Four things to know about Israel’s new “coalition for change”

In Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, a new, large but fragile “coalition for change,” says it is ready to finally oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the right-wing Likud leader who has held the post for 12 years.

If approved, the new coalition would appoint as prime minister Naftali Bennett, a former ally of Netanyahu who supports settlement expansion and annexation of much of the West Bank, and who is significantly more to the right than Netanyahu him. -even. In theory, if he stayed in power for two years, the more centrist Yair Lapid would then take over as prime minister. But that’s a big ‘if’ – and the new coalition might not even survive its first vote of confidence next week.

More importantly, whoever the next prime minister is, Israel’s policy – especially on Palestinian rights – has turned drastically to the right in recent years, and it is the far right of this new “coalition”. Which remains the most powerful.

Here are four things to know about the government that could replace Netanyahu …

1. Israel’s new anti-Netanyahu coalition may or may not seize power.

Netanyahu has shown a shrewd ability and ruthless willingness to use any method to stay in power – including avoiding jail on multiple corruption charges – and he has a full week to do it. He is expected to use bribes, threats and sanctions to attract at least one member of the 61-vote bare-majority coalition – and that would be enough to derail the deal.

Many predicted that last month’s war on Gaza would increase public support for Netanyahu, but it seems not – at least not enough. But he never gave up on using war to gain support, so keep an eye out for potential provocations against Netanyahu’s usual foreign policy targets, including Gaza, Iran, or perhaps Lebanon.

2. If Netanyahu is defeated and the “coalition for change” gains the upper hand, his most powerful figure will be the ultra-right Naftali Bennett.

Bennett was a longtime supporter of Netanyahu and remains a staunch supporter of the illegal expansion of Jewish settlements and the annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank. He is clearly to the right of Netanyahu.

The “change coalition” parties range from Bennett’s extremist New Right party to Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party – and even include the left-wing Zionist Meretz party and the Palestinian Ra’am party. His unity is limited to ousting Netanyahu. Its scale and political diversity make it completely unstable, which will make any serious political action beyond perhaps the adoption of a budget impossible. It means political paralysis as long as he clings to power.

3. Majorities in the two blocks in the Knesset – that of Netanyahu and the “coalition for change” – broadly agree on maintaining the status quo of Israeli occupation and apartheid, as well as its militarism. regional anti-Iranian.

Despite the (probably short-lived) presence of centrist and left-wing parties and a Palestinian party, the political power of the new coalition remains firmly in the spectrum of the center-right to the far-right which reflects Israeli politics in its together. There will almost certainly be no resumption of calls for a “two-state solution” (something long since made impossible anyway due to the escalating Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land) as Bennett was there. opposes even more violently than Netanyahu.

4. Even if it wins and manages to retain power, the “change coalition” will not bring significant improvement in the lives or rights of Palestinians.

As long as the United States continues to provide Israel with virtually unlimited economic, military, diplomatic and political support and protection, regardless of Tel Aviv’s violations of international law and the systemic inequalities and discrimination with which it deals with Palestinians, Israel has no reason for currency.

For years, Netanyahu has claimed that only he can provide continued US military support and aid. In fact, if the anti-Netanyahu coalition wins, a new prime minister – even one more extreme in his racist anti-Palestinian views than his predecessor – might well be seen as a boon to the White House and some in Congress, for whom Netanyahu has become somewhat of a handicap.

These politicians, largely Democrats, may be eager to appear as a serious reaction to growing public opposition to Washington’s authorization of Israeli apartheid and human rights abuses. Kissing a new prime minister with lesser-known baggage in Washington might be just enough to secure the deal.

About Leah Albert

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