Correspondent in Jerusalem
Naftali Bennet backtracks and decides to support Yair Lapid in the formation of a government of change in Israel. “I am going to work with all my might with my friend Lapid to form a unity government. None of us will be able to comply with our entire ideology, but it will be a government of all (…) I will not accept being part of a right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, we will have this government of change or there will be fifth elections, “declared the former settler leader in a speech addressed to the nation. On Wednesday the deadline that President Reuven Rivlin gave Lapid to form a government and until then everything is possible in a country that has already held four elections in less than two years and with a wounded Netanyahu.
The leader of the small ultra-nationalist formation Yamina rectifies and, despite the fact that during the recent military operation in Gaza he assured that he would not support this option, he accepts Lapid’s offer, the first consequence of which will be that Netanyahu will lose power for the first time in 12 years, quite a political earthquake in the Jewish state. The second consequence will be the formation of a rotating government in which Bennet will occupy the seat of prime minister first, and then hand it over to Lapid. Netanyahu waited to hear the intervention of the leader of Yamina to criticize his decision, lament that “he is only interested in being prime minister” and warn that this government “is a danger” to the security of Israel.
If this government of change goes ahead, it will have in its ranks a ultra-nationalist prime minister together with ministers from the center and the Israeli left. It will also need the support of Arab deputies from the Islamist party or from the Joint List in order to reach 61 seats. Some equations that present a very unstable future.
Bennet, son of American emigrants born in Haifa 49 years ago, he has been a successful entrepreneur in the tech startup world who made the leap into politics in 2006. A former Netanyahu protégé in the Likud, he was quick to start his own solo projects, although always open to coalitions with his former boss in which he has held the ministries of Diaspora, Religious Services, Education and Defense. The problem between them is not ideologicalIt is more management and personal, the same thing that has happened to Netanyahu with other former protégés such as Avigdor Lieberman or Gideon Saar, who will also be part of the possible government of change.
The settlers take another step forward in their political project and are about to place whoever was the leader of their council at the head of the government of Israel. Bennet led the Yesha Council and one of the key points in their electoral program is the need to move from occupation to annexation of area C of the West Bank (after the Oslo accords, the West Bank was divided into three parts, on paper area A, under civilian control and military of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), area B under civil control of the PNA and joint military control with Israel and C, under exclusive military control and almost total civil control of Israel).
“We must continue working in this direction to annex this area C and give it an Israeli identity, the same as we did with the Golan and East Jerusalem, areas that over the years the world has already understood that they are ours”, is one of the maxims that the ultranationalist leader repeats in each campaign. If this government of change is consummated, he will have the opportunity to lead this project that Netanyahu himself could not carry out.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism