Israeli President Isaac Herzog asked Benjamin Netanyahu IT establish a new government On Sunday, the former prime minister broke a record for the sixth time, allowing him to secure the nation’s top job and expand his record as the nation’s longest-serving leader.
Netanyahu, who served as Prime Minister for 12 years before losing the mandate in 2021, was recommended by party leaders who represent more than half of Israel’s 120 parliaments or Knesset members after the president completed his political consultation with them.
“The citizens of Israel need a stable and functioning government,” he said after a closed meeting with Netanyahu. “A government that serves all citizens of Israel, both those who support and vote for Israel and those who oppose its establishment; that works for and on behalf of all shades of the Israeli mosaic from all communities, sectors, creeds, religions, lifestyles, beliefs and values. and a government that treats them all with sensitivity and responsibility.”
Speaking with Herzog, Netanyahu said: “Please God, all Israeli people will have a stable, successful and responsible government.” “We are brothers and we will live side by side.”
Israelis voted for the fifth time in four years on November 1 to break the political stalemate in the country.
Netanyahu’s Likud party has the most seats in the Knesset, and the former prime minister will have 28 days to form a coalition government, with the possibility of a two-week extension.
But Netanyahu is not on an easy journey: he will now likely lead an ever-polarized country, and possibly one of the most right-wing governments in Israeli history.
During the negotiations, it will have to divide ministries among coalition partners and negotiate policies.
This is where things get interesting. The five factions allied with Netanyahu’s Likud have a four-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset or parliament, and failing to give any of them what they want could lead to the collapse of the coalition.
As far as the ultra-Orthodox parties are concerned, their demands are undisputed for Netanyahu: bigger budgets for religious schools and the right not to teach his children secular subjects like math and English.
Real showdowns will likely come with new far-right allies. Netanyahu came to power after a stunning demonstration of the Religious Zionism/Jewish Power list, the third largest group in the Knesset with 14 seats. Its leader, Itamar Ben Gvir, who was convicted of inciting anti-Arab racism and supporting terrorism, demanded that he be made Minister of Public Security in charge of the Israeli police.
Ben Gvir’s partner is Bezalel Smotrich, who describes himself as a “proud homophobe”. He said that Israel should be governed by Jewish law. He spoke of reducing the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and eliminating the offense of breach of trust – which is becoming part of the indictments against Netanyahu in ongoing corruption cases. Netanyahu has long denied all accusations. If Smotrich wins his coveted Justice Department, he can do so by putting an end to Netanyahu’s legal concerns.
Yet these may be the least of his worries. Joining forces with the far right, Netanyahu’s sixth reign could further alienate the half of Israel who did not vote for the bloc of parties that support him.
Assuming that Netanyahu can reach a coalition agreement by the deadline of 11 December, the Knesset head will hold a no-confidence vote in seven days. If all goes as planned, his government will take office.
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