Netanyahu’s loss divides Israel: ‘Comeback not ruled out’

The new government, whose eight parties are very ideologically divergent, immediately starts with a precarious balance.

The minimal majority in parliament of 60 seats for and 59 against that the Bennett government makes possible, according to correspondent Ties Brock, is comparable to the division in the country. “The response has been very different.”

There was a celebration, but Netanyhu’s supporters hold their breath about Israel’s future. “He is seen as the man with experience,” explains Brock. “As the leader who has protected the country for the past twelve years. That it has to clear the field creates uncertainty for them.”

Gaining trust

Netanyahu’s supporters are across the country, especially in the working class. “Many of them see Netanyahu as the only one who can protect Israel on the global stage from the enemies of the Jewish state.”

It is up to the new government to quickly gain the confidence of the people. An important step is drawing up a budget. “It took a long time to do that,” says Brock. “There has been no well-functioning government in Israel since 2019, causing projects to come to a standstill.”

The new government wants to change that quickly. “Bennett will focus on investments in areas such as healthcare, education and infrastructure.”

Dislike of Netanyahu as a binding factor

With Bennett, Israel has a prime minister who is politically and ideologically even more right-wing than Netanyahu. But due to the coalition’s divisions, issues like the conflict with the Palestinians and the relationship between religion and state will not be high on the agenda, Brock says.

Still, the situation ensures that Bennett can’t ignore it. “For example, a march of nationalist Israelis through East Jerusalem is already planned for tomorrow. And a newly established Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory is slated to be evicted. Bennett has many supporters among such settlers, but left-wing parties are behind the eviction. That makes it complicated.”

Netanyahu’s role is also not over yet. “A party can leave the coalition, within the parliament the minimal majority can be lost. Anything can happen. But so far Netanyahu’s aversion within the coalition has been a common binding factor.”

Comeback not excluded

And then there is the lawsuit against Netanyahu, that of corruption is suspected of. “In the past he has been able to delay the matter, saying that he didn’t have time for it because he had to lead the country. He can’t use that excuse anymore.”

If he is convicted, the political career of bibi past. But Netanyahu has already proven that he can come back from a beaten position. “In 1999 he lost the elections, but ten years later he was prime minister again. He is 71, so it should not take another ten years, but a comeback is certainly not ruled out.”

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