Israel Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is officially set to be replaced as Prime Minister of the Jewish state on Sunday, as an unlikely coalition of far left and far right parties – including one Arab party – banded together to form a coalition government that will allow a far right wing Israeli politician to become Prime Minister for two years.
Notably, multiple media outlets are now reporting that, in an effort to prevent the far right from gaining power in Israel, Netanyahu offered to resign and allow his former opponent Benny Gantz to serve the remainder of his term. As National File reported in 2019, two sources with knowledge of Gantz’s personal life say he could be blackmailed by Iran stemming from communications retrieved during a 2019 Iranian hack of Gantz’s private communications via an unsecured cell phone. At the time, Netanyahu faced a difficult election against Gantz, and ultimately held his position.
Now, Gantz “vehemently denied” an offer from Netanyahu to “replace him in return for disbanding the anticipated coalition government.” Accordingly, Netanyahu “will be succeeded on Sunday by a coalition government that includes for the first time a party from Israel’s Arab minority,” reports the Daily Mail. “Under a power-sharing agreement, Naftali Bennett, of the ultra-nationalist Yamina (Rightwards) party, will serve as prime minister for two years.” As part of this now-rejected deal, However, Netanyahu was to retain some semblance of power as a member of the Knesset, supreme unicameral national legislature of Israel.
Netanyahu was Prime Minister of Israel for 12 years, and was referred to as “King Bibi” by his supporters. Protesters have gathered outside Netanyahu’s home to celebrate the longtime ruler’s removal from power. One of the protesters claimed that “protest is the main cause that Netanyahu government collapsed and now we are going to have tomorrow a new government”
The new coalition government may, however, be on borrowed time. The coalition contains 8 disparate parties, including an Arab party, multiple far left parties who want large concessions to Palestine, centrist parties, right wing parties, and is represented by a man Naftali Bennett, “who dreams of annexing most of the occupied West Bank” and spent large amounts of his childhood in North America.