The Israeli fragile coalition of opposites has reached the end of the road after fighting a full year for survival.
Israeli ruling alliance declared two days ago that the Israeli parliament, will be dissolved within seven days. As a result, the cabinet will dissolve itself and votes will decide the future of the country in an upcoming election.
The dissolution of the Knesset and government, though expected, has repercussions for the country. Tel Aviv must hold a fifth election since 2018 and it might lead the country into another vicious cycle of elections. The deadlock has reasons and consequences that we will be addressing in this brief article.
Since 13 June, 2021, when it first assumed power, the Israeli administration never has been stable enough to be trusted with multiple years of ruling. The reason is clear: it is an alliance of eight parties, mostly with opposing views on key matters. The alliance is comprised of right-wing parties, centrists, and Palestinian citizens in Israel.
The alliance was established a year ago by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, the current Foreign Minister. The mission was also clear: putting an end to the former PM Benjamin Netanyahu‘s record-breaking 12 years in office along with two years of parliamentary gridlock.
However, in recent weeks, the divisions inside the alliance have been more evident. After weeks of rumors that the coalition would be disbanding, the new policy was adopted late last week.
The shared antipathy to a Netanyahu government was what brought the alliance together. The antipathy, however, was not enough to unite the multiple groups with opposing policies and strategies in one tent.
During the previous year, disagreements in the coalition of opposites continued on significant policy matters such the establishment of a Palestinian state and Israeli annexation of the West Bank.
Dissolution of Coalition of Opposites
Bennet coalition to form the government failed in resolving the discrepancies between the member parties. As a result, the coalition, which had a narrow legislative majority, started to disintegrate when a few members turned against it.
The alliance’s mandate in Israeli parliament expired back in April. Idit Silman, a member of Bennett’s own party, declared she was leaving because of issues over religion.
Bennett’s alliance was unable to enact legislation in over the last weeks due to a stream of more losses and uprisings. The durability of the coalition of opposites was called into question by this second blow.
On another front, in opposition to Israeli assaults on Palestinian people at Al-Aqsa complex, the United Arab List has also warned to resign. The UAL also denounced the ongoing incursions in the occupied West Bank that resulted in the deaths of several citizens.
Israeli Prime Minister had already issued a caution about a potential downfall of the cabinet. Bennet’s warning followed remarks by another Yamina party member on his reluctance to support the ruling coalition.
Bennett will resign next week and be succeeded as interim prime minister by Lapid if the parliament is disbanded. According to the coalition, Lapid would continue in office until fresh elections can be conducted.
However, some political analysts think there is still a potential that a new administration may be formed without holding fresh elections. The possibility of a unity between opposing right-wing parties, nevertheless, is far from realization.
The horizon of another election in the current year may be disappointing for the Israeli people. Though Netanyahu “think(s) the winds have changed”, for the people in Israel the looming political crisis is not promising. In any case, the coalition of opposites is not unexpected in a system of opposites.