Israel Live Updates: Fragile Coalition to Oust Netanyahu Faces Growing Pressure




Israeli Opposition Reaches Coalition Agreement

Israelis reacted with happiness and frustration to information that opposition events had agreed to type a coalition authorities that may finish Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister.

Tonight, we’re celebrating, we — it began as a protest to encourage the federal government of change, and now Lapid has introduced that he has a brand new authorities. So this protest was a celebration. My fellow protesters and I had been within the streets for greater than a yr. So it’s an incredible celebration. We’re longing for this alteration, for a greater future for this glorious state. That’s why we’re right here.

Israelis reacted with happiness and frustration to information that opposition events had agreed to type a coalition authorities that may finish Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister.CreditCredit…by way of United Arab List Raam

After four elections in two years and now unsettled by a recent war and civil unrest, Israelis awoke on Thursday to the likelihood that they could have a authorities — and that the longest-serving chief of their historical past might need been ousted.

Late Wednesday, an unbelievable assemblage of political events agreed to form a coalition government. Should Parliament approve the association, Benjamin Netanyahu’s singular reign as prime minister will come to an finish, at the least for now, and a fragile, painfully cobbled collectively alliance will assume energy.

But Mr. Netanyahu signaled early Thursday that he wouldn’t go down with no wrestle, calling on lawmakers to oppose “this dangerous left-wing government.”

While he appeared to have few avenues to dangle onto energy, Mr. Netanyahu’s profession has been marked by a eager intuition for political survival.

Under the last-minute settlement by a coalition of opposition events, Naftali Bennett, who opposes a Palestinian state and is a standard-bearer for spiritual nationalists, will function prime minister till 2023.

Should the brand new authorities maintain collectively that lengthy, the deal then requires him to get replaced by Yair Lapid, a centrist former tv host thought-about a standard-bearer for secular Israelis. Mr. Lapid would serve the remaining two years of the coalition’s time period.

The strange-bedfellows nature of that association mirrors the settlement that introduced it about, an alliance amongst eight political events from a various array of ideologies, from the left to the far proper — amongst them the primary impartial Arab group to be a part of a governing political alliance in Israeli historical past.

While some analysts hailed the association as a mirrored image of the breadth and complexity of up to date Israeli society, others mentioned it embodied Israel’s political dysfunction. They additionally predicted that the compact wouldn’t final, given the incompatibility of those that signed it.

Nevertheless, after two years of a political impasse that has left Israel with no steady authorities or a state price range, it was motion. And it signaled a turning level for Mr. Netanyahu, a frontrunner who has outlined up to date Israel greater than some other, turning it arduous to the correct. He has been in workplace for 12 consecutive years and in all has held energy for 15.

Mr. Bennett, a former ally of Mr. Netanyahu’s, is extensively considered as even additional to the correct. But he mentioned he was throwing in his lot together with his ideological opposites as a final resort to finish Israel’s political disaster and take a look at to forestall it from “dismantling the walls of the country, brick by brick, until our house falls in on us.”

Supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protested the proposed coalition in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. 
Credit…Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the precipice of being ousted from workplace after greater than a decade in energy, made it clear on Thursday that he supposed to combat on.

“All the lawmakers who were elected by right-wing voters must oppose this dangerous left-wing government,” he wrote on Twitter.

By noon, he had begun an all-out marketing campaign in opposition to the nascent coalition of opposition events, itemizing concessions that he claimed Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett had made to safe an alliance with Raam, the Arab Islamist social gathering.

His bellicose claims signaled what could possibly be a bitter combat within the days forward.

They additionally got here as particulars concerning the fraught last-minute negotiations to safe an alliance began to come into focus.

Mr. Lapid, the chief of the Israeli opposition, had till midnight on Wednesday to cobble collectively an unlikely coalition to topple Mr. Netanyahu. He wanted virtually each minute — leaving it till 11:22 p.m. to inform Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s largely ceremonial president, that he had assembled an eight-party alliance shaped of hard-right events, leftists, centrists and Arab Islamists.

“The government will do everything it can to unite every part of Israeli society,” Mr. Lapid mentioned in an announcement launched shortly after his name with Mr. Rivlin.

