Israel opposition parties agree to form new unity government
Islam News – Israeli opposition parties have reached an agreement to form a new government that would end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister.
Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, announced an eight-faction coalition had been formed.
Under a rotation arrangement, the head of the right-wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, would serve as prime minister first before handing over to Mr Lapid.
In a statement, Mr Lapid said he had informed President Reuven Rivlin of the agreement, adding: “I pledge that this government will work in the service of all Israeli citizens, those who voted for it and those who did not.”It will respect its opponents and do everything in its power to unite and connect all parts of Israeli society.”
An image carried on Israeli media showed Mr Lapid, Mr Bennett and Mansour Abbas, leader of the Arab Islamist Raam party, signing the agreement, a deal many thought impossible.
This is the first time in decades an Israeli Arab party has joined a governing coalition.
Mr Abbas told reporters: “The decision was hard and there were several disputes but it was important to reach agreements.” He said that there were “many things in this agreement for the benefit of Arab society”.
Mr Netanyahu, however, attacked the new “left-wing” government as “dangerous”.
In his first comments since the agreement was reached, Mr Netanyahu urged Knesset (parliament) members “elected by votes from the right” to oppose the coalition, which still needs to be approved by a parliamentary vote before being sworn in.
The vote is not expected to take place for some days, and there is still a chance this newly formed coalition could be upended by defections.
No rational political enemy of Benjamin Netanyahu can underestimate his tenacity, ruthlessness and absolute determination to hold on to office. If he found himself leader of the opposition, he would do all he could to destabilise a coalition with a wafer-thin majority that would be trying to span the entire Israeli spectrum, from the nationalist right to the liberal left.
All that unites them is their desire to remove him from office.
Mr Netanyahu has already called the proposed new government the “fraud of the century”.
No-one should expect big, new initiatives from a new government. Just surviving the onslaught Mr Netanyahu is undoubtedly planning will be a full-time job. His opponents will be hoping that his fall will continue in the Jerusalem courthouse where he is already on trial on serious corruption charges.
In his note to the president, Mr Lapid said he would head the government alongside Mr Bennett, who he would replace as prime minister on 27 August 2023.
Source : BBC