The long and divisive reign of Benjamin Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli politician of the past generation, officially ended on Sunday, at least for the time being, as the country’s Parliament gave its vote of confidence to a precarious coalition government stitched together by widely disparate anti-Netanyahu forces.
Naftali Bennett, a former aide to Mr. Netanyahu who opposes a Palestinian state and is considered to the right of his former ally, formally replaces him as prime minister. Yair Lapid, a centrist leader, is set to take Mr. Bennett’s place after two years, if their government can hold together that long.
They lead an eight-party alliance ranging from left to right, from secular to religious, that agrees on little but a desire to oust Mr. Netanyahu, the longest-serving leader in the country’s history, and to end Israel’s lengthy political gridlock.
In a speech made before the confidence vote, Mr. Bennett hailed his unlikely coalition as an essential antidote to an intractable stalemate.
“We stopped the train before the abyss,” Mr. Bennett said. “The time has come for different leaders, from all parts of the people, to stop, to stop this madness.”
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/13 ... ker-israelIsrael’s Parliament, the Knesset, voted by a slim majority to install the new government.
It was a watershed moment for politics in Israel, where Mr. Netanyahu, 71, had served as prime minister for a total of 15 years, including the last 12 years uninterrupted. But given Mr. Netanyahu’s record as a shrewd political operator who has defied many previous predictions of his political demise, few Israelis are writing off his career.
Even out of government and standing trial on corruption charges, he remains a formidable force who will likely try to drive wedges between the coalition parties. He remains the leader of the parliamentary opposition and a cagey tactician, with a sizable following and powerful allies.
A question is will Netanyahu vacate the prime minister's residence or will he have to be evicted? And can Bennett keep his very diverse coalition together ?