Mr. Lapid’s celebrations shall be placed on maintain for a number of days, nonetheless. The speaker of the Israeli Parliament, Yariv Levin, is a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s social gathering, Likud, and might use parliamentary process to delay the arrogance vote till June 14, constitutional specialists mentioned.

That would give Mr. Netanyahu’s social gathering time to pile strain on wavering members of Mr. Lapid’s fragile coalition, in a bid to persuade them to abandon the brand new alliance. Many of them really feel uncomfortable about working with each other and have made tough compromises to be a part of forces to push Mr. Netanyahu from workplace.

Officials of a number of of the events making up the brand new alliance mentioned early Thursday that the inner coalition agreements between them, and even the distribution of ministerial posts, had not but been finalized.

Mr. Lapid agreed to give Naftali Bennett, a hard-right former settler chief who opposes Palestinian statehood, the prospect to lead the federal government till 2023, at which level Mr. Lapid will take over.

Having these tensions on full show even earlier than the coalition was formally shaped has left many Israelis questioning whether or not it would final quite a lot of months, not to mention its full time period.

Should the coalition collapse, analysts consider, Mr. Lapid could emerge with extra credit score than Mr. Bennett. While Mr. Bennett will get first crack on the premiership, his determination to work with centrists and leftists has angered his small following.

“Lapid has made a very strong set of decisions, conveyed an amazing level of maturity and really made a big statement about a different kind of leadership,” mentioned Dahlia Scheindlin, an Israeli political analyst and pollster on the Century Foundation, a New York-based analysis group. “That will not be lost on the Israeli public.”

Mansour Abbas, leader of the Raam party, at an election victory celebration in March.
Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The settlement on a coalition that may oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and embody an Arab social gathering in authorities has prompted indignation and reduction in roughly equal measure amongst Palestinian residents of Israel.

Indignation as a result of Naftali Bennett, who will turn into prime minister till 2023 if Parliament approves the proposed eight-party coalition, is a right-wing chief aligned with spiritual nationalists in robust opposition to a Palestinian state.

Relief as a result of Mr. Netanyahu, whereas generally courting Israeli Arabs of late, has typically used their presence to generate worry amongst his base, famously warning in 2015 that they had been voting “in droves.” He has fanned division the place doable and declared that Israel is “the nation-state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.”

These provocations, and the passing of a nation-state invoice in 2018 that mentioned the correct to train self-determination was “unique to the Jewish people,” contributed to the anger evident in violent confrontations in a number of cities final month between Arabs and Jews.

That a small Arab social gathering identified by its Hebrew acronym, Raam, agreed to be a part of the federal government so quickly after the clashes mirrored a rising realization that marginalization of Arab events brings solely paralysis. It additionally recommended a want amongst some Palestinian residents, who account for 20 % of the Israeli inhabitants, to exert extra political affect.

Raam, with 4 seats within the present Parliament, could be the primary impartial Arab social gathering in an Israeli authorities, though it will not have any cupboard members.

“I do not think that the two-state solution or reconciliation with the Palestinians will be achieved in the coming year or two,” mentioned Jafar Farah, the director of the Mossawa Center, an advocacy group for Arab residents of Israel. “But I do think that it is an opportunity for the Palestinian community in Israel to become a game changer.”

Others had been extra skeptical.

“I have debated Bennett, and he says quite openly, ‘You are not my equal,’” mentioned Diana Buttu, a distinguished Palestinian lawyer primarily based in Haifa. “Did I want Netanyahu out? Yes. To the extent of wanting Bennett as prime minister? No.”

Referring to the chief of Raam, Mansour Abbas, she mentioned: “He has done this to make his mark, but he will not get anything. He is effectively backing a government led by an ultranationalist who wants to expand settlements.”

How Mr. Bennett would train energy in a coalition with many members nicely to the left of him, together with the chief architect of the settlement, Yair Lapid, stays unclear. But Mr. Netanyahu’s maintain over the previous dozen years on Israeli society and the Israeli creativeness has been such that his eventual departure inevitably appears synonymous with new chance.

