As the war between Hamas and Israel goes on with no end in sight, the future of Netanyahu’s political career is getting more and more uncertain.
The issue of replacing Netanyahu with Benny Gantz becomes stronger when we know that several reports in the American media recently pointed to the interest of Joe Biden, the president of this country. According to one of the same reports published in Politico, it is stated that: “The Biden administration has had a limited chance to convince Netanyahu and his aides to carry out the American military recommendations. For this reason, senior officials of the Biden administration and even himself have recently spoken about the possibility of removing Netanyahu and replacing him with Benny Gantz.”
Also, in an article entitled “Biden’s message to Netanyahu: The time has come for Gantz to take office”, the Israeli media Haaretz also spoke about the desire of the Biden government to remove Netanyahu and put Gantz in office. It should be noted that the personal relationship between Biden and Gantz is in a friendly and good state, exactly unlike the recent relationship between Biden and Netanyahu. Actually, after the election of Biden as the President of the United States, Gantz was the first Israeli official who officially congratulated Biden in a phone call. This friendly relationship also exists between Gantz and many senior members of the Biden administration.
Possible scenarios ahead of Israel
Now, it seems there are three potential scenarios that could happen after the war between Israel and Hamas comes to an end; The first scenario involves a significant number of members of the Knesset and the Likud Party itself ending their support for Netanyahu and calling for his resignation, possibly aligning with his current opponents to force him to resign.
There’s no doubt that Likud members are fed up with Netanyahu, who led them to five elections in the past five years, but they haven’t officially revolted yet. This war, and especially Israel’s intelligence and tactical failures under Netanyahu, which resulted in a national embarrassment for Israel, has made Likud members very disappointed with Netanyahu today.
The second scenario is that Netanyahu’s coalition begins to collapse and, under pressure from his voters, some other parties in the government demand early elections. These differences are currently happening continuously. One of the ministers of the extreme orthodox party “Shas” recently stated that after the end of the war, there will be no alternative to change the date of the next elections and the elections should be held immediately.
If an election is held, the stage seems set for the return of familiar faces such as Naftali Bennett, the former prime minister, who plans to run in the upcoming elections, and Yoaz Handel, the former communications minister, who currently heads the Israeli Special Forces.
It is also expected that one of the new candidates will be Yossi Cohen, the former head of the Mossad. Cohen enjoys being in the media spotlight and has repeatedly expressed his desire to become prime minister. Within Netanyahu’s Likud party itself, there are a number of possible successors, including Gilad Erdan, Israel’s current ambassador to the United Nations, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who are all popular among Likud members.
And finally, in the third scenario, if it happens, Netanyahu will still show no desire to step down and suppress any rebellion in his party and coalition. Reports from his staff at recent Israeli cabinet meetings indicate that Netanyahu is desperately seeking evidence to shift the blame from himself to Israel’s security chiefs. This shows Netanyahu is not going to step down so easily.