Monday, May 17

Netanyahu Pursues the Formation of His Most Complex Government




Benjamin Netanyahu It has 28 days so that the accounts come out and manage to gather the 61 seats necessary to form a government in Israel. The acting prime minister wins four weeks of time at a key moment, which coincides with the phase of the trial he faces for corruption in which the testimonies of the witnesses have begun, and assures that “It is not impossible». With the calculator in hand, however, the combinations on the table are the most complex of his last twelve consecutive years in power.

Above the traditional division between right and left, the Israeli chamber, like the street, is divided between pro and anti Netanyahu parties and the two blocs need the support of the Islamists of Raam to have government options. The low turnout in what were the fourth elections in less than two years allowed Mansour Abbas’s party to gain strength and become the hinge formation.

Reuven Rivlin on Monday commissioned the formation of a government from Netanyahu because he was the candidate who obtained the most recommendations, 52. The president could not hide his “regret, because I have the impression that none of the candidates has the capacity to form a government,” but he complied with the law and gave the mandate to whoever achieved the most support. The leader of the Likud it has the firm backing of the two ultra-Orthodox parties and the supremacist settlers of Religious Zionism. They could be joined by the ultranationalist Naftali Bennet with Yamina’s 7 seats, but Netanyahu would still need two more seats and the only option would be to get two defectors or to make a pact with the Islamists of Raam. This Arab support, however, is a red line for Religious Zionism, which openly calls for the expulsion from Israel of those Arabs who do not recognize that Israel belongs exclusively to the Jews.

“We must be creative, all options are on the table and people must be flexible,” said former Likud minister Danny Danon when asked about the options his party has. Political analyst Ben Caspit commented in the pages of the Maariv newspaper that the blockade remains on the political scene due to a Netanyahu who “tries to dismantle state institutions from within.” This is a widespread opinion among those who believe that the prime minister seeks the majority election after election to form a government that allows him to pass an immunity law.

If the outlook for the prime minister is not easy, that of the opposition is not easy either. Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid, enlisted the support of 45 MPs. The former Tel Aviv journalist took a key step in surpassing 61 seats by offering Bennet a rotating head of government and handing him the first shift. In this case, the executive would be made up of eight parties: Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Yamina, Labor, Yisrael Beiteinu, Meretz, New Hope and the Islamists of Raam. They would add 62 seats and accomplish the seemingly impossible: remove Netanyahu from the seat of power.

Netanyahu argues that his role is key to being able to continue with the mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, face the threat from Iran and stop the investigations into war crimes opened by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The problem is that the personal relations with the leaders that could give him the majority is terrible and for this reason a political blockade is maintained that could lead the country to a fifth election. The prime minister really risks his future and it is in these extreme situations that he usually shows that he is a true survivor. You have 28 days to prove it.

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