Commenting within the newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Merav Batito wrote, “Abbas’ signature is much more than a formal token of agreement.” She mentioned, “The first concrete wall built between Arabs and Jews by the Parliament deep in Israeli society has been breached.”

Supporters of Israel chanting at a rally in Los Angeles last month.
Credit…Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

At first blush, the Israeli coalition introduced Wednesday seemed like excellent news for America’s overwhelmingly liberal-leaning Jews, whose help for Israel has been examined by severe political and spiritual strains in the course of the Netanyahu period.

After years by which spiritual issues in Israel had been dictated by the ultra-Orthodox, a Reform rabbi — representing a stream of Judaism that’s huge within the United States however minuscule in Israel — was set to be a part of the governing coalition for the primary time. An aborted settlement to let non-Orthodox Jews pray on the Western Wall in Jerusalem appeared possible to be revived.

“A new day is dawning,” the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rick Jacobs, wrote on Twitter.

For American Jews who wrestle to defend Israel in opposition to accusations that its remedy of the Palestinians constitutes apartheid, the brand new coalition’s inclusion of an Arab, Islamist social gathering, appeared to provide at the least a brand new speaking level, if not a refutation.

“Nothing to see here,” Avi Mayer, a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee, posted over a extensively circulated photograph of the lawmakers Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas, “just the leaders of a secular centrist party, a religious Jewish party, and an Islamist Arab party signing an agreement to form Israel’s next government.”

Yet official statements from main American Jewish organizations had been in brief provide — partly, some leaders mentioned, as a result of the brand new coalition seems so shaky, and Mr. Netanyahu’s probabilities of blowing it aside are taken so significantly, that it will be unwise to congratulate the brand new authorities till it manages to vote itself into existence.

There had been different causes to hedge: Those on the left are greater than leery about seeing Mr. Bennett, a champion of settlements and annexation of West Bank land, as prime minister. And Mr. Abbas’s conservative stands on social points pose different issues for American liberals: He vowed to oppose gay-rights laws, for instance.

In an virtually painfully calibrated statement, T’ruah, a human-rights group of progressive Jewish clergy in North America, welcomed Mr. Netanyahu’s obvious ouster however lamented that the coalition’s variety would make it unattainable both “to make peace with the Palestinians” or to “bring about major social change within Israel.”

On the political proper, ordinarily voluble American allies of Mr. Netanyahu had been surprisingly quiet concerning the historic energy shift unfolding in Israel.

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, managed solely to retweet a New York Post opinion author asking if the participation of Mr. Abbas’s group meant that the brand new authorities included “a Muslim Brotherhood-type party.”

Almost alone among the many largest U.S. Jewish organizations, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee was fast to offer congratulations to Mr. Lapid and Mr. Bennett. AIPAC’s longtime technique of cultivating and leveraging bipartisan congressional help for Israel was sorely examined by Mr. Netanyahu, eroding the widespread floor between Democrats and Republicans on Israel.

Mr. Lapid, who has clamored to restore Israel’s ties to the Democratic Party, and Mr. Bennett, the son of American immigrants to Israel and a former diaspora affairs minister, may assist AIPAC regain relevance.

The front page of Yediot Ahronot on Thursday.
Credit…Yediot Ahronot

As Israelis awoke on Thursday to the potential for a brand new political period after a late-night deal by an anti-Netanyahu bloc to type a governing coalition, Tzipi Livni, a distinguished Israeli centrist, former minister and peace negotiator, took to Twitter with a statement of only a few phrases: “A morning of great relief!”

The far proper of Israel’s political map adopted extra of a doomsday theme.

Bezalel Smotrich, a former political companion of Naftali Bennett, who’s poised to turn into Israel’s subsequent prime minister, denounced what he known as Mr. Bennett’s “desertion from the right-wing camp into the deep left.”

Mr. Smotrich, the chief of the Religious Zionism social gathering, added in a Twitter post shortly earlier than midnight {that a} {photograph} of Mr. Bennett alongside his new centrist and Arab Islamist companions could be “remembered for eternal shame in the black pages of the history of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”

He adopted up by describing the nascent coalition in Messianic end-of-days phrases, quoting from Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat … and a little child will lead them.”

