Chairman of the Yesh Atid Party, Yair Lapid, delivers a statement to the press in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem, on Monday, May 31, 2021. (Debbie Hill/Pool via AP)
06-01-2021 CBN News Jerusalem Chris Mitchell
JERUSALEM, Israel – Opposition leader Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid Party hopes to present a new coalition government to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin before his June 2nd deadline.
If successful, it would be the first Israeli government in more than ten years without Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.
Lapid has a complicated task and is trying to form a coalition with parties from the left, right, and center along with a first – an Arab Islamist party. They have one common denominator: their opposition to Netanyahu. Related
“The Ra’am party is a member of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement which essentially makes it a sister party of Hamas and you would be depending for the first time in Israeli history on an Arab party to hold up the majority,” Alex Traiman of the Jewish News Syndicate told CBN News.
“Actually, the only common issue that all the potential partners for this government can agree upon is that they don’t want to see Netanyahu as prime minister,” said political analyst Dr. Assaf Shapira of the Israel Democracy Institute. “Without Netanyahu, this government won’t be formed.”
“The common denominator of the entire block is the desire to remove Netanyahu from office,” Traiman said. “Despite the fact that Netanyahu has been a very successful Prime Minister by many accounts including building up Israel’s economy, its infrastructure and its military, Netanyahu has been a very difficult minister to work with.”
The proposed government took a big step forward Sunday when Naftali Bennett said he would join this coalition. He would become prime minister first in a rotation agreement with Lapid. Before the last election, Bennett – a religious conservative – pledged twice he would not serve under Lapid, a key member of the secular left.
The political turmoil comes at a time of massive pressure on Israel after the recent war with Hamas in Gaza by international forums, worldwide demonstrations and the media.
“I cannot tell you what will happen but one thing we know that our enemies are looking at what’s happening here, you know, Hezbollah in the north, Hamas in the south and mainly the Iranians are looking at what’s happening inside. And if they identify if we are weak, we will pay a price for that,” Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, told CBN News.
Lapid has until Wednesday night to present his government to Rivlin. If he doesn’t meet the deadline, the Knesset will have three weeks to form a new government. If that fails, Israel will go to new elections for the fifth time in just more than two years.
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