There are many risks for Israel’s fragile new government – –

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There are many risks for Israel’s fragile new government – –


Jerusalem (AFP)

Israel’s new government, a fragile alliance spanning the entire political spectrum, is expected to last until 2025, but it could be quickly overthrown by divisive issues such as the Palestinian conflict, analysts said Monday.

And that rules out any move by Benjamin Netanyahu, a shrewd politician who is ready to jump on any coalition faux pas and come back through new elections after his ousting after 12 consecutive years as prime minister.

Even though thousands of Israelis celebrated his departure on Sunday, many doubt the sustainability of a government made up of eight parties representing the left, the far right and the center, as well as the Arab-Islamic conservatives.

A Channel 12 opinion poll found that 43% of Israelis expect it to dissolve “quickly”, 30% think it will last “a long time” and only 11% expect it to dissolve “quickly”. that he survives his four-year tenure.

To survive, the government led by Naftali Bennett – which has the weakest parliamentary base for a prime minister in Israel’s history with just six of 120 seats – would have to focus on post-pandemic economic recovery and avoid trouble division, analysts said.

Bennett, a tech millionaire, argued his economic credentials in a speech to parliament on Sunday, saying he would aim to have 15% of Israel’s workforce work in the high-tech sector by four. years, compared to 10% currently.

“The first problem is of course (to pass) the budget,” analyst Dahlia Scheindlin said, adding that it was “something Israel has not been able to do… for the past two years”.

But “there is not so much disagreement on issues like how to revive the economy and health and (the) environment,” she told AFP.

The Bennett government was likely to focus on such issues and “try to put aside more controversial issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

– Palestinian thorn –

The government could quickly find itself embroiled in sensitive issues such as the development of settlements in the occupied West Bank or the situation in the Gaza Strip, said Guy Ben-Porat, professor of political science at Ben-Gurion University.

He may also have to decide the fate of a wild colony to be evacuated to the West Bank, which could anger settlers once represented by Bennett.

And that doesn’t take into account the fate of a ceasefire agreed last month with Hamas after a deadly 11-day conflict between Islamist leaders in Gaza and Israel.

“The Palestinian issue will certainly disturb this government,” Ben-Porat said.

“They will do their best to put this issue aside… I don’t think it works in the long term and it may actually come up very soon in front of this government. “

Any attempt to deal with such issues could cause the “collapse” of the government, he warned.

“For Bennett, pragmatism is a method of survival. “

The new leader will have to stay in tune with the “security establishment” on the issue of rebuilding Gaza and any exchange of prisoners, said Saleh al-Naami, a specialist in Israeli affairs at the Islamic University of Gaza.

“There will be no fundamental change, but Bennett could try to improve the economic situation in Gaza in a limited way,” Naami said, stressing that the government should also “face pressure” from the United States.

– Fire of Netanyahu –

US President Joe Biden, who spoke by phone with Bennett on Sunday night, has distanced himself from the policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

The Trump administration has supported the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, Israel’s nemesis.

One of the biggest challenges of the new government is “to gain the confidence of the Democratic Party and the Biden administration,” said Gayil Talshir, professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

To do so, she would have to “play a more sophisticated game” with the Biden administration on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian issue, she said.

“This government will have to refrain from surprising the American administration on the maneuvers in the West Bank, the settlements, etc. Said Yohanan Plesner, chairman of the Israel Democracy Institute think tank.

But by distancing itself from Netanyahu’s legacy, the government could incur the wrath of nationalists, whom the Likud leader would need to derail the government and resume his duties.

“Netanyahu certainly does not see himself as someone who will retire at 71,” Talshir said.

“He is going to be a very aggressive leader of the opposition” to try to ensure that “this government will fall very soon”.

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