The front pages of the principle Hebrew newspapers on Thursday had been cautious about predicting any Netanyahu exit.

“They Succeeded,” learn the banner headline of Yediot Ahronot, a extensively learn centrist day by day, whereas noting that Mr. Netanyahu would use the approaching days to do all he may to break up the alliance and that many disagreements remained even inside the nascent coalition.

A commentator, Merav Batito, wrote in Yediot Ahronot that the late-night deal symbolized “the possibility of a return to normalcy for Israeli society.”

Israel Hayom, a right-wing paper that has lengthy supported Mr. Netanyahu, went with “Lapid Succeeded, Netanyahu does not Despair.”

But it gave extra prominence to Wednesday’s election of Isaac Herzog as Israel’s subsequent president — a largely symbolic put up — with a big, celebratory photograph of Mr. Herzog and his spouse, Michal, elevating a glass.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House in September.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

CAIRO — The potential ouster of Benjamin Netanyahu, one of many chief architects of historic diplomatic accords that Israel signed final yr with Arab nations, appeared on Thursday to pose few obstacles to these new relationships, at the least for now.

One distinguished political scientist within the United Arab Emirates — by far probably the most vital Arab state to have normalized ties with Israel in these offers — described the temper after the information of Israel’s rising governing coalition as “business as usual.”

The sequence of agreements, which the Trump administration dubbed the Abraham Accords, cast new ties with the Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. There was no official response from these nations’ capitals on Thursday morning.

When the accords had been signed, some proponents mentioned the offers had been geared toward higher positioning the Arab states to press Israel on its relations with the Palestinians. In observe, nonetheless, the nations prioritized different pursuits: safety cooperation, enterprise alternatives and sweeteners dangled by the Trump administration, corresponding to dropping Sudan from its listing of state sponsors of terrorism.

When tensions between Israel and Palestinians flared into violence final month, the Arab nations largely caught to issuing statements condemning Israeli aggression, whereas Egypt, Qatar and Turkey used their stronger ties to the Palestinians to assist dealer a cease-fire.

That disaster was “awkward” for the brand new relationship between Israel and the Emirates, mentioned Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, the Emirati political scientist. But he mentioned that the Emirates, whereas remaining publicly dedicated to the institution of a Palestinian state, was evidently decided to press forward with the enterprise and strategic alternatives that Israel may provide.

Israel and the Emirates signed a brand new tax treaty simply days in the past, and the Emirati ambassador just lately paid a right-wing Israeli politician a courtesy go to.

“We’re here for our own strategic necessities, and for what serves our best national interest,” Mr. Abdulla mentioned.

“Where does the Palestinian issue fit in? If we can help, welcome,” he added. “The Abraham Accords was sold to the world as it will bring peace, but that is just too much to ask for this accord.”

A Bedouin village in Israel’s Negev desert in February. The new potential Israeli coalition government could move to formally recognize these settlements. 
Credit…Hazem Bader/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

During the rainiest days of the winter, many residents of Khasham Zana, a small Bedouin neighborhood within the Negev desert in southern Israel, really feel trapped of their neighborhood.

The heavy rains remodel the filth paths main to the principle freeway into muddy trails, forcing a lot of villagers with out heavy-duty autos to keep house. “When it comes down hard, I feel cut off from the world,” mentioned Kayed al-Athamen, a neighborhood chief. “It’s like I’m on an island.”

Israel has not acknowledged Bedouin land possession claims over dozens of villages within the Negev, together with Khasham Zana, the place residents dwell in makeshift houses and endure from an absence of primary water and energy infrastructure.

But the rising Israeli authorities intends to take vital strides to handle the plight of the unrecognized Bedouin communities, in accordance to Raam, an Arab social gathering that agreed to be a part of the nascent coalition.

The authorities will acknowledge Khasham Zana and two different villages within the Negev within the first 45 days of its time period, Raam mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday, and it’ll put together a plan to take care of different unrecognized villages within the space in its preliminary 9 months.

“We are observing the political developments with great caution, but we feel that there is reason to be hopeful for a better and more prosperous future,” mentioned Mr. al-Athamen, 40.

