A center-left coalition led by Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett in Israel declared an agreement to establish a new government coalition achieved, clearing the path for Netanyahu’s removal from office after 12 years.
The remarkable declaration by Yair Lapid, leftist Yesh Atid leader, and his major partner in forming coalition, Naftali Bennett, came only minutes before a Wednesday midnight, the deadline put for Lapid by Israeli president.
The new government formation could avert a fifth election in row over the past two years and lead the country out of the political deadlock for which Netanyahu is most blamed.
Lapid stressed the achievement in a twitter post further explaining that he had notified the country’s President about the agreement: “This administration will work for all Israeli citizens, including those who did not vote for it. It will do everything it can to bring Israeli society together.”
According to the deal, Lapid and Bennett would take turns as prime minister in the coming four years. Bennett will be in charge for the first half, while the other party to the agreement, Lapid, will be in charge for the latter two years. The United Arab List, a minor Islamist party, is also included in the landmark accord, making it the first Arab party to join a government coalition.
The accord must still be ratified by the Israeli parliament. The Knesset session is scheduled for the coming week. If approved, Lapid and his heterogeneous group of allies will put an end to Netanyahu’s 12 years of record-breaking governance.
The leader of the United Arab List, said joining the alliance was a “tough decision” for the party. “This is the first time an Arab party is a partner in the formation of a government. This agreement has a lot of things for the benefit of Arab society, and Israeli society in general,” Mansour Abbas told reporters.
The President in Israel is mostly a ceremonial position intended to act as the country’s moral compass and encourage solidarity in urgent times.
“We must defend Israel’s international status and its good reputation in the family of nations, fight anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel, and preserve the pillars of our democracy,” Herzog told the reporters following the approval in Knesset.
Herzog is the son of a renowned father who held the same office years ago. The 60-year-old man is the former leader of Israeli Labour party as was once defeated by Netanyahu for Premiership contest in 2015.
Hours after the drastic announcement by Netanyahu’s opposition parties about the formation of coalition government, the 12-year Prime Minister kicked off the pushback against the deal.
It is believed that left-wing, centrist, and right-wing parties, along with Arab parties, joined forces in an unprecedented move to oust Netanyahu from office.
Faced with the possibility of losing his 12-year tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu urged on Twitter on early hours of Thursday that “all legislators elected by votes from the right must oppose this dangerous left-wing government.”
Netanyahu’s first public rebuke of centrist lawmaker Yair Lapid is expected to be followed by a series of lobbies, political pressures, and behind-the-scene activities to get the grip on power again. Lapid announced the achievement roughly 35 minutes before the end of deadline, seemingly not expected by Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is also faced with a series of judicial allegations which is expected to take more force once he is ousted from office. Using his influence as Prime Minister, he managed to control the judicial process for the past couple of years.