Netanyahu is no longer the Prime Minister of Israel

Israel prime minister Netanyahu on left.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s long term in office was brought to an end by Naftali Bennett (right).

After the Israel parliament voted in a new coalition government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign came to an end. Naftali Bennett, a right-wing nationalist, has been sworn in as Prime Minister, leading a “government of change.” He’ll lead an extraordinary combination of parties that was accepted by a razor-thin 60-59 margin. As part of a power-sharing agreement, Mr. Bennett will be Prime Minister until September 2023. He will then pass over leadership for another two years to Yair Lapid, the leader of the moderate Yesh Atid party.

Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader who has dominated the country’s political scene for years, will continue to lead the right-wing Likud party while also becoming the opposition’s leader. “We’ll be back,” a furious Mr. Netanyahu declared during the discussion in the Knesset (parliament). “We’ll be back,” a furious Mr. Netanyahu declared during the discussion in the Knesset (parliament). Mr. Netanyahu came up to Mr. Bennett after the vote and shook his hand. Palestinian representatives, on the other hand, have dismissed Israel’s new administration.

“This is an Israeli domestic matter. Our position has always been clear: we seek a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 lines “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson stated.

“It is an occupation and a colonial entity that we must confront with force in order to reclaim our rights,” a spokesperson for Hamas, the Islamist organization that governs Gaza, said. President of the United States, Joe Biden, has already congratulated Mr. Bennett and stated that he looks forward to working with him.

What has caused a new prime minister in Israel?

Mr. Netanyahu was in office for five years, first from 1996 to 1999 and secondly from 2009 to 2021. In April 2019, he called an election but was unable to get enough votes to establish a new coalition administration. Following then, there were two more inconclusive elections.
He created a government of national unity with then-opposition leader Benny Gantz after the third, but the accord fell apart, and Israel went to the polls again in March. Likud won the most votes, but after Mr. Netanyahu failed to form a government for the second time, the duty was given to Mr. Lapid, whose party finished in second.

Anti-Netanyahu protesters gathered outside Jerusalem’s parliament for the vote.

Not just on the left and center, but even among right-wing groups that are ideological with Likud, such as Yamina, opposition to Mr. Netanyahu remaining in office has increased.

Despite being in joint fifth place with only seven seats in the election, Yamina’s support was crucial. Mr. Lapid brought Yamina on board after weeks of discussions as part of a coalition of parties whose sole objective was to depose Mr. Netanyahu.

What is the new government like?

Mr. Bennett’s government would look to be unlike any that has come before it in Israel’s 73-year history.

The coalition includes parties with enormous ideological differences, including, probably most importantly, Raam, the first independent Arab party to join a prospective government coalition. It also boasts a total of nine female ministers, which is a new high.

Raam and other left-wing non-Arab Israeli parties are to clash over topics such as Israeli policies toward Palestinians; for example, Yamina and another right-wing party, New Hope, are fervent proponents of Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

There may also be disagreements over social policies: although some parties support LGBT rights, such as recognizing same-sex weddings, Raam, an Islamist party, opposes this. Furthermore, some parties want to loosen religious prohibitions in ways that Yamina, a national religious party, is unlikely to approve.

Mr. Bennett has stated that his government will concentrate on areas where consensus can be reached, such as economic difficulties or the coronavirus epidemic, while ignoring more difficult ones.

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