Some right-wing members of the rising coalition have recommended they’d not settle for main steps to acknowledge villages within the Negev, elevating questions on whether or not it will likely be in a position to muster sufficient help to make such strikes.

“We are not abandoning the Negev. Period,” Nir Orbach, a member of the hard-right Yamina social gathering, tweeted on Wednesday.

Past authorities makes an attempt to advance the popularity of Khasham Zana have failed. In December, the federal government appeared poised to acknowledge the village and the southern communities of Rukhma and Abda, however the effort stalled after lawmakers quarreled over it.

Many residents of Khasham Zana dwell in tin shacks and depend on photo voltaic panels to flip mild on at evening, run their fridges and cost their telephones. They rely upon makeshift pipes to transport water to their houses from a close-by distribution level.

Israeli officers have argued that Bedouin in unrecognized villages do not need legitimate claims to the land, and courts have backed up their views.

They have additionally mentioned they can’t present providers to each far-flung group of shacks and tents. And they’ve argued that housing options for unrecognized villages lie in locations like Rahat, one among a number of government-established cities within the Negev the place the state has inspired Bedouin to relocate.

Residents of Khasham Zana mentioned their households had been dwelling within the village since earlier than the institution of Israel in 1948, and so they really feel pulled to proceed dwelling and elevating their youngsters there.

In whole, there are 37 villages within the Negev that Israel considers unlawful, in accordance to Migel al-Hawashla, a discipline coordinator on the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, a nongovernmental group that advocates for unrecognized communities within the Negev.

One of probably the most irritating facets of dwelling with out primary energy infrastructure, mentioned Fares al-Hameidi, a resident of Khasham Zana, is having to tolerate summer time warmth waves.

“My whole family and I sweat profusely on hot summer days,” mentioned Mr. Hameidi, 43, a father of 11. “I wish we had enough power to keep the fan on all day, but unfortunately that’s not the reality.”

Credit…Pool photograph by Ronen Zvulun

With so many doable ways in which the delicate coalition of disparate political events may unravel, time isn’t on their facet.

The longer it takes to ratify the brand new authorities, the larger the prospect that it may collapse. And the speaker of the Israeli Parliament, Yariv Levin, who controls the home agenda, is a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s social gathering and might use parliamentary process to delay the arrogance vote till June 14, constitutional specialists mentioned.

One manner to velocity up the method could be for the brand new coalition events to demand a vote to substitute Mr. Levin with their very own speaker, a transfer that may require a majority of 61 within the 120-seat Parliament.

But in an early signal of hassle, an official from Naftali Bennett’s Yamina social gathering mentioned that one among its seven lawmakers, Nir Orbach, had requested for his signature to be faraway from the listing of these searching for to substitute the speaker.

Mr. Orbach, who offers the essential 61st vote, since one other Yamina member has vowed to oppose the transfer, had been wavering in his help for the rising coalition.

Seizing on Mr. Orbach’s qualms, Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud social gathering disseminated a name for an indication outdoors Mr. Orbach’s home on Thursday night “to strengthen” his resolve to abandon the coalition, in an illustration of the pressures that Mr. Netanyahu’s camp is exerting on Yamina members.

Without Mr. Orbach, the rising coalition can rely on the help of solely 60 lawmakers, and Mr. Bennett held two conferences with the wavering lawmaker in an effort to maintain him onboard.

On Thursday afternoon, the Joint List of predominantly Arab events — which doesn’t embody Raam, the small Arab social gathering that’s a part of the alliance — mentioned that every one six of its lawmakers would help a vote to substitute Mr. Levin, the Parliament speaker.

Such a transfer may resolve the issue, however that in flip presents one other problem for the right-wing events within the proposed coalition: In the previous, they’ve explicitly dominated out counting on the help of Joint List lawmakers, lots of whom espouse harder-line positions on the Israeli-Palestinian battle than Raam does.

Honing in once more on the weaknesses of the coalition, Likud issued an announcement saying that the Joint List’s help was “winning proof of the full-on cooperation between the Joint List and the left-wing government of Lapid and Bennett.”

