Multi-millionaire politician Neftali Bennett is in the talks to potentially replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-running leader of Israel. A coalition of diverse Israeli opposition parties led by Yair Lapid voted to form a unity government against Netanyahu. They agreed that Bennett would lead a power-sharing government and become the next PM.
Coalition alliance would have one week to finalize their government after approval from President Reuven Rivlin. After a week, the reigning government would have to go through a vote of confidence in the Knesset.
Who is Neftali Bennet?
The former defense minister of Netanyahu’s regime, Neftali Bennett is a tech-entrepreneur turned politician. According to reports, he entered Israeli politics after selling his tech start-up for 145 million USD in 2005. Next year, he was already the chief of staff to Netanyahu, who was his opposition at the time. He also served as an economic minister and an education minister for Netanyahu. Bennett left Netanyahu in 2010 to become the leader of the Yesha council, which lobbied for Jewish Settlers in the West Bank.
His stance has been strictly right-wing and religious-nationalist. He has been the leader of The Jewish Home party (2012-2018), Minister of Diaspora Affairs (2013-2019), Minister of Defense (2019-2020), and the leader of the New Right party since 2018. He’s also the leader of the Yamina party since 2019. He is famous for making highly controversial remarks against Palestinians. In 2013, he said Palestinian terrorists should be killed and not released.
Even though both politicians share the same ideology of spreading Zionism, they have reportedly become opponents. Neftali Bennett was reportedly not much interested in Lapid’s coalition before. However, in the aftermath of 11 consecutive days of attacks between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, Bennett agreed. Lapid also agreed to let Bennett serve while sharing power with him. First, Lipid had 28 days to form a coalition government but the deadline was delayed due to the dire situation in Palestine.
Netanyahu Sees Danger to the National Security
Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the opposition’s strategy by calling it a sham of the century. This political punch by Netanyahu was a reference to Bennett’s previous promises of not joining the Centrist party of Lipid.
Netanyahu said that the coalition aimed at replacing him would risk national security. He urged right-wing enthusiasts to be wary of this scam comprising a unique combination of centrism and ultra-nationalism posing as left-wing. Moreover, the current PM alleged that Bennett was only misleading the public.
He taunted the coalition deal by saying they wouldn’t be able to take care of the settlements or provide a strong security cabinet, needed to stand up to Iran, Israel’s sworn enemy. Netanyahu said that because the unity government seems absurd which includes different political parties that have different ideologies than one another. If it was possible for different ideologies to work together then a voting system would not have been required.
Will Things Change with the Government?
Israel has received international criticism for oppressing an entire ethnic group based on their religion. Millions of Palestinians and have been displaced and thousands of Palestinian homes have been demolished. Uncategorized occupants are gradually taking over the remaining homes. Israeli forces always get away by saying they’re clearing terrorism but actually their activities have summoned further resistance. Now Neftali Bennett was also unhappy with how Netanyahu’s forces faced significant resistance from Hamas and Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s opposition mocked him for not being able to deal with Hamas properly. They believed that Netanhayu was only able to agree on an unconditional cease-fire, despite having the best air force and intelligence in the world.
Public has also sensed danger due to the extremist views of Neftali Bennett.