The new Israeli government could be dubbed as the government of wonders. When you see Mansour Abbas, the leader of Arab list representing the Palestinian Arabs residing in Israel sitting beside Naftali Bennett, mind stops analyzing and eyes start bulging.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will certainly work feverishly to dismantle the coalition in the coming days, ahead of a parliamentary session for voting. His potential failure will mark the first time in Israel’s history that a Palestinian-led party has proved an active role in the administration.
while nothing could undermine the significance the current developments, it’s too soon to decide to call it an achievement. In practice, Abbas and his United Arab List’s involvement in securing a majority for a government will actually lead to increasing tensions between the majority and the minority.
For sure, the first group who pay the price of such a policy will be the 1.8-million Palestinians inside Israel. They, however, will not be the only group the see the consequences.
The only reason this improvised alliance took effect – and the only thing still keeping it together – is the various parties’ animosity against Netanyahu. for the most part, this isn’t a reaction to his political beliefs; rather, it’s a reaction to him personally and organized system of corruption he imposed on the administerial structures of the country.
Bennett, who will take over as premiership as the first one for the first two years, passing it to Lapid then, leans to the right more than Netanyahu. In reality, the new coalition is comprised of parties among whom three are by no means less nationalistic the current leader. These group would be eager to join his Likud Party in forming a government if needed in a certain condition.
The photo depicting Abbas and Bennett in a hotel in Tel Aviv was astonishing, but the reality pushed itself when we understand that simultaneous with signing the agreement between the two sides, far-right demonstrators blasted Bennett for what they called the formation of government with “terror supporters” outside the hotel.
Bennett’s policy in joining a coalition with Arab parties has so provoked the ultra-nationalist right that security measures were designated for the coming Prime Minister in fear of hate activities.
Less than three decades ago, Bennett was the man whose settlement campaign produced Yigal Amir and his likes. Amir killed Israel’s then-prime minister, Yitzhak Rabinin an attempt to derail the Oslo peace agreements with the Palestinians.
The assassination was done due to the fact that Bennett’s followers saw Rabinin as betraying the Jewish nation by permitting “Arabs” – Palestinian groups in parliament – to impact his minority administration. They did so in order to force passing the agreement in the parliament before its practical implementation.
The developments in the next decades after the assassination all aided the failure of Oslo accord. Israelis swung even far to the right, electing Netanyahu. The Yasser Arafat’s pathway to Oslo realization was interrupted. The Palestinian intifada broke out. And, in a full cycle, Netanyahu came back to power and became Israel’s 12-year prime minister.
Bennett’s actions have a double impact on the future Yigal Amirs. They feel he has sold the right’s movement down the river while allowing Abbas, who right-wing activists sees as Hamas representative in the Knesset, to impose policies to the Jewish leaders. Combined with the recent tension inside the Muslim-majority cities like Lod when Israel was involved in a war with Hamas, the boiling extremism among the Muslim citizens on the one side and far-right groups on the other does not seem promising. Israel’s coming government is comprised of two inherently and historically opposing groups and might deepen the political and security crisis in the near future.
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