Another mass demonstration was deliberate for Thursday evening outdoors the Tel Aviv house of Ayelet Shaked, Mr. Bennett’s chief lieutenant, to strive to strain her into abandoning the coalition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Parliament in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Credit…Pool photograph by Ronen Zvulun

BRUSSELS — There was little quick response by governments on Thursday to the information that Benjamin Netanyahu would possibly quickly be out of energy in Israel. Governments take care of governments, and Mr. Netanyahu stays Israel’s prime minister till the second that he’s not.

That second could possibly be per week or extra away, if it does come. Mr. Netanyahu is predicted to maintain urgent to undermine the slim majority that the brand new, various coalition appears to have. Until Parliament votes a brand new authorities into workplace, nothing has modified in relationships between Israel and different nations.

Except, after all, it inevitably has.

The affect of Mr. Netanyahu’s voice is straight away diminished on points like efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has been vocal in opposing. Those talks in Vienna have made sluggish progress however adjourned Wednesday night so diplomats may return house for additional directions, with some hopes expressed that they may be profitable within the subsequent spherical, the sixth.

There is each expectation {that a} new Israeli authorities, as ideologically divided as it’s amongst eight political events, will focus on home points lengthy postponed, just like the passage of a state price range, and take a look at to avoid the sorts of controversial points that would blow it aside.

It can also be anticipated to give attention to efforts to higher the lives of these damage by the latest conflict with Hamas and to enhance the state of affairs of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Palestinians whom the Arab social gathering, Raam, promised to assist when it broke precedent to be a part of this coalition.

Foreign governments had been fast, nonetheless, to reward the election on Wednesday of Isaac Herzog as Israel’s subsequent president. Though a largely symbolic put up, the presidency is a vital image of the state, and Mr. Herzog, a former chief of the much-diminished Labor Party, is extensively identified and favored.

No doubt the standard statements of welcome will arrive if and when Naftali Bennett really turns into prime minister.

Credit…Dan Balilty for The New York Times

Naftali Bennett, who’s poised to turn into Israel’s subsequent prime minister, is a former high-tech entrepreneur finest identified for insisting that there must never be a full-fledged Palestinian state and that Israel ought to annex a lot of the occupied West Bank.

The independently rich son of immigrants from the United States, Mr. Bennett, 49, entered the Israeli Parliament eight years in the past and is comparatively unknown and inexperienced on the worldwide stage. That has left a lot of the world — and lots of Israelis — questioning what sort of chief he may be.

A former chief of employees to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Mr. Bennett is commonly described as extra right-wing than his previous boss. Shifting between seemingly contradictory alliances, Mr. Bennett has been known as an extremist and an opportunist. Allies say he’s merely a pragmatist, much less ideological than he seems, and missing Mr. Netanyahu’s penchant for demonizing opponents.

In a measure of Mr. Bennett’s skills, he has now pulled off a feat that’s extraordinary even by the perplexing requirements of Israeli politics. He has all however maneuvered himself into the highest workplace despite the fact that his social gathering, Yamina, gained simply seven of the 120 seats within the Parliament.

Mr. Bennett leveraged his modest however pivotal electoral weight after the inconclusive March election, Israel’s fourth in two years. He entered coalition talks as a kingmaker and seems prepared to emerge because the one carrying the crown.

Mr. Bennett has lengthy championed West Bank settlers and as soon as led the council representing them, though he’s not a settler. He is religiously observant — he could be the primary prime minister to put on a kipa — however he’ll head a governing coalition that’s largely secular.

He would lead a precarious coalition that spans Israel’s fractious political spectrum from left to proper and features a small Arab Islamist social gathering — a lot of which opposes his concepts on settlement and annexation. That coalition proposes to paper over its variations on Israeli-Palestinian relations by specializing in home issues.

Mr. Bennett has defined his motives for teaming up with such ideological opposites as an act of final resort to finish the political deadlock that has paralyzed Israel.

“The political crisis in Israel is unprecedented on a global level,” he mentioned in a televised speech on Sunday. “We could end up with fifth, sixth, even 10th elections, dismantling the walls of the country, brick by brick, until our house falls in on us. Or we can stop the madness and take responsibility.”

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