After four election cycles, two years and one man in power since 2009, Israel appears to be on the brink of change. On Wednesday evening, eight wildly ideologically different political parties announced that they would establish a coalition, aligning behind Yair Lapid of the centrist party Yesh Atid (“There Is a Future”) and Naftali Bennett — a former leader of a council of West Bank settlers — of the nationalist party Yamina (“Rightward”) to remove longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But the new government is not yet a reality. The coalition still faces procedural and political hurdles. Ideological differences nearly killed the coalition in the negotiation stage.… Seguir leyendo »
As Israel inches closer to ending two years of political stalemate and 12 consecutive years of Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, pressure on rightwing parties preparing to join a “change” coalition from pro-Netanyahu rightwingers, has reached a crescendo. Like other rightwingers in the “change” bloc, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, leaders of the hardline Yamina party, have been called traitors and collaborators and received death threats throughout the last month for their planned defection from Netanyahu’s camp.
As so often in Israeli politics, there is an American parallel: Bennett and Shaked’s predicament recalls the unforgettable moment the US senator Lindsey Graham, days after the 6 January Capitol riots, was harangued by Trump-cult followers, unhinged by Graham’s denunciation of their leader.… Seguir leyendo »
For a few days in early May, Israel appeared close to establishing a new government. After four elections in two years that failed to produce a decisive result, the country was poised for a surprising partnership of ideologically diverse parties including, for the first time, an independent Arab party — Raam. Such a government would have been fraught, even shaky, but it would have ended the two years of political chaos and replaced Israel’s right-wing prime minister, a man currently standing trial for corruption.
What happened instead followed a grim pattern: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict flared yet again. Within days of the start of the military escalation between Hamas and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu that was sparked in Jerusalem and compounded by Jewish and Palestinian violence in Israeli cities, the crisis had put political change on hold.… Seguir leyendo »