As the new government in Israel is now at work, there are many challenges emanating from in and out of Israel that many fear it cannot deal with immediately, completely, and properly.
The new government in Israel, led by 73-year-old Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was sworn in on this Thursday and is now in power, putting and end to years of political deadlock and frequent elections.
Nearly 18 months after he was ousted from power, Netanyahu is now back to celebrate his sixth term as prime minister, and probably determined to move Israel ahead. US president Joe Biden congratulated Netanyahu for his victory as the new Israel PM, promising to protect the idea of two-state solution.
In a statement that was issued this Friday by the White House, Biden said: “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been my friend for decades, to jointly address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Middle East region, including threats from Iran.”
This government is alarmingly different
What makes this new government different from others is that it is without a doubt the most right-wing in Israel’s history and is also the first in which the majority of its members are ultra-religious.
But rather than the names, it is the plans and ideals of these two groups of right-wing and religious politicians that makes the trouble.
Members of the right-wing are very much into annexation of the West Bank and are ready to do anything to realize it. This has drawn grave concern from in and out of Israel that such extremist policies may very well lead to more violence in the occupied lands.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg because the real danger this government poses to Israel’s future is coming from its religious makeup. Many experts around the world are worried that the influence of religious parties within the Israeli government, particularly the ultra-Orthodox and Religious Zionist parties, will destroy Israel as a democratic state as racism is feared to reach to its maximum in Israel.
What should the new government be afraid of most?
Despite what Biden emphasized in his statement that the US will support and help Israel in dealing with external challenges, what the new government under Netanyahu must be worried about most comes from within.
To read between the lines, the new finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has zero experience in the economic sector, and his appointment to this sensitive position can create problems for Netanyahu. What makes matters even worse is that Smotrich has not announced or even referred to any plan for battling the rising prices in Israel.
Likewise, the new housing minister of Israel, Yitzhak Goldknopf from the ultra-Orthodox party Agudat Yisrael, has no relevant experience in the field. This is while the question of real estate is a crucial problem in Israel where home ownership has become almost impossible for young couples and rental prices are also constantly rising due to a lack of available housing
Ironically enough, Goldknopf even admitted once that he does “not know that the country was experiencing a real estate crisis.” Last but not least, the appointment of Ben-Gvir as Israel’s National Security Minister, given his far-right history and lust for violence against non-Jews in Israel, can very well be another area of grave concern for Netanyahu to worry both about his coalition partners and also about a potential rebellion within his Likud Party.