votes must oppose this dangerous left-wing government”.
The Prime Minister refers to the coalition announced Wednesday (2), after 28 days of negotiations, by Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party and leader of the bloc who is now seeking support in Parliament to form a new government.
If it includes members of the radical left, like those of the Meretz party, the coalition is also made up of legends of specters ranging from the center to the nationalist right. In common is the desire to impeach Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history who now faces charges of corruption, bribery and fraud in court.
Lapid is the current leader of the opposition, but who will serve as prime minister for the first two years of the new government will be Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Yamina party and a former ally of Netanyahu.
In another post on Twitter, Bibi highlighted the new alliance’s ties to Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List (or Ra’am), a party that represents the Arab minority in Israel and is also part of the coalition. The post includes a video in which Bennett appears saying that Abbas “visited murderous terrorists in prison” after an attack in 1992 in which Arab citizens of Israel killed three soldiers.
The attempt at pejorative association reiterates, albeit indirectly, positions taken by Netanyahu which have earned him accusations of racism. In the past, the Prime Minister has urged his supporters to vote using the argument that “Arabs are going to the polls en masse”, which sounds like a threat to the nationalist right.
For years Netanyahu has said he will never make political alliances with this minority, and in previous campaigns he has also used racist rhetoric associating Arabs with fundamentalist terrorism. In the last electoral cycle, however, he visited Arab communities to demand votes for Likud, as his tenure in government seemed to depend precisely on Ra’am’s support.
In total, the coalition will be made up of eight parties: Yamina, Israel Nossa Casa, Nova Esperança (the three on the right), Yesh Atid, Azul and Branco (both in the center), Labor, Meretz (double left) and Ra je suis . Initially, Raam was expected to support the alliance only in Parliament, without being officially part of the government. Earlier this week, however, Abbas said he would join the group and hope to name a few names for the second echelon – it will be the first time in history that an Arab legend has joined the Israeli government.
The union between the different forces of the political spectrum has been the only way found to end the current political crisis in Israel, which has lasted for more than two years. During this period, four elections were held, but all ended with inconclusive results, with one bloc supporting Netanyahu and another opposing – neither side had enough seats to rule on their own, creating a stalemate .
The next step is the approval of the new cabinet by the Knesset, the Parliament of Israel – the forecast is that the vote will not take place until next Wednesday (9). It is only when this whole process is completed that the new prime minister will take office and Netanyahu will step down.
A turnaround is however always possible, the bloc formed by the opposition having only 61 of the 120 seats in the legislature. Thus, if an MP rebels, the alliance loses the majority and cannot remove the current Prime Minister.
The big question in the country now is what will Netanyahu, a politician known for his survival instinct, do. The last time he was removed from his post in 1999, he announced he would retire from public life and go to work as an executive at a telecommunications company – only to return to politics a few years later. This time, however, it is expected that, while defending himself against charges in court, he will remain in Parliament as the leader of Likud and the opposition, paving the way for an attempt to retake the post. in the next election, four years from now.