After holding four elections in the last two years, a government was formed in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, who served as Prime Minister for 12 years, is finally gone. In the Knesset, the Israeli assembly consisting of 120 deputies, the Coalition Government received a vote of confidence by a margin of one vote. In the Knesset, Netanyahu's Likud party has the most seats with 30 MPs, followed by Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party with 17 MPs. Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Yamina party, represented by 7 deputies, became the new Prime Minister of Israel.
Eight of the 13 parties in the parliament formed a coalition government. It marks the first time that the United Arab List, represented by Mansur Abbas, was included in any ruling Coalition. The list currently has four deputies in the Knesset. The "Blue-White" party, a major partner of the Netanyahu Government, also joined the Coalition.
The only thing that the members of the coalition, which includes parties from all over the political spectrum in Israel, agreed on, was Netanyahu's departure. Bennett and Lapid agreed to serve as prime minister for 2 years in rotation. Netanyahu had made a similar agreement with the "Blue-White Bloc". It was not expected that Netanyahu would relinquish the Prime Ministry to Benny Gantz, the "Blue-White" leader. Therefore, it remains to be seen how long the Bennett Government will last. All of this aside, even Netanyahu's departure is seen as a big change in Israeli politics.
Let us recall that Bennett and numerous members of the coalition support annexation just like Netanyahu. Having served as a minister in previous governments, Bennett also served as Netanyahu's chief of staff for a while. Bennett aligns with Netanyahu on illegal Jewish settlements. Another member of the coalition, former Minister Gideon Sa'ar, left the Likud after losing the leadership battle against Netanyahu, and subsequently founded the "New Hope" party.
Another member of the coalition is Avigdor Liberman, the leader of the "Israel Our Home" party. A former Soviet Union citizen, Liberman immigrated to Israel in the late 1970s. Liberman, who held key positions at the Likud in the 1990s, worked closely with Netanyahu, but founded his own party in 1999. Liberman, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense in the Netanyahu governments, resigned in November 2018, strongly opposing the ceasefire with Hamas.
Bennett and Lapid, who have diametrically opposed views on various topics, will have the power to veto Government policies. This is one of the weakest aspects of the coalition. On the other hand, Mansur Abbas and the Arab List make the coalition even more fragile. There is a bewilderment in Israel, as The United Arab List’s participation in a ruling coalition is somewhat of a first in the country.
Bad days seem to be looming ahead for Netanyahu, who was prosecuted for corruption. Netanyahu, who previously won immunity due to his position as Prime Minister, will no longer be able to evade justice. Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu's biggest backer in the U.S., died of cancer earlier this year. The staunch pro-Netanyahu "Israel HaYom" newspaper, which was distributed free of charge in Israel, was also financed by Adelson. Netanyahu's talks with Adelson to grow the aforementioned newspaper are also part of the case brought against him. Netanyahu's close friend Donald Trump also lost the U.S. presidential elections. Therefore, Netanyahu will try to do his best to bring down the coalition.
Meanwhile, the current U.S. administration is happy that Netanyahu is out of the picture. Biden stated that they are looking forward to working with the new government and announced that the unconditional U.S. support for Israel will continue. Democrats argued that the Trump-Netanyahu alliance weakened unconditional bipartisan support for Israel in Washington.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, strongly objected to the Biden Administration's policies that aim to return the United States to the "Iran Nuclear Agreement". Indeed, Netanyahu accuses the Bennett government of being too weak to resist Biden's Iran policy. Meanwhile, Netanyahu also claims that Biden asked him not to publicly raise criticize the "Iran Nuclear Deal".
Even though Netanyahu stated that there was fraud in the elections like Trump, this maneuver, however, was unsuccessful. Yet, just like his buddy Trump, Netanyahu is trying to convince his supporters that it is just a matter of time and that he will soon return to office .